As a society, I believe that it is high time we deal with the truly noxious acts happening all around us. And what could be more horrifying than people skipping to the ends of novels, instead of earning the ending in the manner the author carefully crafted it? I kid you not. This must be stopped and as expeditiously as possible.
In order to be the change I want to see in the world (thanks Gandhi), I’ve decided that name calling and perhaps hair pulling are the ways to deal with this problem. And it must be even more widespread than I thought, because I know for a fact that three of my friends/family actively participate in this attack on the natural order of fiction.
No writer is safe from this, and, to prevent the spread of this contagion, I look to history to guide me toward a cure. And history teaches (according to genteel and certainly benign, albeit totalitarian, regimes) that it is best to rat out our families and friends in order to promote either re-education camps or otherwise available methods of persecution.
I hereby submit to you that my own mother—lovely, sweet, creative woman that she is—is a chronic end-reader. She’s gone to desperate lengths to commit this crime against all that is right and worthy in fiction. This is how bad it is. Recently, while listening to an audiobook, she became terrified for her beloved Mike Nash and his baby son, Charlie (from Extreme Measures by Vince Flynn), and actually got into her car (wasting precious natural resources in the process) and drove to a bookstore to pillage the unsuspecting book in order to glean the ill-gotten knowledge. How she can even respect herself at this point is completely beyond me. And that such an honorable woman, who raised me with morals and ethics, could unashamedly behave in such a manner shocks me to no end.
And it doesn’t stop with my mother, either. Two of my own friends also participate in this felonious (at least it should be) behavior. They get this compulsion. This itch. It’s an addiction I tell you. Where is the patch, lozenge, pill, or lollipop created to deal with this? It is almost as if the medical-industrial complex is completely ignoring this potentially life-threatening problem.
Okay, life threatening might be a bit much, but these three individuals are also some of my readers, and the very thought that they might read the end first gives me hives. Hives might kill me, right? And even after extracting promises that they will not violate the order of my novels, I still worry, and they (cruel that they are) titter and joke that they’ve looked at the end, the next page, some random line taken out of context. Context is everything, people. Look inside yourselves and know that what you do violates an oath of life, liberty... okay, who am I fooling here? There are a few other problems in the world that might be more important (reckless gum chewing, spam texts, and late night calls to check on the quality of previous car service appointments), but I submit to you that reading the end of the book first is cheating.
And haven’t we learned by now that cheating is wrong? Anyone? Anyone? Oh, dear, I guess there is work to be done here.
As a special commendation to one of the aforementioned deviants, I would like to say a public thank you to my dear friend for not reading the end (first) to the recently recommended SHIVER. That last page has to be earned... and it is so worth it in its proper order. That book is a gift and the last page, like Christmas. (And that gives away a little bit, in that if all the characters were flash fried by an asteroid, that would hardly equate with Christmas morning... for most people anyway.)
And also, thanks to my novel readers who fight their urges and have compassion upon my delicate, appropriate-order sensibilities and read my books from page one until the end, without deviation.
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
The first step to curing a problem is admitting you have one. Feel free to post and either agree with me (which will win you a gold star), disagree (which gets you absolutely no star), or step up and admit that you are an end-reader and renounce your evil ways or, if you must, deny the wrongness of your actions (and prove that you are in denial).
Quote For The Day from Oscar Wilde
“Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much.”