STARTING WITH THE ENDING

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I have this weird reading habit. When choosing a new book, I always flip to the ending first. If I’m satisfied with how everything turns out, I’ll buy the book and start at the beginning. I might flip ahead and then work my way back a few times before I’m done with the story, but I always begin with the ending. My friends and family look at me like I’m cracked when we discuss my quirk. They insist I’m ruining the whole reading experience when I do this.

No, I’m not. I like reading this way. If I take pleasure in the story, how is it ruined? I get why I do this. I don’t want to be disappointed. I don’t want to waste my money on a story that ends in tragedy. (coughNicholasSparkscough) There are enough tragedies in the world that I can’t escape. Why spend my entertainment dollars on another heartbreaking headline from the nightly news?

Is it odd that when I write, I don’t start with the ending? Nope. I start with the beginning and work my way through to a very satisfying HEA. Of course, I can count on myself  to make sure everything turns out well. That might be the difference.

I’ve been seeing a lot of buzz on the Internet lately that some people view romance as porn for women. Eh. I don’t see it that way. Romance is the guarantee of a satisfying resolution to whatever conflict keeps a hero and heroine apart, or a hero and hero, or a heroine and heroine for that matter. Love is love, no matter what your personal preference might be.

Is there graphic sex in romance novels? Sure. So? I’ve seen some pretty graphic sex scenes on syndicated TV. We are, first and foremost, products of the natural world.  Sex is a huge part of life. Why do we insist on trying to separate ourselves from nature? I’ve never understood that.

I kind of digressed, didn’t I? Sorry.

Kindles, Nooks and all the other e-reading devices and e-retailers have forced me to confine my habit to the paper and ink books I buy. You can’t get a free sample of the end of an e-book, unfortunately if you ask me. I have three gift cards for Barnes & Noble in my wallet right now. I might just have to go peruse some endings this evening. I’ll probably buy a couple of books once I assure myself they end well.

How about the rest of you? How do you read a book?

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