Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Book Counseling

Someone had posted on Twitter that they wished there was a tumblr or something where you could go to check the end of a book before you buy.  Some people (myself included) were a little horrified. Now, I get that in a bookstore you can walk in an flip through the pages and no one will stop you if it's the end you want to sample.  And I get that that is your choice.  I guess for me, half the fun is going in and being surprised.  So, sure, if you read the end you can pick up on subtle foreshadowing, better spot the red herrings, but why would you want to? I don't read back cover copy because it give away too much.  (Okay, also because sometimes it's terribly misleading.  And sometimes I do read it.)  But, there are times when I wish I could call someone.  A book hotline with counselors. You know sometimes a story started out okay, or at least not badly, and then something happens and you think oh no.  Not oh no, poor characters, that is going to suck for them.  But oh no, they are not going where I think they are going are they?  Because if they do that I will throw this book against the wall.  And I wish I could call, not for spoilers, but for a check in.  Something like, hi, I'm on page 128 and this thing just happened and are they going to do X, because if so, I can just quit now, that's one of my personal buttons and I will not be able to move on from that. 
But sadly, you can't.  (Unless you do have a friend who has read it, which is the advantage of such things as LibraryThing and GoodReads and the like.)  So, you have to decide, am I enjoying this enough to see if this story redeems itself for me?  And that's really part of the fun.