Thursday, June 14, 2007

Booking Through Thursday: Dessert First & Page 161

Booking Through Thursday

Do you cheat and peek ahead at the end of your books? Or do you resolutely read in sequence, as the author intended? And, if you don’t peek, do you ever feel tempted?

For a good part of my childhood, my father worked the night shift. My brother and I would wake up early on Christmas morning but would not dare venture beyond the end of the hallway that would eventually lead to the living room where the Christmas tree and all of our presents would be. Not once do I remember us crossing that invisible line to sneak a peek at what Santa had brought us. We waited for dad to come home from work and give us the okay. It was only then that we would race to see what was in our stockings near the fireplace and then to the tree to see what lay beneath.

Reading a book is somewhat like that experience for me: the waiting and anticipation to see what will happen next. Like most everyone, I have moments when I let out a cry, "Oh! I can't wait anymore! What happens next?" And yet, the temptation to actually take a peek at that final chapter or that final page never comes. Instead I may grip the book harder; stand up and pace as a I read; bounce a little in my chair; or perhaps I will simply sit quietly as still as can be, staring intensely at the pages as my eyes fly over the words, taking them all in and losing myself so totally in the story. Do I peek at the end of a book? No. Knowing how a movie ends does not bother me for some odd reason, but I like to discover the end of a book for myself.

It is not the holiday gifts themselves that stick out in my memory of all those Christmases long ago. It is the moments leading up to them. With books, sometimes that's the best part of all.

Don’t forget to leave a link to your actual response (so people don’t have to go searching for it) in the comments—or if you prefer, leave your answers in the comments themselves!

I have been tagged again! Melody over at Melody's Reading Corner tagged me for the page 161 Meme and so I thought I would try again. The last book I chose for this one obviously did not impress anyone (although the book is definitely worth reading).

The Rules:
1. Grab the book closest to you.
2. Open it to page 161.
3. Find the fifth full sentence.
4. Post the text of the sentence to your blog.
5. Don't search around for the coolest book you have, use the one that is really next to you.

This one is that never gets old because it's always changing. If you'd like to play along for the first time or give it a try again, consider yourself tagged!

"They're writing some stupid slogan that's going to run on the front page every day until the cows leave, aren't they?" - from Sacred Cows by Karen E. Olson


  1. Hi Wendy! Thanks for playing, again! LOL. Now I'm wondering what did they write for the slogan...Hehe.

    I like your BTT answer. I agree with you about the reading experience. It's always the thrill and anticipation that leaves us wanting for more eh?

    Happy reading. :D

  2. I never skip ahead in books either. The anticipation makes the ending better.

  3. Glad that you played the 161&5 meme. I did too -- tagged by Mel and loved it. LOL.

    I'll probably include this meme for all my future book reviews. :)

    Happy belated BTT! And happy weekend!

  4. Hey you are suggesting me to cheat...I have never opened a book at a random page before reading the whole book...

    Hey was trying to email you but didnt find the address...can u help?

    TA (

  5. I have peeked very occassionally, but I don't find it ruins the reading experience or enjoyment of the book. I have only ever read the last paragraph which doesn't really give much away anyway. Plus it still doesn't tell you how you get there...

  6. I used to peek as a kid, but it didn't take many times (five?) for me to realize that it completely ruined the rest of the book for me. It reminds me in a way of an experience I had with The Sims. Have you ever played that? I found cheat codes on the internet and put them all in place. There was nothing left to do! I had ruined my game. I ended up putting The Sims aside for about 6 months til I was sure I had forgotten all the cheats, so I wouldn't make the mistake of using them again.

  7. What amazing self control you had as a child! I agree, at least half the fun is all in the anticipation.

  8. I don't read ahead. I savor the story as it unfolds. I do, however, reread. I love to reread a really good book, noticing the author's craft and the character development and the foreshadowing along the way.

  9. I loved the personal Christmas story you was so sweet!

    I never ever peek at the end of a book, and unlike you, if I find out the end of a movie, it's ruined for me and I won't watch it.

    The anticipation is definitely what makes it worth reading (or watching) for me.

  10. Hi there, Melody! I took a break from BTT last week but was able to play again this time around. :-)

    Niki - I agree!

    Alice - That's a good idea - adding the meme to your book reviews. It will be interesting to see how page 161, setence 5 holds up with each book you read.

    TA - Ah, but there's a difference between reading a sentence in the middle of a book and peeking at the end to find out what happens next. This week's BTT question didn't go there. :-)

    Rhinoa - Isn't it interesting how differently we think on this topic? There's a good number of people on both sides of this fence. :-)

    Dewey - Exactly! I was a very active (and addicted) Sims player way back when and I've shied away from playing too much of the newer versions. LOL I know what you mean about the cheats. They definitely can take away something from the overall experience of the game--or book.

    Tara - My parents taught me well that lesson about delayed gratification. LOL It was either that or face an angry parent and I was very much a goody one shoe growing up. More into pleasing than rebeling. Maybe that's why I don't peek at the end of books today. :-)

    Daisy - Oh, yes! I don't reread often, although I have my mental list of books I'd like to reread one day and for many of the reasons you mentioned.

    Karina - Thanks! I am not sure why spoilers don't bother me when it comes to movies. Perhaps I just don't get as invested in that medium as I do in the books I read? I'm not sure.

  11. Great response! There's something so thrilling about devouring the pages to find out the ending. Knowing it beforehand would ruin that.
    I have to admit though that as a child, and naughty teenage, I was really bad about sneaking peeks at my Christmas presents. Terrible I know.

  12. Tanabata - Yes, there certainly is! I think I was just a strange child! Haha Your sneaking a peek at thsoe Christmas gifts is much more the norm, I think. :-)

  13. I'm with you, Kitty. I believe that with books it's the journey, not the destination. Heck, with really good books, I don't ever want it to end, so why would I look?

    tv shows are different. I seek out spoilers.

  14. I love the Christmas analogy. That's exactly how I feel about peeking at the end of a book - if you ruin the anticipation there's really no point in continuing. I always put off opening Christmas presents as long as possible to stretch out that anticipatory excitement, and now I do the same with especially exciting novels.

  15. Kookie - Exactly! I hate to see a very good book end.

    Melanie - I do that now too with my Christmas presents and even my birthday presents. LOL I like the feeling of anticipation that waiting to see what happens next brings.

  16. I almost never peek at the end of a book, unless it's a book I'm extremely frustrated with! But most of the time, I don't want to ruin the wonderful anticipation, either...

  17. I agree. I was never tempted to sneak a peek at the end of the book, instead I would wish that the book wouldn't end soon.

    Anticipation makes the journey and gives the destination a feel of 'arrival'.

  18. I'm a peeker and we used to always open our Christmas presents early. LOL.

  19. Gentle Reader - Those frustrating ones can be difficult, can't they?

    Anil - Thank you for visiting my blog. I like how you put that, "Anticipation makes the journey and gives the destination a feel of 'arrival'." Well said.

    Kristy - We were never allowed to open anything early, other than one out of town gift on Christmas Eve. Maybe that's why I feel the way I do now. Haha

  20. I don't peak ahead, even if I feel tempted. As it is said- the journey is as important as the destination; and peaking pales the joy of finally reaching the 'destination'.
    In fact, I got my first spectacles when I overstrained my eyes reading Nancy Drew books through the night as a kid. I just cannot stop reading especially when the mystery is about to be unraveled and peeking ahead is not an option.


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