Do You Read A Book Forward, Introduction, Cover Blurb And Appendices
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
19 people like this
• United States
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
• Peoria, Arizona
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.
• Peoria, Arizona
@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.
• Midland, Michigan
@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.
Hi Arthur, when I get a new book or buy a book I read the back to see the summary of it first to see if want to buy it or read it or not. I do not read a lot of things in it like the footnotes, appendices, but, look at the dedication and then go on to the book. I read about the author also at times.
• Bournemouth, England
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.
• Hyderabad, India
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.