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Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Confessions of a Bookaholic: I Do Not Read Introductions

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Once in a while, I get these urges to confess things because sometimes I feel I am not a particularly good book lover. So here it goes ... I do not read introductions to books. 


There are a few books, especially the classics, which have introductions to them. I used to read them - back when I wanted to enjoy every single aspect of the reading experience. Until I found out they gave away too much detail. So I stopped. Obviously the introduction is important if you've read the book, as it gives you more clarity and a different perspective, but if you haven't it just spoils things. I'm one of those people who likes to be surprised. I stopped watching movie previews because they gave away too much and ended up spoling the movie experience for me. 


Am I the only one out there who shys away from the introduction because of the fear that the entire book experience will be ruined? Or am I a minority? If you do read introductions, I would love to know why. If you don't, I'd also love to know as well. Maybe I can be convinced to overcome my fear and start reading them again. And since I am confessing, I rarely go back to the introduction after I've finished reading. I know, terrible!

6 comments:

  1. I do not mind intros or previews at all. Matter of fact, I relish them. I then have the luxury of sitting back and enjoying how things pan out and I find that I still enjoy every moment of it.

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  2. I don't mind missing most introductions unless they are introductory essays to the book.

    I don't like spoilers either, but I think an academic perspective to the book gives insights I might miss when reading through.

    By the way, I have nominated you for the Sunshine Award.

    Do check out http://logo-ligi.com/2012/05/21/sunshine-award/ for rules on accepting

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  3. If the book is a great big difficult classic I have not read before I will tend to read intro b/c I need all the help I can get. If it is just a short intro and I really want to get started I will skip it and then maybe read it when I have finished esp if I enjoyed the book. I don't like spoilers and if the intro looks like it might be heading into one I stop and skip it.

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  4. @Efioanwan - I really wish I could do that - read the intro and then enjoy every moment of the book.

    @logo-ligi - Thanks so much for the nomination and you are very right, an academic perspective does give further insights but I am ashamed to admit that my dislike of spoilers sometimes trumps my want for further insight.

    @Pam - I remember growing up the only way I could really understand certain books (especially the big classics you describe) was to read the introductions. And I did love the insights it gave not only to the story but to the author and the background behind their writing of the story. Maybe it's just the ones I've read, but recently I just found they tended to give away too much so I just started skipping them.

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  5. HA! Neither do I. I always skip right to chapter 1 and then if I want more context after I'm finished. I'll go back and read the intro.

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  6. @Shannon, it's such a relief to know :). Glad you skip intros too - although you are better than me as you at least sometimes go back to read them.

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