Readers, help us solve a few mysteries about your reading habits.

Recently, I confessed to not reading prologues. I’m not sure when I stopped reading them, but I believe it was in my late teens. Why? From what I can remember, I thought they were boring and unnecessary to the story. In my mind, they kept me from getting to the story, stalled my progress, and that was something I was unwilling to do, particular if I really wanted to read the book.

It’s been so long since I read a prologue, that I truly can’t remember if those books in the 70s and 80s had boring prologues. In some cases, they were merely information dumps, something the author couldn’t creatively inject into the story.

Or perhaps it was the books I was reading, not the period. Maybe the books were written in the 60s or 50s or before then. I can’t say.

If I don’t read prologues, who else doesn’t. Surely I can’t be the only one on the planet who skips them. I’ve created a poll to gather information to help me and other self-published authors decide what to add to their books. These polls are for fiction books only.

Definitions

  • Prologue: a separate introduction section of a literary or musical work
  • Preface: an introduction to a book, typically stating its subject, scope, or aim
  • Forward: a short introduction to a book, typically by a person other than the author

Polls

 

Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I hope we all learn something from this exercise.

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8 thoughts on “Readers, help us solve a few mysteries about your reading habits.

  1. I read the prologues. I’m not sure what books you’ve read but the ones I have read have had some necessary information in the prologue, or they just set the scene for the rest of the book. As for the prefaces, forwards, dedications, etc. I sometimes take a look at them but usually only when I’ve finished reading the book.

    • I don’t stick to one genre. If the book piques my interest, I read it. In general I read fantasy, young adult, historical fiction, the occasional romance, mystery, contemporary and nonfiction. I used to read science fiction years ago, but I haven’t read one in decades.

      I’ve been told there is often vital information in prologues, but I guess I don’t mind starting the journey with an empty backpack. I pick things up along the way, and if I really enjoyed the book, I will probably read the prologue afterwards. Sometimes the prologue adds to the story, and sometimes it takes away. When I mean when I say takes away, is some prologues divulge too much of what is better left a mystery. It can sometimes tell you how or what to think when my imagination is quite capable of filling in the blanks. It’s like forming an image of a character as you read a story only to find in the back of the book the author’s idea of what the character should look like. Often, they don’t match.

      But all prologues are different. Some are probably vital; others not so much.

      Thank you for visiting, and for leaving a comment. I’m going to round up the results of this poll and make a post tomorrow. I’ll leave the poll up and see what it looks like several months from now.

  2. So interesting, Diane. I’m glad you did this and as a prolog writer (on occasion) I’m glad to see that they’re often read. Phew! Ha ha. I’m looking forward to seeing the final results 😀

  3. I tend to read a book from cover to cover, no matter what. I also usually read the entire book even if I don´t like it. I think if someone put the effort in writing it, I should read all of it. I might skim the preface or forward though. I find when reading a classic, it helps to understand where the author was coming from or have some of the old jargon explained. Even though I read the prologue, I still go back and reread it after I´m finished reading the book. It makes sense then.

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