You tell us: Are you an end reader?

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This is one of my favorite reading questions to discuss, because sometimes the conversation gets so divisive. People seem to think it’s either okay or it’s not to flip to the end.

I’ve always been an occasional end reader. Not always, just sometimes. I find myself doing this most particularly outside the romance genre, when the end and my emotional satisfaction with the book are in question, and how it will end will decide whether I want to keep reading or not. Any time there’s a book where a heroine has two love interests, I always flip to the end to see who she ends up with. No, I don’t want that to be part of my journey, I want to know if I’m going to end up being disappointed in the choice. I also do this if I’m confused by who the hero is supposed to be. Sometimes it’s not always clear, even though maybe it’s supposed to be.

I also flip to the end when I’m feeling a bit ho-hum about a book, and I wonder if it’s worth my continued time investment to keep going. Flipping to the end to see how the climax and wrap-up plays out can help me decide. And hey, if I decide not to read any further, at least I know how it ends!

I will say that switching to reading digitally has made taking a peek at the end a bit harder. With a print book, it was always so easy to flip back and forth. Digital does make that a little more challenging. But I’m okay with that, as long as I can still peek to know that the book is going to deliver what I’m hoping for.

But you tell me, are you an end reader? Some of the time? All the time? Or do you think that reading the end will absolutely spoil a book for you, even if you’re not really enjoying how the story is progressing?

28 thoughts on “You tell us: Are you an end reader?”

  1. Sabrina says:

    I absolutely never ever read the ending early! What’s the point in reading the book if you already know the black moment and how they get over their differences? :)

  2. ruth says:

    I’m not a back page reader, my Mom is one however.

  3. All the time, if it’s something I have to read for class. When I do it, it’s usually to assure myself that the story will, eventually, end. I do it with books of my own if I’m irratated with how things are running. Though, usually flipping to the back page precipitates putting the book down altogether.

    I’m That Person, though. I’m the one that actively hunts out spoilers for stories/movies I haven’t looked at yet. I want to know *what* happens before I can even begin to care about how it happens.

  4. I can not read the ending of a book. I don’t even like to read full summaries for fear it will tell me too much. I’ve only flipped to the back like three times in my whole life, and I never finished the books. It just ruins it for me.

    My sister on the other hand, reads the last page of the book before she even begins the beginning. Then she tries to tell everyone everything about the book. Even when I tell her to stop and that I don’t want to know, I’d like to experience it for myself. She doesn’t care she tell you anyway. It’s just not for me. I can’t read the end. What’s the point of reading it then if you already know the ending?

  5. Kim says:

    Depends on the book, yes. If I’m struggling to see what the point is, or where the author is taking me, i.e. I’m bored off my nut, then yes I will spot check. Not just the ending but perhaps 1/2 way thru to read a passage, see if it’s really worth the effort to continue. With all the books on my “must” read or “next to” read list, suffering through a potentially bad book is not worth it.

    Oddly enough, I don’t tend to do either when it’s an ebook. I try for a sample and decide if I want it, but if I can’t “get in to” the book by 40 pages then it’s gone, deleted just like that.

  6. I flip to the end of the book every time–just to see which of the characters are still there.

    I’m more interested in the story’s journey than the ending, so spoilers don’t make a bit of difference to me.

  7. Always. I’m a bad, bad girl. I read the happy ending, then I have a ball reading how the characters got there.

  8. Amanda says:

    I tend to read romance books that almost guarantee a HEA and since I already know that it ends in an HEA I have no reason to read the end.

    Now I do not read the last page of other types of books either but in those cases I have usually read enough reviews to give me a good idea of how it might end.

  9. I have never really been an end reader till this week. I had a library book that just wasn’t doing it for me. The author is an old favorite and usually publishes only pager turners. I was ready to DNF the book but decided to see how they resolved the problem. Then I went back and read a few more chapters and gave up. Hopefully the next book in the series will be better.

  10. Rita Oberlies says:

    With print books I always flip to the last two chapters to see how things end. When I’m reading on my Kindle I don’t skip to the end as frequently because it’s more time consuming to navigate back and forth.

  11. JenM says:

    I’ve always been an end reader. Otherwise I get too anxious as I’m reading the book – even if I suspect that someone is going to die or other bad things are going to happen, I’d rather know for sure then spend the whole book waiting for it.

    On the other hand, my Kindle has definitely made it much harder to read the ending because you can’t just flip back there and check. So, instead of reading the end just as I’m starting the book, I usually manage to resist that impulse until I’m about half-way through LOL.

  12. Alexia Reed says:

    If it’s not a romance, I tend to read the back more. I’m a HEA or HFN must-have reader. If I even have a doubt about the book, I’ll go to the back. That said, I’m fine with spoilers in movies and shows as well, so… I can’t say much. It doesn’t bother me to know what is going to happen.

  13. Jennifer says:

    I always read the end of a book if I have any question about how it ends. I prefer to know the outcome before I read. This is one of the most frustrating things about ebooks – it isn’t easy to just flip to the end.

  14. Janni Nell says:

    I never ever read the ending of a book. Since I read a lot of mysteries, it spoils the fun if you know whodunnit. Besides I adore a book that takes me somewhere unexpected.

  15. library addict says:


    As regard to love triangles, I try hard to avoid books with them. If I really trust the author I may still read the book and not peak at the end. But if I am reading a new-to-me author and it’s unclear who the hero is supposed to me I will look. I’ve been burned one too many times by authors who pull a bait-and-switch. Why would I want to waste my time reading about a romantic relationship when the heroine (or hero) ends up with someone else?

    As for why, I read romance so I know there will be a HEA or at least a HFN. Knowing that, the book isn’t about the ending, but how they get there. And as Grace says in Jayne Ann Krentz’ Running Hot “Life is too short to waste time on books that end badly.”

  16. Keziah Hill says:

    I do particularly when I’m not sure it’s an ending I’ll like. I need to know if it’s worth continuing. Usually it is.

  17. I always read the end of the book. It drives the Main Man crazy but he’s given up saying anything because I never give-away the ending to anyone else.

  18. Lisa J says:

    Almost always before I started reading digitally, now never.

  19. I read a lot of urban fantasy so I like to peek and make sure my fave characters live through the book. Much harder to do on my Kindle for sure. I read the book anyway but at least its not a shock. I think I started peeking after Kim Harrison killed off one of my favorites in a Rachel Morgan Hollows book.

  20. Gloria Galasso says:

    I am usually not an end reader. However, with Jim Butcher’s new one I did. I was very disappointed with the ending as it played out with the last two chapters, and I have chosen not to read the book. I guess I’m a kind of “either your dead or you’re not” kind of girl. I felt that the end, coming as it did from left field, smacked too much of “Deus ex Machina.” Maybe Harry Dresden has jumped the shark.

  21. I am a die-hard end reader. I flip to the end every time. If the ending doesn’t move me, it’s pretty rare that I will take the time to read the rest of the book. In fact, I find myself reading the end, then the last third, then the last half, and then maybe I’ll start at the beginning and read the whole thing through. LOL I think it’s because I read romance almost exclusively. I want to make sure my payoff is there before I commit. HAHAHAHAHA!

  22. Alanna Coca says:

    My sister reads the last few pages of every book. When she read mine, and she told me she read the end first, I couldn’t help but be offended!

    Especially my romantic suspense with a surprise ending. That’s kind of like watching the end of Sixth Sense. What a waste!

  23. Annie Seaton says:

    No….never! Like Janni I like an unexpected ending. The only problem I have with my kindle so far… I keep turning it over trying to read the blurb on the back!.

  24. J. L. Hilton says:

    I use both the Kindle app and Aldiko reader on my smartphone, and both have a “go to” feature in the menu where you can zip right to the last chapter or select the last “location.” Or they have that scroll bar at the bottom, which you just slide back and forth. Do regular Kindles and Nooks have those?

    Though, with that said, I’m not even an end reader! lol Which is weird, because with movies and TV shows I love reading spoilers. Especially with TV. I have to know if it’s worth wasting my time to spend hours watching. But with books, I don’t know why, once I’m hooked by the first chapter or two, I’m in for the duration, regardless.

  25. Kris M. says:

    I was an occasional end reader until I got my Kindle then it was too much hassle to try to read the ending. Frustrating to stay honest sometimes ;)

  26. JM Kelley says:

    Oh, I admit it. I like to peek at the end, especially if I’m stressed over the hero/heroine. I need to ensure it’ll all be okay.

  27. Corinne Bridges says:

    Yes, I am guilty of being an “end reader”…Don’t know why, but I just can’t help myself. I start reading the new book, then want to find out what happens at the end, then I go back and find out how the author gets them to the ending. Although I just read Patti Callahan Henry’s “Coming Up For Air” and was only tempted once to read the ending but didn’t. Was surprised and it paid off!! :)

  28. I am totally an end reader. Often, I read that page first. I think I am just impatient to know if there is a happy ending or not. It’s never ruined a book for me yet.

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