Sunday, March 22, 2009

Reading Cover to Cover

I recently found out that not everyone reads all parts of a book. To be specific, my dad doesn't read the dedications, acknowledgments (okay, fine) . . . or the prologues! What? Not the prologue?! And, no, my dad is not a literary agent bent on eliminating useless backstory prologues in the works of future authors. He simply feels that if the information wasn't important enough to fit into the main novel, it's not important enough for him to read it's (or so I'm paraphrasing). Shocking. Absolutely shocking.

I read darn near everything in a book. Here's a list of everything I've been known to read:
  • copyrights page (if I really like the cover art or if I can't tell if I may have read the book before in a different printing/cover cycle)
  • previous works written list
  • dedication
  • acknowledgements
  • any quotes or sayings that act as a mini-prologue to a novel
  • prologues (!!)
  • table of contents
  • the novel
  • about the author
  • about the typesetting (a few books have this, and I always find it interesting)
  • any Q&A included in the back
  • author's notes
  • bibliography (usually skimmed, but still interesting)

What I don't read:

  • marketing quotes about how great this novel is (or any others the author has written)
  • teaser first chapters of the next novel (I hate the feeling when I start a book that the words are so familiar, I should know what's going to happen but don't. If I know I like the author, I know I'm going to buy the next book. Reading the teaser usually also ruins the complete/conclusive feeling of the novel by opening the world back up again--if it's a series--or by starting a new set of characters' tale, which at that point, I don't care about, because I just want more of the characters I was just reading.)
  • ads for other books (occasionally I read these, but it's so rare, it's closer to never than often)

Am I obsessive? Do you read all these things? Do you read what I don't?

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