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Just beginnings, no middles or endings

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I have a Kindle ebook reader. 

If you also have one you’ll know that you can download samples of a book you like the look of, so you can read it and then decide if you want to buy the whole book. Its quite a good idea, it can save you money on a book you might have bought and regretted it. Its not so good when it involves some of the classics and the sample turns out to be part of a lengthy introduction to the classic by some literary scholar, so the sample doesn’t even get as far as the actual book.

But mostly you get a decent chunk of the start of a book, enough to give you an idea of what its like.

There was a time in the past when I literally didn’t have the money to spare to buy books, every penny was set aside for something more important. So I downloaded alot of samples and had a strange experience.

I found myself reading the start of many books in many genres…and then the stories just…stopped.

A crime was committed and left dangling, I’d never find out whodunnit or whytheydunnit or even meet the detective involved. All I had was the mind of the killer, not great. I’d read the start of an autobiography  the preamble to someone’s life story and then it would just…stop, leaving me with but a glimpse into a life, frequently the author’s reasons for writing, and then…nothing. Sometimes I was glad I only had the sample because I had no interest in the story continuing, sometimes I was frustrated because the tale was gripping but then stopped abruptly, leaving me staring at a message asking I wanted to purchase the book. 

I read of many beginnings but no middles and no endings.

It was a strange experience. 

I wondered if it was a bit like speed dating, table hopping from person to person to get the briefest glimpse into someone’s life before moving to the next person. By the end of the night you have a catalogue in your head of snapshots but nothing more. Some you know you’ll never see again and are glad, others sparked your interest. 

Not sure why I’m writing this, other than to simply say that it was a strange experience reading those samples.

Just beginnings, no middles or endings.

Thanks for reading.

Somewhere Amazing

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Author: Through Another Lens

Christian man from Glasgow, Scotland. On the autistic spectrum. Find me in my posts...

5 thoughts on “Just beginnings, no middles or endings

  1. I have had this strange experience with my Kindle as well. Frequently I read a sample and am undecided. I never have this issue in bookstores. Speed dating is a good metaphor! It doesn’t seem like a good way to determine whether the person/book is right for you.

    • I’ve never had the experience in a bookstore either! I guess I can flick through the whole book there but even that is no way to get a sense of the whole book. It always strikes me with Kindle that I may dismiss a book because I didn’t care for the sample but then I’ve read physical books where the beginning didn’t grab me but I kept going and loved it in the end! I confess I frequently fall for the reviewer quotes on books “Best book ever written” etc…I’ve been fooled often! What kind of genres do you read?

      • Those review quotes are sometimes quite misleading! Unfortunately I have been too busy to sit down and read too many books. The books I have read recently are all non-fiction. I find journalists or academics who have decided to write for a popular audience are generally better writers. I got tired of combing through best-seller fiction books which all seemed to have a plot along the lines of “insecure but beautiful woman in her mid 20’s to early 30’s moves to a trendy city and embarks on a trendy lucrative career. She is trying to discover her past and meets a handsome but slightly flawed man who is trying to forget his.” Sorry for the rant. 🙂 What genre are you reading?

        • Haha! I tend to avoid most popular fiction myself…I like something a little edgy or original. I love sci-fi for the futuristic ideas and some fantasy for the sheer escapism and some wonderfully eccentric characters. I like crime if the detective grabs my interest. Tbh I’ll give most genres a go once. I’m a fairly slow reader though so it’s ironic that I tend to choose long books, no idea why!

          I remember the days of reading only text books! Was so glad when I could jump into an undemanding novel after that. I do like a deep psychology or theology book, I love ‘deep thought’, simply taking an idea or concept and letting your mind take it wherever it wants to go.

          Nothing wrong with a good rant 🙂

          • Sci-fi does hold the promise of having original ideas. My favorite books are those that are character driven.

            Some of the smartest people I know are very slow readers! And long books are the most rewarding.

            🙂

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