Finale First

Finale First

Izzy Piper

All readers know the feeling of sitting down to begin a new book. You’re sitting somewhere comfortable, maybe on the couch or in bed, preferably with a blanket (or two), you have a cup of coffee or a glass of wine at the ready, and you flip open to the first page. 

Or, if you’re like me, you flip to the last page. 

You read that right, I prefer to begin reading a new book with the ending. 

You may be shaking your head with disappointment right now, or be utterly shocked with disgust thinking, “What’s the point of reading the book if you know how it ends?”. Let me explain how my innocent review reading routine turned into what some readers would consider their biggest ick.

When you decide what TV show you want to watch or book you want to read, don’t you read reviews? Or at the very least, a description of the plot? My upsetting habit of reading the final page first began with a review reading addiction. As a severely indecisive person who loves a bit of gossip, I found comfort in scrolling through the never-ending reviews of the books in my “want to read” lists. As I fell deeper into the frenzy that is Good Reads reviews, I began clicking past the spoiler warnings to reveal the juicy gossip on what moments people found cringey, which characters were just too over the top (and why), or what moment made someone want to DNF the book.

This isn’t to say I began to completely ignore positive reviews… they just felt less entertaining. Knowing that a book is highly praised is great, but what I really wanted to know was if a particular book would keep me entertained. I found that the reviews containing major spoilers typically were the ones that made it clear whether or not this was going to be a worthwhile read. But this wasn’t enough. I knew that the only true way for me to know if I’d enjoy a book was knowing how it ends.

When I’m browsing in a bookstore and a back cover summary catches my interest, the first thing I do is read the final page. My favorite kinds of books have complete and juicy endings. When reading the ending, I look for some sense of clarity. Obviously I won’t know any characters or what their situation is, but if the book has a clearly well written and dramatic ending, I know it’s coming home with me. 

So you may think reading the final page first is an ick, and honestly, I can’t blame you, but it’s become my favorite way to know if I’ll enjoy a book. At this point, I may know the endings to hundreds of books I’ve never read, but rest assured I’ll never spoil a single one.