Saturday, June 24, 2006

Confessions of a Peeper: A New Poll

I have a confession: When I read a novel, I peep at the ending very early on, sometimes even before I buy the novel or check it out from the library. It doesn't matter what type of novel it is (even mysteries are not immune); it doesn't matter whether I'm enjoying it or not; it doesn't matter whether I'm going to finish it or not; it doesn't matter whether it's 200 pages or 800 pages. I'll peep regardless.

Clearly, I would have had a rough time of it during the days of serial publication, where I'd have to wait my turn just like everyone else to see whether Little Nell died.

I'm sure I can't be the only person with this shameful secret, but I've yet to hear someone else confess to it. So how about it? Take the new poll on the right and help determine how many of us there really are. It's anonymous, so don't worry--if you answer "Always" or "Sometimes," the Anti-Spoiler Police won't come and get you. (At least, they haven't come for me yet.)

Speaking of polls, dog people won my last poll about two to one.

7 comments:

Alex Bordessa said...

I often turn to the back of historical novels to check out the Author's Notes before taking out of the library or purchasing. Unfortunately, I sometimes see the end of the story too ...

Gabriele C. said...

My name is Gabriele and I'm a peeper. :)

I always peep after I've read the first pages, and that means I do it in the stores sometimes (when I don't order from Amazon) and the end better be satisfying. ;)

And don't try to cheat me with an epilogue; I find the real end.

Sarah said...

Sometimes I'm a peeper. Depends on how bored I am with the storyline :) Other times, like with most mysteries, I have to force myself not to look.

Margaret Evans Porter said...

This "sometimes-a-peeper-dog-lover" doesn't mind knowing the end. The better the book, or the less predictable the genre (e.g. non-romance, non-mystery) the harder it is not to peek because I really don't know what will happen. Mysteries get solved, lovers get their happy ending.

In historical fiction, if the primary characters are real people, I quite often know their life stories. But that doesn't stop me reading about them!

The pleasure comes from following the journey, and in the quality of the prose.

I always know the ending of my own novels before I begin writing them.

Carla said...

Sometimes. More often than not, if I'm honest. As Margaret said, I quite often know what happened to historical figures anyway - I have a novel about Lady Jane Grey waiting on the top of my pile at present, and there are no prizes for guessing what happens at the end of that :-) Knowing the end doesn't seem to get in the way of enjoying the story at all, in fact sometimes I'll read a book through twice in succession and find the second time more satisfying than the first because I pick up all sorts of little hints and incidents that only become significant in the light of the ending.

Marg said...

Uh, Hi....is this the Peepers Anonymous meeting? Yes, oh good, I will fit right in here then!

Susan Higginbotham said...

I'm much relieved to find so many peepers and occasional peepers around! Makes me feel much less perverse.