Most people read books. I eat them. They are delicious. They are like little papery snacks or entire feasts. It’s rather like gnawing a tree trunk, but you get the added bonus of practising literacy.
But, like most meals, there is always a GLORIOUS section and a less-glorious section. I don’t know about you, but I am not a fan of certain vegetables. Or, well, any vegetables. Pumpkin is the exception. And I’m a big fan of that moment when dessert comes.*
I feel like books are similar to this meal-eating experience.** We all have our favourite sections. Unless the entire book is exceptionally amazing, but let’s face it — that is a rare, five-star occasion. Some people like finales, others love to see how plots develop in the middle, and some people are infatuated with those first sentences.
But, the real question is…
WHAT IS THE MOST DELICIOUS PART OF A BOOK FOR YOU?
* When I rule the world, I’ll abolish this archaic practise of meat-first-dessert-last. Dessert should really be first. What if the zombie apocalypse happens in the middle of dinner?? Do you want to say, “I was just eating broccoli when a zombie ate my left elbow.” NO. You want to say, “I was working my way through chocolate fudge mint ripple ice cream on waffles with rainbow sprinkles when a zombie swallowed my sister”. So much more satisfying.
** Although, let’s admit it, most topics can be compared easily and efficiently to food.
Now I can hear you asking, “Well, what’s your favourite part, Cait?” and I’m glad you asked because that’s obviously the most important question here. This blog is, after all, entirely about me. So, let’s have a quick analysis of how I feel about the basic 3 parts of a meal.
I mean, story. THE BASIC PARTS OF A STORY, DANGIT.
I do not have 3 course meals and this is actually a book blog, not a food blog, contrary to what it seems.
THE BEGINNING (BASICALLY THE FIRST 100-PAGES)
I do so love a good, sparky beginning. I like beginnings that pop with a hooky first-sentence. I like being introduced to the characters, those first moments of seeing their routines and actions. I like that tasty moment when the writing style starts to worm into your brain and you really feel in the story. I like that “AH HA, I SEE WHERE YOU’RE GOING WITH THIS” feeling as the plot reveals all it’s devious tentacles. I like the newness! The excitement!
Well, I have to admit, I get dubious at middles. Sometimes plot lags a bit. Characters are being moved into places for the finale, but they’ve got to change countries or grieve or learn how to stab-them-in-the-face-with-the-pointy-end-of-their-sword. Things can get tedious. It can be written excellently, of course, but truly — middles are where I lag. I’m always hyper aware of the page numbers and how long I’ve been reading and if I can squeeze in a few pages before I must run off and play with my dragons. Middles just remind me I’m no longer in the juicy beginning and I’m still nowhere near the end.
THE ENDING (BASICALLY LAST 100 OR SO PAGES)
I pretty much adore endings. Sometimes they go too super fast and I get lost and end up blinking blearily and going, “Well, what”. Which is awkward. I don’t even know what I did during the ending of Of Triton but when my sister was discussing it with me we had completely different ideas of what happened. (To be honest, I think I napped? But I digress.) Endings are EXCITING. Endings are powerful. Consequences are about to be dished out and those last few pages are fluttering gorgeously. I love finishing books because a) I can go take photos of them, which is my intensely beloved hobby, and b) I get to review!! I LOVE REVIEWING, and c) I get to reorganise my overcrowded bookshelves (which is slightly frustrating but mostly fun) and shove the book into it’s new display home. I get a huge sense of completion, when finishing a book, and I can cross it off my TBR. It feels good.
I’m torn. I love starting and finishing…probably more than is natural. But, if I really had to pick — I’d say beginnings. There is a huge chance that my intensely flailing interest has waned by the time I reach the end of a book anyway. I have a very short attention span. (This is why I read so fast, okay?!) And I often feel finales are more rushed and splattery, while beginnings are crisp and defined.
But, truly, the whole book is delicious. Books are basically like dessert (if you are the kind of person who likes to eat trees) and I do so like dessert.