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.