Submitted by DontNotNotReadThis t3_10fligx in books

I've grown increasingly skeptical about the preface/introduction for exactly this reason. Half the time the author (or a commentator) will offer some interesting insight and set up the reader to have the right headspace entering into the book.

The other half of the time, FOR NO REASON AT ALL, the author will just off-handedly mention what happens in the middle/end of the book as if that doesn't completely hamper your expectations/experience reading the book for the first time!

Why do so many authors do this??? I just started reading Lonesome Dove, and I figured I didn't have to worry because the preface was less than two pages, but I had to stop reading because the author suddenly mentions that >!Call is Newt's real father!< and, while I'm only about 70 pages in, I feel like I would be having a very different experience of this book if I didn't have that information floating around in my head.

If I'm supposed to know it, include it in the actual text of the story itself. If not, PLEASE, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, AT LEAST GIVE ME A DAMN WARNING BEFORE YOU SPOIL A MAJOR PLOT POINT!

Rant over.



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goirish2200 t1_j4xp2fi wrote

If you’re reading a work of fiction with a preface, that means you’re probably reading an established work of literature with a cultural reputation robust enough that someone - usually a credentialed academic - was tapped to write said preface. They’re there for the purpose of deeper study and targeted, implicitly, to people who are returning to that book, not encountering it for the first time, so don’t worry about it.

In other words, you’ll know if/when you’ll want to read the preface. This is unlikely to be the case the first time you read it. Skip ‘em.


Bridalhat t1_j4y1no8 wrote

It can also be useful for students or anyone who wants to pick up on as many themes and foreshadowing as they can, but either only has time to read the book once or just doesn't prize going in blind as much as OP.


Merle8888 t1_j51no2w wrote

I don’t know, I usually read these after finishing a book but most of the time they just seem like bloviating without having any real point. It’s rare they actually bring great insights or perspective.


-baby-purple- t1_j50w59y wrote

i like to read the preface AFTER i finish the book because they are meant for people (usually academic scholars) returning to the book after having already read it.


tangential_quip t1_j4xv8a0 wrote

There is a very simple rule for this. If the preface was not a part of the book in its original printing, skip it if you are reading the book for the first time.

If a preface was added in a later edition, whether or not the preface is actually written by the author, it isn't intended for first time readers.


drelos t1_j4yheuh wrote

Yeah, I learned this as a teen, any text added to the OG edition can have basically any adding spoiling it like 'I admire what my friend the author did here, not only killing the protagonist one time but two' or 'now I am older and we are republishing this book I am proud of not only killing the protagonist one time but two'


Necessary_Disk t1_j4y7anz wrote

Don't read: preface

Do read: prologue


Sinsai33 t1_j4zbbo8 wrote

Also dont read the summaries on the books itself.

I'm currently reading the three body problem and i'm at ~250 pages of ~500 right now. And there is still not a single hint of what the summary spoiled.

>!The summary talked about the reason for everything being weird is some kind of alien civilization. I mean, everything is weird yes, but there is as far as i know nothing hinting about aliens yet.!<


nimrod4205 t1_j4zdit8 wrote

Just finished the 3 body problem recently and I'm glad I skipped the preface I guess. Very much enjoyed taking the ride while having absolutely no clue where it was going. Had I read the preface the journey through it would have felt different because I would have specifically been on the lookout.


Sinsai33 t1_j4zeblv wrote

It definitely lowers my enjoyment, exactly because of your reason: I'm always on the lookout for hints.

I bought the book because there was a good summary here on reddit (can't find it anymore) that only said that something mysterious about scientists is going on and nothing other spoilery.


DaLYtOrD t1_j51o25f wrote

I recently read Project Hail Mary and boy is there a big spoiler in the blurb. I heard it was an enjoyable read so just started at page 1. There was lots of suspense and new plot points popping up. Then I read the blurb when I was done and it just straight up tells you what happens in the middle of the book.

I think the story would have been much less interesting, or at least less suspenseful, if I'd read the blurb first.


crowstgeorge t1_j51osh0 wrote

I completely agree. I gifted it to my dad with explicit instructions not to read the book blurb before he'd finished the text.


rpbm t1_j51s8xy wrote

I started to read that, got a few pages in, remembered seeing what your spoiler mentions, and decided that made everything weird enough that I don’t want to finish it. Surprises me that halfway in, it hadn’t been mentioned yet.


atla t1_j4xu62h wrote

Other commenters have mentioned skipping the intros, but I'd also recommend considering trying to embrace them! There are some works I don't necessarily want spoiled for me, but for a lot of literature...the plot isn't the real selling point. Sure, the plot needs to be good (usually). But there's also the symbolism, the wordplay, the craft of the book. Reading the premise, even if it tells you what is going to happen, can't "spoil" any of that for you, and can in fact make it easier for you to fully appreciate what you're reading.

It's fine if you're just reading books for the plot, or if that's a major source of enjoyment for you. Most of the time, I'm the same way. But I'd also strongly encourage folks to try to get themselves outside their blockbuster thriller, mystery series obsession with spoiler culture and try to appreciate media holistically. Like, I can't remember the first time I watched The Fugitive (my parents may have been a bit lax in what media I was allowed to consume), but just because I knew every plot point by the time I was able to form memories doesn't mean it's not a great watch. Knowing every note in Schubert's Ave Maria doesn't stop me from tearing up when I hear it. Knowing every beat in Hamlet doesn't make a performance any less breathtaking. And knowing the outline of The Grapes of Wrath didn't make the journey I took actually reading it any less valuable.

In some cases -- like Heart of Darkness, or anything by Faulkner -- getting a sketch of the plot points can actually help keep you on track with what is going on. Or Song of Achilles -- knowing the way it was going to end made the language and tone and dramatic irony of the first part of the book all the more emotionally impactful.

Again. There's absolutely nothing wrong for preferring to go into books blind. But I'd consider evaluating why you don't like things (specifically, the type of classic literature that warrants a preface) spoiled for you, and trying to open-mindedly experience the literature in a different way. If it really isn't for you, no harm no foul, but you might find that you're able to find a new way of enjoying reading.


Rmcmahon22 t1_j4y8c83 wrote

I tend to read them at the end, when I'm reflecting on the book and what I thought of it.


Character_Vapor t1_j51717d wrote

Simple answer: "spoiler culture" is a relatively recent phenomenon that people historically didn't give as much of a shit about as you do. Particularly with the kind of texts that are significant enough within the cultural/literary landscape to even warrant an introduction, the assumption is that your engagement with the book is being approached from an academic/analytical position. And you can't really do that, or set the stage for that, without talking about the book. If you're reading an introduction the assumption is that you're looking to engage with the text in a more robust way than simply trying to preserve the surprise of "what happens".


jefrye t1_j4yc4a5 wrote

Short answer is that they exist so college students can read a book with the benefit of foresight and someone else's analysis and immediately jump to a level of analysis that would otherwise not be accessible until a second or third or more rereading.

Personally I think this is a terrible way to experience literature as it largely removes a reader's ability to analyze whether the novel is successful at maintaining tension and the element of surprise, while also biasing the reader toward certain interpretations. But some people don't have the time or are just intellectually lazy and want the easy way out.

(They also unfortunately perpetuate the idea that classic literature can't be spoiled because they're not meant to be entertaining, they're meant to be studied, and anyone who is looking for entertainment is just not intellectual enough for classics....but let's leave that for another day.)


sighthoundman t1_j4yjtvr wrote

Even if the author wrote the preface, it was written after the book was written. You should read it after you read the book. If at all.

Exceptions: in textbooks, the preface often contains a description of what the book is about, what order topics should be studied in ("for a one semester course, do chapters 1-6, 10 and 14, for a two semester course, just do them all in order"), what knowledge is assumed, why you should use this book instead of the warhorse everyone else uses, and so on. Worthwhile stuff to see.0


Dana07620 t1_j4yw4ky wrote

I've learned the hard way to just read them afterward.

Why they can't just print them at the end of the book is beyond me.


Roshers t1_j4y8k2i wrote

This isn’t an answer to your question, but I experienced the same spoiler in the same book reading the prologue and I was so mad!! I still loved reading the book, but I wish I had found out organically.


mariacatalyn t1_j4yz45a wrote

It can either work well as a literary device or destroy the whole book. No in-between.

For example, the book "They Both Die at the End" (which was hated by a lot of people; we'll disregard this) used the "spoiling" literary device. I think it worked very well because that's where the story revolved--them dying in the end. It also constructed some expectations that maybe they won't die after all and the title was a "clickbait." The point is, the spoiler in the title had an overall purpose for the book. It made us wonder what led them to that fate and how they were going to die (if it was true).

What ruins a book when a spoiler is provided in the preface is the lack of purpose. It's just there to be there. And it makes the reader infuriated because, as you said, what was the point? If the author gives a spoiler important enough, then it should work around the theme of the book or at least some other plot device.


Rubberbandballgirl t1_j4yfte1 wrote

I don’t think Larry McMurtry gave a fuck about twists? It was just part of the story. It was never meant to be a mystery.


entropynchaos t1_j4zbkeq wrote

Almost all books that are older and have new forwards or etc will have spoilers in them, because it is expected that people already know what happens. You typically have to work pretty hard not to know the plot and spoilers of major works of fiction older than ten years old. I think it’s unreasonable to expect that older books won’t be spoiled, and if you don’t want them to be, it’s on the reader to avoid anything that might.


Merle8888 t1_j51oe05 wrote

This perspective confuses me. How many books you have not read could you describe the entire plot and ending of?

A few, no doubt: a handful of cultural touchstones, books especially popular in your circle that you’ve never actually read, anything you’ve already seen a screen adaptation of.

Now make that list and compare it to the many thousands of books 10+ years old that currently exist. I don’t care how old a book is, unless it’s Romeo and Juliet level of cultural penetration, most people who haven’t read it won’t know the details.


entropynchaos t1_j52k15p wrote

General population or me? If you’re talking about me, specifically, I’m an outlier. When I’m looking for a book I don’t look for a title or a cover that interest me (because those really have no bearing on whether a book will be good or not), I click into the link of every single book in the category I’m looking at, read the back blurb, any additional descriptive content, and then, if it sounds interesting, read reviews until I’ve found out all the plot and spoilers. If I still like what I see, I read the book.

I might read the blurb, descriptive content, and reviews of five hundred books before I find one I want to read (if I’m looking online, and I usually am). I do this every day because I read one to two books per day and it’s rare for me to have a backlog of books waiting to be read.

So…number of books with plot, spoilers, and endings I could remember well enough to describe, talk about in a general conversation, or perhaps recommend to someone based on their likes (with the caveat that I haven’t read it, of course)? Hundreds, at least. Thousands probably, given slight prompting, though I’m sure I would have lost at least some of the details, given I didn’t find the book interesting enough to read at the time.


DirtyOldPiano t1_j4yzlgb wrote

Not an answer to your question, I just want to tag on another book here.

I read Anne Mcaffrey’s “Dragonriders of Pern” as a kid and loved it. Back then I always skipped any preface a book had to offer.

So imagine my surprise when I picked up a copy as an adult, and the whole plot is spoiled in the preface. Like arguably the most interesting part of the story is just… sitting there. For anyone to read.

I tell people to skip the preface if they’re going to read it.


Mo_Dice t1_j56fzzn wrote

Honest question to everyone who is surprised by the content of forewords/prefaces:

Did you just never read any of the assigned books in school? Like 80% of the books I had to read had this exact type of preface.

Somebody said they wished that school had taught them what the preface is. I mean... they probably did, my dude.


IndigoTrailsToo t1_j4xmpg6 wrote

Most books don't actually need a preface.

The places where I have seen a preface do good are:

  • the preface is trying to help you focus on what the actual story is
  • the preface is warning you that there is a triggering subject up front
  • there is a problem with the major story elements and this resolves it (eg unclear what protagonist wants)

That's just about it


Merle8888 t1_j51oybr wrote

I am intrigued by these examples, in the abstract they don’t seem to me like it would work at all. If you can’t figure out the focus of the plot or the protagonist’s motivation from the book itself, it seems like a preface trying to explain it would just draw attention to how bad the book is.


Alaira314 t1_j53o3q1 wrote

Consider the case where the motivations or plot would have been obvious to a reader at the time of publication, but are lost on modern readers. Or the situation where the novel is in translation, relying on cultural knowledge/references that simply don't exist to the average reader in the translated language. A well-done preface or introduction can assist with that, though more extreme cases will need footnotes/endnotes.


Merle8888 t1_j53oxtp wrote

That's fair. I do welcome a preface in a novel that requires cultural translation, though ideally it shares the background without spoiling the entire plot!


racqueteer t1_j4ya0aq wrote

I skipped Lolita's "Forward" for exactly this reason and, may I tell you, it significantly alters the experience of the book!


peaceblaster68 t1_j4yn7d8 wrote

Agreed OP. I read the preface for Moby Dick and it spoiled exactly what happens in the climactic scene. I get that a lot of people know the ending, but I feel like you can illustrate the themes and motifs of the book without specifically mentioning the ending. It should be easy enough to allude to it vaguely


AlanMorlock t1_j4yxu97 wrote

God this just happened to me today. I had recently bought a copy of Pillars of the earth and was killing a few minutes before an appointment. The author starts off just telking a nice story of how he became I treated in cathedrals in his younger years even as he was not religious and how everyone thought he was nuts for writing something g other than the spy novels he was making bank with through the 80s. Then he mentions getting stuck on the last act until he decided tie into some very specific historical events of which I'm knowledgeable ans its like dammnit!


HugoNebula t1_j4zlxqo wrote

I ignore the preface, foreword, or introduction these days, saving it until I've read the book, and treating it as an afterword—which, it seems to me, most are intended as by the author, given how spoilery they can be, and it's the publisher who messes up by publishing them at the front of the book.


yarnnthings t1_j52aaze wrote

I never read academic commentary and I don’t like that it is places in the front of the book.


[deleted] t1_j52ou6t wrote

I learned a hard lesson about Introductions and Prefaces.

Years ago I was going to read "The Nature of the Gods" by Cicero. I was really looking forward to it. I bought a copy printed by Penguin, so I knew it would be a good translation. There was a long introduction at the beginning, and I wanted to read the book "properly", and not jump around or skip stuff. The introduction was around seventy (yes, 70) pages long and was a bit out of my depth. I slogged through the seventy pages, page after painful page. Not knowing what the point was or where this introduction was supposed to take me. I found myself counting how many more pages I had to read before I could get to the actual work of Cicero.

When I finally got done reading the Introduction, I put the book down and didn't continue. I was burned out. This happened around 25 years ago, and I still never returned to the book. I should probably read it one of these days, but I've got bigger fish to fry right now.


InterestingAsk1978 t1_j4yxkun wrote

The same thing teasers and trailers do to movies. Thing is, some of them are better than others, just as some authors are better than others. Some prefaces ... aren't well inspired.


_mister_pink_ t1_j4z8b8x wrote

Yeah it’s maddening and I’ve stopped reading them.

I read a newly published copy of (I think) ‘crooked house’ by Agatha Christie last year and there was a foreword by either the publisher or another author that talked Christie’s inspiration for the novel and casually dropped in that ‘finding out X was the murderer was a really interesting twist in the genre at the time’.

And I’m just like; well it’s not interesting anymore is it!? Why wouldn’t you put that at the back of the book!


entropynchaos t1_j4zbqdb wrote

Because Agatha Christie’s works are everywhere, in book form, film, television show, and theatre. It is expected that the average reader will already know the plot when reading. (And there was a study done, that showed people enjoyed reading a story more when they knew what was going to happen, even if they thought they wouldn’t. I’ll have to see if I can find it.)


_mister_pink_ t1_j4zc9z6 wrote

I’d have to see something to back that up but I would assume that on average when a copy of crooked house is being read that it’s being read for the first time.

I only got into Christie 3 years ago and have been making my way through her catalogue.

I don’t think it’s a problem having these discussions by the publisher in the book but if they could be at the end or even just mention ‘this foreword spoils the ending of the book, read with that in mind’ it wouldn’t take any more effort.


entropynchaos t1_j50m2u1 wrote

I haven’t had a chance yet today, but I will look for the study.

I’ve read Christie’s books multiple times. My enjoyment of books doesn’t come from not knowing but from good writing, cleverness, plot, characterization, world-building, etc. It would never occur to me that people reading Christie, who first published in 1920, would have no knowledge of what the plots of her books were, even if they hadn’t been actively interested in her works before reading. She is discussed in secondary schools and universities, she is part of some reading curriculums. She is discussed when other mystery writers are discussed. The expectation exists that one does not have to warn against plot points for novels published 46 to 102 years ago.

I was an editor. Typically, books that are older are considered already “spoiled”. They’ve been out for years, and the information on what happens in them is widely available in critiques, literary, newspaper, and magazine reviews, internet content, radio plays of the past, television, films, and plays, so there is considered no reason to try to keep spoilers out of forwards and such, and no reason for a warning, since consumers should have the expectation that information that has already been revealed in multiple ways in multiple places could also be covered in this place. Book backs and inside blurbs also often give the outcome on editions that were published years ago. One was just shown of Pride and Prejudice on a different sub I’m on.

I think it’s an unreasonable expectation that the rest of the world contain spoilers on older books. I try hard in personal reviews to hide or not give away spoilers on new books, because one can still read those without having major plot points or spoilers revealed; but there can be no such expectation in older works.


Sleightholme2 t1_j50y08q wrote

It is very easy not to know the plot of every one of Christie's books. While some are well-known and have big adaptions (i.e. Murder On The Orient Express) there are plenty that are less read. She wrote 74 novels, plus short stories and plays. Most people will not know all of them. I have 30 in my house, but that still leaves plenty to go.


entropynchaos t1_j51j4qo wrote

I am probably not the right audience (that is completely the wrong word; my brain feels like mush today). I had collected everything Christie wrote by the time I was 14. I was suuuper into mystery when I was 13-14, so I know I am more aware of her novels than most. But I was also thinking of adaptations in regular tv shows where a single episode will have been jumped off a plot (of many authors, not just Christie), and the fact that Christie, especially, is mentioned everywhere. There are recent French adaptations of her novels on prime right now.

I may just be more involved in reading about the books and authors I’m interested in than many? It would be atypical for me not to know at least the basic life history, novels published and when, and their plots of any author I pick up. I’ll typically look up even the authors and their publications of even the fluffiest fluff I read. I do this for tv shows, too, so I typically know if an individual episode is based on a book or short story or film, even if it’s one I’m not familiar with.

Edit to split a paragraph so it wasn’t just a wall of text.


Sleightholme2 t1_j51l0gi wrote

I think you are more interested in reading about the book and author then many. I am the complete opposite, and prefer to know nothing about the author other than what they wrote.

As for general knowledge of Christe, I expect most people to have heard of her, and perhaps seen an adaption of some of her works, but that does not translate into having read all about all of them. As OP says, it would be fine having more information at the end rather than the front. For every reader is will be their first time once, and they would probably prefer to not be spoiled that time.


trickster-is-weak t1_j4zg20c wrote

Yeah, I wish someone had actually taught what these sections mean at school. Many people know how to read, far fewer know how to enjoy reading.

Sometimes I think these things purposely have mini-spoilers that the author condones. For example, if the author feels they have left some deeper clues to a plot point that are missed, these prefaces can draw the readers attention. My logic for this is they aren’t usually the grand finale spoiler.

Personally, I find most books more enjoyable on subsequent readings when I know the plot and I can be impressed with how it unravels and the author has layers the groundwork. In situations where I’m struggling with something particular dense or prosaic, I’ll sometimes read a plot summary so I can just enjoy the beauty of the language.

I remember reading something about Grapes of Wrath (I don’t think it was actually Steinbeck being interviewed) where they were talking about the vignettes acting like broad landscapes that need painting before placing the characters in them. I’ll try and find a link if I can.


Alaira314 t1_j53omyq wrote

> Personally, I find most books more enjoyable on subsequent readings when I know the plot and I can be impressed with how it unravels and the author has layers the groundwork.

This is the premise behind the pro-spoiler movement, backed up by an actual study. Apparently, science has concluded that, on average, it very much is a thing. However. It is not true for every single person. I personally find it differently enjoyable. There's a joy in the discovery, and a joy in the re-treading, and they're not the same thing. I can get the latter any time I want by doing a re-read or re-watch, but being robbed of the former means I can never experience it.

It's all about giving people agency. Tag the spoilers so people can decide for themselves what they want their experience to be, you know? Don't make choices on behalf of other people based on what "science says" is best for them.


smansaxx3 t1_j502ul7 wrote

Yeah..I am reading Lonesome Dove currently also and this happened to me :( so glad I got myself spoiled on major plotlines....last time I read an intro by the author for sure.


throwawaymassagedad t1_j506951 wrote

we had murder of roger ackroyd in our syllabus last sem and my teacher spoiled the book in the second lecture itself 💀 he was just giving an intro lol


priceQQ t1_j507pi3 wrote

Many of the books that I’ve read with prefaces are largely plot-independent. But many of my favorite books are kind of plotless masterpieces of writing, not so much storytelling. I think if a book is really worth your time, then it should be rereadable. Otherwise, why does it really need prefacing?


ChimoEngr t1_j507qxu wrote

That book was written in 1985, so while it may not be a classic where everyone is expected to have heard the story, it's still old enough that people writing about it, aren't going to be too concerned about spoilers.


Slartibartfast102 t1_j50hmd9 wrote

Experienced this recently with Nevil Shute's A Town Like Alice. It wasn't even the preface, asthe synopsis on the back of the book just matter-of-factly spoils one of the biggest surprises in the book. And this isn't like the first chapter or anything. The reveal happens close to halfway through the book. If it hadn't been spoiled, I would've been hugely affected by the reveal. Ridiculous.


Wadsworth_McStumpy t1_j50lpbu wrote

The worst I've had myself was the audiobooks of the Lensman series, by E. E. "Doc" Smith. It's old classic sci-fi, which I like, but I'd never read that series. I saw the whole thing was available on audiobook, and went ahead and got them all. I started listening in the car, as I drove to work.

They started reading the preface/introduction/whatever, and talking about the author, and how the story inspired other space opera, and the Green Lantern comic books, which I knew, and then just casually talked about the plot of not just the first book, but the whole damned series. Like "This happens in book one, and it looks like it's resolved when that happens, but this comes back in book 2, and it gets resolved like this. But then, in book 3, this other thing happens, and it's tied to this thing in book one, and that doesn't get resolved until this character from book 2 does this thing in book 4, and ..."

If I wanted that, I'd have read the Cliff's Notes, not bought the book. And it's an audiobook, so skipping the introduction isn't really an option, particularly while I'm driving. What the hell were they thinking? I mean, it's early pulp space opera, so you know most of the stuff that's going to happen is just "The protagonist is the best of the best at anything he tries, and science can do anything", but you shouldn't know the details before they happen.


Psychological-Toe14 t1_j51zgfa wrote

Same with the summary on the back of the book. I don't need a summary of the entire book


whittily t1_j529ktn wrote

If a book can be ruined by spoilers then it’s poorly written book.


DontNotNotReadThis OP t1_j529pn5 wrote

I didn't say the book was ruined, only that my experience of reading the book for the first time was unnecessarily detracted from.


Level_Ad1939 t1_j4yso1r wrote

And then for paperbacks, there is the book cover. Anna Kareinina. Front cover has bonnet on railroad track. I wonder how that will end.


DontNotNotReadThis OP t1_j4ytkmn wrote

Homie for the love of God please use spoiler text.


Character_Vapor t1_j51yj80 wrote

So now we're getting upset about "spoilers" in a book that has been part of the public consciousness for 145 years?


DontNotNotReadThis OP t1_j51znsp wrote

Yes. Because I don't know how it ends, I intend to read it, and I would have more fun doing so if I didn't already know how it ends.

Anyways, I'm just saying, in a thread literally dedicated to being frustrated about unnecessary book spoilers, it's sort of counterproductive to share the spoilers you personally were frustrated by without marking them as spoilers.


Jack-Campin t1_j4xqkeb wrote

People who fret about "spoilers" shouldn't be reading the sort of books that get prefaces. The author didn't care about your hangups.


DontNotNotReadThis OP t1_j4xsk52 wrote

Sheesh this take is so pretentious to me. First of all, I'm not reading Crime and Punishment or Ulysses here. I'm not even reading Cormac McCarthy. I wouldn't classify Lonesome Dove as that kind of literature.

More importantly, it seems so silly to me to act like plot isn't an important part of the reading experience. You might be different, but for me it absolutely is. Don't get me wrong, it certainly isn't the only thing and I can still very much enjoy a book if I know how it ends.

But there's a reason the author didn't just state the facts of the plot from the outset when he originally wrote the book. Part of the experience is getting immersed in the world and story of the book and being along for the ride of the characters by not always knowing what's going to happen next. I am now incapable of having the experience of asking certain questions and thinking about this book in a certain way because I know a secret of the story that I wouldn't otherwise have known yet. Does it really make me some kind of philistine to want to experience the natural progression of the story and its mysteries the first time I read it?

The idea that "people who care about plot and intrigue in a book are too stupid to be reading any kind of actual literature" is tragically reductive, and just echoes the kid I knew in elementary school who would always flip to the back of a book he was reading and read the last page, just for the feeling of superiority he got from knowing how the book was going to end.


mittenknittin t1_j4yn7ix wrote

Well…when the author wrote the book did they write it to be taught in schools, picked apart for themes and symbolism, and analyzed for historical context and literary importance? Or did they write it to tell a story they wanted to tell? I suspect some authors actually would care if you enjoyed the story as written without knowing what came next. Writers put as much craft into foreshadowing and plot twists as they do into describing the curtain as blue because it symbolizes depression.


LorenzoApophis t1_j4xzleh wrote

lol. Authors do in fact write stories meant to be received in a particular order and with maximum dramatic potential and impact.


[deleted] t1_j4z0bi3 wrote

A book isnt about what happens its about how it happens, spoilers are a marketing gimmick