I’ve neglected my reading big time. All for the love of Haiku. But no more. I must do a balancing act and so I’m starting by joining the Classics Clubmeme this month. This August, Clubbers are to answer the following:
Do you read forewords/notes that precede many classics? Does it help you or hurt you in your enjoyment/understanding of the work?
I must say that I used to be a very fast reader and if a book grabbed me, I stayed up late till I finished reading it. Back in the days when I was a student, I could read a book all night long when I had a paper/exam the next day. Not so anymore. Other life changing events moved in and my reading slowed down horribly.
Yes, I read the forwards and or notes that precede the Classics or any book if there is one. And I do so as a form of shortcut to gaining a better understanding of the book since I don’t have the luxury of time. To be frank, my reading the forward does not detract in any way from me enjoying the book. I find it helpful, especially a forward that throws more light on the background of the author and the book itself.
A typical example: Natasha Asenhurst kindly gave me an eNotated Tess of the D’Urbervilles for review. The e-Introduction deals with the background of Thomas Hardy, as well as the socio-economic issues prevailing at the time which have direct impact on this Classic. As you read along the notations and references throw more light on settings, events and key phrases which all give a better appreciation of the book. I might add that these are in no way spoilers. They are rather enhancements.
I always read the foreword/introduction to books, too. I like that extra insight going in.
That makes two of us, Heather 🙂 It seems everybody looks at the forward/’intro as a no-go areas
I too like the insight that these forewords often give, but I don’t like when they start talking about the plot, so I read them after the book. But the type of introduction you described in the e-copy of Tess of the D’Urbervilles gives exactly the kind of background information I wouldn’t mind reading before the book.
Yes, such background info does help a great deal. Thank you, Natalie
Lucid Gypsy said:
I don’t see them as no go areas but I’m often to impatient to get into the story.
I do get impatient at times but I guess that is why I see them as short cuts 🙂
The same here! Love everything they give me in a book! My latest read was “A Good American” by Alex George. An awesome read!!!!
Ah, will you review it on your blog? I should love to read your thoughts on it
I borrowed these words but, this describes the book in a nutshell: “A Good American” by Alex George. A beautiful story filled with music, joy, compassion, sadness and the everyday struggles of immigrants just trying to live the “American dream”.
George Weaver said:
I always read them too, Celestine. If it’s worth reading the book, it’s worth listening to the intro! Can’t imagine who wouldn’t read them since they are often exceptionally illuminating. I like this post very much. Read on… 🙂 I’m having the same time trouble you are.
I’m always happy to see you here, George. You always inspire me on. My sincere thanks.
I guess reading the extra parts is very much like watching previews before a movie or checking the after the show info. Some enjoy the frills, others not so much. I’m like you, I find the extras a plus. 😊
I like your analogy, my dear 🙂
Mary Okeke said:
So do I … I think I almost read everything on a book.
That is a good thing to do, Mary. It’s been a while.Hope you are doing well.
Ye Pirate said:
Anything that brings people to books has to be a good thing…
You are too right, and that is another way of looking at it.
I’m very bad because I don’t tend to read introductions. I do usually like to read things that come after the story such as book discussion pieces or additional information about the author. I like to know how they became inspired to write the story.
You are not bad at all, Lynn. That is your style. Book discussions pieces or additional information can be exciting and illuminating. I’m grateful you came by.
I don’t mind the insights into the time period, I like that aspect of the intro to Their Eyes Were Watching God, but I don’t like for the end to be given away.
I see your point, Loni. It sort of spoils it all for the reader. Thanks for coming by.
I agree, learning about the authors background and experience helps us to understand what is going through the authors mind when he writes. I always read the “forward’ and ‘about the author” sections. The make what is happening in the book more personal. beebeesworld
Thank you Brenda for the comment. I do hope you’ve got everything sorted out now 🙂
Agree with you. I always love forewords and could do with the extra help in getting the context of the story.
Glad you are in my ‘camp’ 🙂 And it’s great seeing you here.