Reader's Corner: Last Page Readers

opened page

Believe it or not, there are readers out there who cannot help themselves when it comes to knowing how a book ends. They must always read the last page or the last chapter of a book. Is this you?

I recall having a conversation via Twitter with Katiebabs aka KB from Babbling About Books and More where she admits to being a last page reader. She’s not alone.

Speaking for myself, I _used_ to do this but I stopped. It was a bad habit and yes, I needed to stop. I got tired of ruining books for myself and I’ve ruined plenty. But why read the last page of a book, only to not understand it and on top of that, ruin it for yourself? Is it worth it?

I wonder how many readers will go straight to the ending of Diana Gabaldon’s new Outlander book, An Echo in the Bone and read the ending? I would be tempted but, no, I wouldn’t do it. I’m so far behind in reading the series that to read the ending wouldn’t do me any good anyway. Well, I take that back.

photo credit: fxr

About Keishon

Voracious reader of just about everything.
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16 Responses to Reader's Corner: Last Page Readers

  1. ~ames~ says:

    I don’t read the end first. With romance especially, we know we’re going to get an HEA, so I’ll arrive there the way the author intended it. But that’s just me.

  2. Tee says:

    Nope, won’t do it! It’s bad enough in a regular fiction book, but it doesn’t make sense when it’s a mystery or suspense story. The only way I’ll scan to the end is when it’s obvious to me that the book I’m reading is a DNF. Then I just want to see how the author envisioned the ending and for no other reason.

  3. SarahT says:

    I went through a phase of reading the endings first. It was destroying my enjoyment of the books, particularly mysteries and thrillers. So now I curb my inner demand for instant gratification because I know waiting will prove the more satisfying choice.

  4. Janicu says:

    I do. Not all books, but books where I want to know if the couple gets together.. the books where it’s a fantasy/UF and it may or may not happen. That way I have the rest of the book to get used to there NOT being a HEA.

  5. Wendy says:

    I never do this – but that’s probably because I started out life as a mystery/suspense reader. Half the fun of reading that genre is the twists and turns of the plot, ultimately leading to the “whodunit.” Ruining the “whodunit” takes about 95% of the fun out the equation.

    Like Tee though, I will skim the ending if it’s obvious that the book is going to be a DNF for me. Otherwise? No peeking.

  6. JenB says:

    I’m a last page reader. I do it mostly with mystery/suspense (which I don’t care for and don’t read often), but I also do it with other books. Sometimes I absolutely love the book and I want to make sure the ending won’t ruin that for me; sometimes the book is slow and I want to see if it’s worthwhile to keep reading; sometimes I just get bored and don’t feel like finishing, but I still want to know what happens in the end.

    I usually won’t finish a book whose ending is spoiled for me, but I don’t really consider my reading experience “ruined”–just abbreviated. I’m also a skimmer by nature, and I often listen to abridged audiobooks, so the condensed reading experience has never been a problem for me. They’re just books. I don’t get stressed over my entertainment/relaxation activities.

  7. Avid Reader says:

    Well, if I am unsure of the ending, I will read the end just to make sure everything is A-OK. I haven’t done that in a while. Anytime you have a love triangle or something unexpected happens in the story that leads you to be unsure of the outcome – yes, I will read the ending.

  8. Kailana says:

    I couldn’t imagine reading the ending first! Sometimes I want to, I admit, but I read the book like it was laid out. I hate spoilers! I have heard of people destroying the book for themselves by reading the ending first, so I would not want that to happen at all!

  9. That’s so funny that you mention Gabaldon. When I read Outlander, I was SO worried for Jamie, but it never occurred to me to read the last page. I even emailed my friend for her to reassure me that it would turn out okay. But reading the last page is unthinkable to me!!

    Except now that you put the idea in my head, it’s not! But I still would never do it. Unless, like Tee, it was a DNF.

    I can see how it would change the experience, though. Good thing you stopped. Though now I’m wondering, when you always read the last page, does it mean you’ll also read spoilers in reviews?

  10. Avid Reader says:

    Carolyn Crane: Though now I’m won­der­ing, when you always read the last page, does it mean you’ll also read spoil­ers in reviews?

    @Carolyn – Well, I don’t mind spoilers in reviews especially if it’s a book I have zero plans to read. In general, spoilers don’t bother me and do the exact opposite for me. Instead of ruining the book, it makes me even more excited to read the book.

  11. nath says:

    Guilty. I used to read those extremely long kung fu novels (several tomes) and I want to know who ended up with whom… and that’s how it started…

    To me, it’s not the ending, but how the author does to get to the end, so I don’t mind. I try to do it less when it comes to mystery and romantic suspense, but I can’t say I really care about figuring it out LOL..

  12. Janet W says:

    @Avid Reader: well I definitely won’t do it for Gabaldon … and I never do it for mysteries (so much so that my brain leeches away many mystery endings in the weeks after I’ve read ’em). BUT, like you said, if it’s a threesome (not physical but I’m not sure how the book will end) and who will end up w/whom, like A Season in Eden by Megan Chance, or if it’s a super dismal/scary/potentially horrific ending, like Penelope Williamson’s The Outsider, I’ll confess to peeking. And not in a fit of pique LOL, just ’cause I can’t stand the suspense. When do I peek: maybe when I’m 7/8ths through …

  13. Marg says:

    I always read the last page. There are only a couple of books I can think of where I have really spoiled the reading experience by doing so. Even in mysteries, there usually isn’t a lot about who it was on the last page. It is normally just a bit about the detective wrapping up the case, or laying the ground work for the next one!

  14. Tee says:

    Marg: I always read the last page. [snip] It is nor­mally just a bit about the detec­tive wrap­ping up the case, or lay­ing the ground work for the next one!

    So, I’m curious, Marg. In this case, where you say you don’t really find out much about the story ending on the last page, especially in mysteries, why then do you bother to go to the end first? Not judging at all here, just wondering.

  15. Marg says:

    Tee, to be honest I can’t tell you! I think it is just a bad habit I have gotten into and now I can’t stop myself. I guess it just confirms in my mind that everything is going to turn out. There are odd occasions where there are major spoilers and I think I wish I hadn’t of done that, but not often.

  16. Tee says:

    Marg: Tee, to be hon­est I can’t tell you! I think it is just a bad habit I have got­ten into and now I can’t stop myself. I guess it just con­firms in my mind that every­thing is going to turn out. There are odd occa­sions where there are major spoil­ers and I think I wish I hadn’t of done that, but not often.

    Thanks for responding, Marg — I was curious. One of these days when you purchase a book, tape the last couple of pages to the back cover to keep yourself from peeking. Just to know you can do it. I’m kidding, of course. You do whatever floats your boat — your book, your choices.

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