Don’t read the beginning of the book first.


I mean it. Don’t.

Most books begin with quotes. No story exists without other stories, without other words, so it’s only proper for books to start with shout-outs to other stories.

These quotes go on the first pages of a lot of novels to introduce the reader to the themes, to signal to other writers the soul of the book.

They don’t belong on the first page of a book. They belong on the last page of a book.

Once you’ve read a book, once you followed the author along his plots, her themes, once you’ve understood the emotional truth of the novel, then and only then should you read those quotes.

I don’t know about other people, but I never remember the quotes that start a book. I get caught up in the narrative, and forget whatever preceded it, whatever line was there before the story actually began. But when I finish a book and then flip back to read the quotes, I understand them. I can’t get the emotional truth of an isolated sentence and its relevance to the novel until after I’ve read the novel.

So don’t read the first thing in a novel first. And even if you do, remember to flip back to the beginning after you’ve finished the last page. You won’t regret it.


One thought on “Don’t read the beginning of the book first.

  1. GeekGina says:

    Ive done that quite often

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