Introductions

My husband is reading Joseph Conrad’s, Lord Jim, and he shared with me this enlightened sentence from the book knowing how much I hate reading introductions, and knowing that I refuse to read introductions BEFORE I read a story. They always ruin the story for me!

 

12 thoughts on “Introductions

  1. Adam @ Roof Beam Reader

    I still remember my Dad being so upset that he read the Introduction to Anna Karenina first, as it totally ruins the story for anyone who doesn’t know the story already. I’ve been sure to caution people, now, whenever I recommend a book (or edition) that has an Introduction! I also usually avoid them if I’ve never read the book before, but otherwise I go ahead and read it. (It’s sometimes fun to save it for last, though, so you can read it with the story fresh in mind and make comparisons between one’s own reading/interpretation and what the Introduction has to say.)

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    1. Robin Post author

      Adam, I do like reading them as epilogues, but avoid them before I’ve read the story. They give away the plot, but I also just want to make up my own mind about what I read first, before I read the expert’s interpretations.

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  2. Kay

    This sounds like my husband – the not wanting to know something that will reveal too much. He thinks I’m kind of a heretic for occasionally (only occasionally) reading the end or peeking at it. Ha!! Sometimes I have to check if I’ve guessed correctly.

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    1. Robin Post author

      Well, Kay, I have to confess to doing (very occasionally!) the same thing! As for the introductions, I’ll read and often enjoy them after I’ve finished the book. It’s not just the giving away of the plot, but I really like to make up my own mind about the book first before reading the interpretations.

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  3. FictionFan

    That’s one of the things that I love about the Oxford World’s Classics series, that they warn you when the introduction is likely to give away the plot. However, I still don’t understand why they don’t put them at the end and call them Afterwords…

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  4. Kristen M.

    I almost always skip the Introductions and, sadly to say, forget to revisit them at the end! I wonder how many brilliant insights I’ve missed. 😉

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  5. Fanda

    Same here… I always avoid introductions, and just plunge into the story. I might read it after completion if I need some background for review, or if I have questions about the story.

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  6. Les in OR

    I’m with you! I wait to read introductions (and all the reviews & praise at the beginning of a book) until after I’ve finished. Sometimes I don’t even read the publisher’s blurb on the jacket until I’m typing up my review!

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