Monday, March 5, 2018

Spoiling Books

I'm attempting to write everyday in March.Today is 5/31.

My students have a lot of opinions about book spoilers. We do a daily book talk - some from me, some from the kids - and they are careful to call out, "No spoilers!" if they think someone is divulging too much. I understand, really I do. I read the Harry Potter series at a ridiculous pace so that no one could ruin the end for me. I always read the book before watching the movie because I feel like that's the experience I was supposed to have. And yet, I have a habit that seems to annoy authors to no end...

I often read the end of the book shortly after beginning it.

I'm not sure why this is. I think I need to know how things will turn out to be able to slow down and enjoy the book. I tend to fly through books already, skimming over parts I'm not interested in. And yet, I still have the compulsion to flip to the end and ensure I know how the characters will end up. Maybe it's morbid - if anything were to happen to me, at least I know how that book would end. Maybe it's just a lack of patience - I know many people that would agree I don't have an overabundance of patience lying around. I think it's likely just my dislike of the feeling of conflict, I strongly like everything to be conflict free in my life - my relationships, my television/ movies, and apparently my books. Even in more formulaic writing, like the romance books I'm still reading with abandon, and knowing the couple will get together in the end, I still slide the Kindle pages all the way to the end, just to know it will all be ok. And the funny thing? I know I'm not alone in this.
I watched Lindsay in class the other day flip to the end of the book as soon as she was done with the first chapter. After she did so, I caught her gaze (after taking a photo) and grinned at her. She shrugged her shoulders at me and went back to reading. 

Tera today read a really sad part towards the end of Andrew Smith's Winger. She immediately flipped to the end to see if she should even keep going. She got teary and told me she now hated (but not really) the book. I stood up from my spot in the front of the room, wandered back to the shelves, grabbed the sequel, Stand Off, and dropped it on her table as I headed towards the front. I grinned as I heard a distracted, "Thanks," and saw her head bent over the point, gabbing the offending chapter, and telling her friend Samantha what just happened. When I admonished that she shouldn't spoil the experience for Sam, Sam replied, "I already read the end of it knowing that I was getting it as soon as she was done." 

Kids these days.

Truly, I can't feel bad about this. I'm forty-four and love to read. I know what works for me and what doesn't. Reading the end of a book has never made me not finish. It actually allows me to slow down (a bit!) and savor the book even more. This is one habit I know I cannot kick...well this along with my tendency to dog ear my pages.