I ran across this very interesting article over on Wired: Spoilers don’t spoil anything, in which research suggests knowing how a story end actually increases the pleasure of reading the story. There’s some other interesting observations there, but let’s look at the main point, that reading the ending of a story makes it a more enjoyable experience.
Way back in the day, when I would buy several books at once from the local Bookstop, I would have the strong urge, while browsing, to peek at the ending of a book, even those I was considering purchasing. That urge is pretty much gone today, although, when reading an anthology I do like to see how long each story is (ie – what page it ends on). Not knowing gives me a dissonant feeling when reading, so that sort of jibes with the research. But even then I don’t read the end first. And now that I read more stuff on either my Kindle or iPod, it’s more of a hassle to get to the end of a story than it is to open a book and flip to the last page. I’m not sure that’s a big selling point for regular books, but there it is.
But what about you? How many of you read the end first? Does it enhance the story for you?
Let us know in the comments!