Do you read prefaces, introductions, etc?

This has probably been brought up before, but how many read the preface/introduction/forward/dedication in most books. My personal preference is to skip it, unless it’s rather short or I’ve read the author before and understand it’s meaningful.

Prologues and epilogues are usually germaine to the book, so I read those.
Show of hands, please. :wink:


I read them all the time. Just more of a good book, I think. I also read the author blurbs at the end of short stories on anothologies, if they’re nice enough to include them.

I just like to read about the author’s thoughts on the book or subjects in the book. It’s more interesting to me that way. I only skip an introduction if it becomes apparent that it will spoil the book or be boring.

I do it if I like the author- like with Stephen King, his are so accessible, it’s like having a conversation with the guy. But usually, I kind of skim them, or go back and read it if I really loved the book. I started reading the book “A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius” and the guy was going on about how you could skip the preface/intro if you wanted, and at first, I was thinking, “hey, awesome!” but then I realized the first twenty pages were being taken up with all these “unreadable” preface thingies and I got fed up.

So, um, to answer your question…occasionally, when it’s a leap year, on every other full moon, and ah…green.

I always start the introduction/preface/etc., but if it’s not interesting, I don’t always finish it.

It depends. At first I was going to say I always do, but realized I didn’t, especially if it was a book I’ve been looking forward to reading and just want to start right away. How about if I say I often do?

I have to agree with Zoggie on Stephen King’s introductions though. They are like conversations, and I always read them.

By the way, PhiloVance, I hate to nitpick, but I think it’s foreword when it is in a book’s front matter.

I may be weird but I read everything they give me. I even read the acknowlegments just to see if I recognize any of the names. I do hate prefaces though where they give away the whole story. Those authors should be shot or at least have their hard drives crash.

Yes, I’ll admit that I’m a reader of prefacetory material.

I generally read it eventually, but if it doesn’t seem interesting at first I often read the book first, as then it generally makes more sense, and can’t spoil it.

I do believe you’re right. Faux Pas on my part.:frowning: