Do You Read A Book Forward, Introduction, Cover Blurb And Appendices

 Photo taken by me – my book cases
Preston, England
March 17, 2017 4:25pm CST
When you read a book, whether fiction or non-fiction, do you read the extra elements such as the forward, dedication, introduction, postscripts, appendices, author biography, footnotes, endnotes, back cover blurb, spines, contents listings, lists of other works by the author and publishers, etc.? I see these extras as being as much a part of the book as the body of the text itself. I am curious to see who the author dedicates the work to, notes on how it came to be written, reactions to the work by the critics, and everything else added. Some writers deliberately add extra details exclusively in footnotes, including Robert Rankin, Terry Pratchett and Joe R Lansdale. Skip their notes and you miss vital plot elements. If the author and publishers chose to add them, I read them. Arthur Chappell
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22 responses
@akalinus (12424)
• United States
17 Mar
With some books, I find that the appendices are more interesting than the book was. I certainly read the postscripts, the introduction, the author material, pretty much everything you said. When I read books to my kids, I told them who the author was and whatever I knew about his/her life. I suggested that they could write books also but only a couple of them turned out to be readers
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• Preston, England
17 Mar
@akalinus not everyone gets the bug for reading sadly but you inspired some of them, which is great
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@akalinus (12424)
• United States
17 Mar
@arthurchappell I read every day. I go through a lot of books. Each one is an adventure and it makes me sad when each one ends.
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• Preston, England
18 Mar
@akalinus I always feel sad when I finish a great book too
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@marlina (60679)
• Canada
18 Mar
Yes, I do .
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• Peoria, Arizona
17 Mar
I do! When I read a book I try to get out everything of it's worth! Even the copyrights page and reviews and such. Sometimes books have little treasures in them in these "boring" areas of the books. I know A Series of Unfortunate Events had little hidden things within the book on pages people do not go for.
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• Preston, England
17 Mar
@DesirousDreamer yes, Lemony Snicket has great fun with his spoof dedications
• Peoria, Arizona
17 Mar
@arthurchappell There was another book that I remember reading that did the same thing with the footnotes and copyright page but I haven't the foggiest remember what it was, but I thought it was the most hilarious thing.
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• Preston, England
17 Mar
@DesirousDreamer John Lodge's spoof philosophy novella, Mensange does it too
• Midland, Michigan
17 Mar
Sometimes I have other times not so much. Partly due to the amount of time I have to do my reading. I don't know that I've ever read anyone where they explained the plot elsewhere in the book.
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• Preston, England
17 Mar
@MarshaMusselman I usually read the book first and then go to the extras later
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@akalinus (12424)
• United States
20 Mar
It is usually on the blurb, the front, back, or inside cover of a book.
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• Midland, Michigan
20 Mar
@akalinus I've read of other authors and people that are familiar to others that share what they liked about the book which could include a portion of the plot, but not where the author shared aspects of the plot. That would be similar to added scenes or features in a movie which can sometimes include plot info.
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• Bournemouth, England
19 Mar
I tend to read all the extras unless it's a really learned work with dozens of pages quoting sources. One of my bugbears is biographies and other non-fiction works that are published without any sort of index. On many occasions that has put me off buying the book.
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• Preston, England
19 Mar
@asfarasiknow I dislike un-indexed text books too, as well as poetry books without a title or first lines index or author biographies included
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@Tampa_girl7 (21241)
• United States
19 Mar
Yes, I read everything from the front cover to the back
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@dramagirl26 (3439)
• Ringgold, Virginia
18 Mar
I agree with you about them being important elements of a book and I take the time to read them.
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@boiboing (12524)
• Northampton, England
18 Mar
For me it depends a lot on the book. Sometimes I get to the end and THEN go and read the intro and the extras. BUT with Kindle books, they generally start with the text and skip a lot of the preamble.
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• Sevilla, Spain
18 Mar
No, I only read the story
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@LadyDuck (118232)
• Switzerland
18 Mar
Yes I do, because just like you I am curious to know why the author wrote the book and if he/she dedicated the book to someone.
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@Ronrybs (7075)
• London, England
18 Mar
Can't remember the last time I read a forward, or should that be for-word, but everything else I have a look at
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@JudyEv (96587)
• Bunbury, Australia
18 Mar
I mostly read the lot although not always the reviews.
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@diosabella (4843)
18 Mar
Honestly I don't. Unless its a textbook and required by the school to read.
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@silvermist (15794)
• India
18 Mar
@arthurchappell Yes,I do. read them all.Out of the authors you have mentioned,I am familiar only with Terry Patchett.
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@responsiveme (14361)
• India
18 Mar
I don't read them to start with but read them in between once I am 'inside 'the book.
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@shivamani10 (9940)
• Hyderabad, India
17 Mar
I read generally Forward, and the table of contents if it has got. Most of the time I read subject oriented books which do have table of content. I search for the topics and question myself and immediately read what the author has said. If I find any answer that has been discussed I note down that one. I generally take some 2 or 3 hrs to read a book.
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@prinzcy (5082)
• Malaysia
17 Mar
Of course I read them. There's more information about the book and the author in those pages.
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@Jessicalynnt (48190)
• Centralia, Missouri
17 Mar
Sometimes, not always, I guess I really should!
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@Kandae11 (25515)
17 Mar
I read the introduction then get on with the story. If I am very impressed with the book - then I check out the list of the author's other works, biography, postscripts etc.
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@msiduri (5841)
• United States
17 Mar
I do. Sometimes the authors blather on and I may not finish them ("And I'd like to thank my mother and my first grade teacher...") but in general, I read forewards, introductions, afterwards and all that.
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