do you really read books cover to cover?

Emily discussions 21 Comments

I’m pretty sure we’ve all heard the phrase “cover to cover.” As in, “I read books cover to cover.” But DO YOU read books cover to cover?! I know what you’re saying. “YES, of course! I’ve read 173850382+ this year already and I even have a blog and/or insane bookish friend and talk about everysingleone and how can you accuse me of NOT reading books cover-to-cover?” Hold your horses.

I mean one of five things. (Or maybe even all five.) 1) reading the copyrights page. (AM I THE ONLY ONE?), 2) the dedication, 3) author’s note, 4) acknowledgements, 5) about the author. Do you truly READ them? Or are you lying when you say “I read books cover to cover.” ?? HMM.


the copyrights page

I don’t always read the copyrights page. But WHEN I DO, I find some pretty neat things. For example.

1) If there is one thing you should know about me, it’s that I have grown up on Nancy Drew mysteries. I still read them! I lovelovelove the wondermazing (that’s wonderful and amazing, you know), Carolyn Keene. But did you know her actual name was Mildred Wirt Benson?! (I much prefer Carolyn Keene.) Of course, there are many other interesting things about Miss Benson, but I didn’t even think to look her up until I read the copyrights page! (For the record, Miss Benson, apparently, isn’t the only writer of The Nancy Drew series. RESEARCH, everyone!)

2) I love seeing what year books were published. I’m not picky about how recently the book was published (even though I have been reading more books that were published within the last two years), but it’s so fascinating, to me!

3) It’s rare when this happens, but it’s so annoying if there’s no blurb/synopsis on the back of the book. So check the copyrights page! There’s a little two-sentence summary in there. =)

the dedication

Some dedications are just awesome. Kiera Cass’ are always the best.


Hi, Dad! *waves*


And we couldn’t forget Lemony Snicket, who makes everything a mystery.


To Beatrice – darling, dearest, dead.


author’s note

Author’s notes are really cool, especially with a historical fiction. It tells you a little bit about the research that went into making the book, and how historically accurate the book was. I loved the author’s note in Code Name Verity. 

It pains me to admit that Code Name Verity is fiction

It pains me to admit that Code Name Verity is fiction


I admit, I don’t always read the acknowledgments. They can be kind of boring! To my publisher, to my kids, to God. Thanks for reading, bye. And I know it’s important to recognize awesome people who put together a book, but COME ON, authors! We just spent three weeks or maybe even a day or possibly even an hour (hello, speed-readers, how I envy you), with your characters! Make us laugh! Say something important. Plus, writing a book is HARD WORK. AREN’T YOU EXCITED? AREN’T YOU CRYING YOUR EYES OUT? Let us know. (And for more helpful tips, please refer to this post. Thank you very much.)

Another reason I love Miss Heather Vogel Frederick – heartfelt acknowledgements are the best! And readers, please, please don’t skip the acknowledgements if the book is the last in a series! (Hint: they’re the best kind of acknowledgements.)

it isn't easy saying goodbye to a world you've come to love. Even if it's a world of your own creating.

it isn’t easy saying goodbye to a world you’ve come to love. Even if it’s a world of your own creating.

And again, I turn to Kiera Cass, because, well, everything about her books is awesome. And, might I add, hilarious.

God, for being God, but mostly for making a world where things like kittens wearing bowties are a reality.

God, for being God, but mostly for making a world where things like kittens wearing bowties are a reality.

about the author

This person wrote a book! THEY WROTE A NOVEL. That’s tough! That’s excruciatingly hard work! Give ’em some credit. I love about the authors for two reasons: 1) I’m CURIOUS about this person. 2) I love to stalk authors, especially if I loved their book, because if I loved their book, of course I love THEM. 3) Okay I lied, three reasons. Sometimes (most times) they have a website, which is awesome because MORE STALKING. (Rachel Coker, Kiera Cass, and Heather Vogel Frederick, I’m looking at you.)


SO. Do you read these parts of books? Or are you a skimmer? I demand to know the truth! Love to hear from you!




Comments 21

  1. Hmmm…. I sometimes glance at the copyright page but don’t usually read them fully. I always read the dedicatiin because they can be pretty funny. I usually skim or read the authors note and dedication. I always read about the author to see if they have other works. You were totally right. I do love this post. Its very interesting.
    LAST DAY OF SCHOOL!!! Whoo hoo!! I’m going to have so much fun this summer. What do you plan to do this summer( besides read ;p ).

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      Thanks 🙂 I loved writing it.
      YAY! Well, the summer camp I told you about. The cousins camp I told you about. The dream factory workshop. Camp Nanowrimo in July. Annnnd POOL. 😀

  2. I usually don’t read the copyright page, I usually DO skim through the acknowledgments, and I DO read everything else! Haha, those pictures are great! I love ’em!

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      I don’t FULLY read the copyright page. BUT I do look at it. 😉
      Thanks! I took out possibly every book on my bookshelf to get the rights ones, haha.

  3. I thought I was the only one! I read the copyright page every time, I always want to know what year the book was published. I never skip pages no matter what, ha ha. I love when they have little additions, such as maps (for the Chronicles of Narnia, the series I am reading right now, I have extensively studied the map of Narnia and surrounding countries LOL). And you didn’t know Nancy Drew was written by a number of authors? Girl, I learned that immediately with my Nancy Drew popup history book (now you see I’m a huge ND fanatic ha hahaha).
    I love the acknowledgements pages too! Sometimes they’re pretty funny, and I love the one about God and kittens xD I read HVF’s for Wish You Were Eyre!! But now she’s writing another so it’s not the end after all 😉
    So yes, I am someone who reads every single page, and even flips through the blank pages at the end until I reach the back cover ha ha. I won’t feel complete until I do so 😉

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      Whoo! I’m not the only one! I LOVE MAPS. I can’t wait for the map for the selection series in October. Narnia’s great. I’ve only read two of them – The Lion, The Witch, & The Wardrobe, and The Magician’s Nephew. Need to read more!
      NO I didn’t know! I can’t believe that. That’s super cool.
      I know. I wonder if they’ll change the acknowledgements with a new copy of Wish You Were Eyre. Or she’ll probably say something in the 7th book. I can’t wait for that!

  4. I’m not usually that reader, although I don’t think it makes me a liar. Reading dedications is always fun, and occasionally the acknowledgements, if they aren’t that boring, and an about the author, if I thought the book was good, but in general, I’m just there for the story. And that’s plenty for me!

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      Of course not! The story IS the best part. It’s like the cream in the middle of the oreo. I agree with you; I get the book for the story, but I do enjoy the other parts, too! 😉

  5. Interesting topic Emily!! I never would have thought to bring it up, what gave you the idea?
    No, I don’t regularly read the book cover to cover, and I never say I read the book cover to cover, mostly because if that reason! 😛 I do sometimes glance at the dedication, and they’re usually boring like “To Pat” nothing fun like Kiera Kass’s! It would be so fun to open of a book and find something like that!! What an awesome way to start a book!!
    Though I did read HVF’s authors note to for Wish Your Were Eyre! Since it was the last book, and I didn’t want it to end, I stretched it out a little bit to read the AN… I was so sad when I read the last word!!! 🙁 I’m so glad she’s making a 7th book though!! 😀

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      What gave me the idea?! Heck, I don’t even know. Things just pop into my brain, and this was one of the *few* ideas that actually got put into action this week. 😀
      Really? Good for you! Lol.
      I know! When I first started The Selection, I remember thinking “Wow, this girl’s funny.” It gets me into the book, even just to see the author’s style of writing.
      I was so sad reading that acknowledgements. Honestly, I wish someone had recorded my face when I read on Heather’s blog (actually I think it was in a letter she wrote back to me about the 7th book that I first found out) there was going to be another one! Of course, at that time, it was still very much in the works, but I was sososo excited, regardless! 😀

  6. I don’t ALWAYS read it “cover to cover.” This may sound weird, but I usually only read the acknowledgements if the book is so good and I don’t want it to end. 😉 Example…MDBC. Or the Selection. But I usually do read the dedications, even though they’re usually just initials of somebody. (Like, to T.) 😀 Now that I’ve read this, I’m challenging myself to always read cover to cover!! Oh, and CAROLYN KEENE ISN’T CAROLYN KEENE’S REAL NAME? 😆

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      That doesn’t sound weird at all! I understand. 🙂
      You should! I’m glad I got you to do it.
      YES I KNOW RIGHT?! My thoughts exactly! I flipped out. And apparently, Carolyn Keene is Carolyn KEENES, because many people wrote the books. Not like a bunch of people writing one book, but Mildred Wirt Benson wrote some, and other people wrote some. It’s really fascinating!

  7. I read cover to cover. I really love reading the dedication and author’s notes. Some can be pretty funny 🙂
    Oh, and I know about that. did you know that FRANKLIN W. DIXON ISN’T ACTUALLY FRANKLIN W. DIXON?? It’s exactly how Carolyn Keene is a ghostwriter, just for the Hardy Boys series.
    Yesterday was my birthday!! i had so much fun, but we had our Science SOL in the morning.

    1. I saw your post for All Fall Down and I have to agree. It was awesome! I totally loved it. The end was a HUGE surprise. I mean. I just sat and stared at the book for a bit. I was so surprised.

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      Yeah. If and when I’m an author, I’ll be sure to make my dedication/acknowledgements really funny. It’s always so cool to see that.
      YES. I found that out when I found out about Carolyn Keene! How amazing is that??!
      Aww happy belated birthday! Did you get any books? 😀

  8. Great post Emily! I admit, I don’t read books cover to cover. When I read, sometimes I skim just a few words (*sometimes*) ONLY if the book is really boring, haha. Like you, I like reading the copyrights at times, since I’m also curious as to when a book is published, especially if it’s an old classic like Jane Austen or J.D. Salinger. It satisfies my curiosity once I know what century or year the book was first published. 🙂

    I ALWAYS read the dedication and the author’s bio. (My favorite book dedication is J.K. Rowling’s Deathly Hallows!)

    Awesome post! I love it so much 😀

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      It really does. Especially if I notice that a book has gotten a cover change (which sometimes bothers me, and sometimes doesn’t. I’m okay with it if the book is older and needs a more modern cover.) So I like to see how old exactly the book is. 🙂

      Thanks, Jillian!

  9. I knew I couldn’t be the only one reading the copyright page! Copyright pages are just too awesome. 😀 Anyway, the only part of a book I sometimes resort to skipping is the acknowledgement becasue like you said; it can be pretty darn boring.

  10. Wow, I have to admit it — I almost *never* read this stuff. I’ve always as a rule avoided introductions, especially for anniversary editions of books, because they always talk about the process of the book, it’s publication, it’s impact, while simultaneously spoiling EVERYTHING. And I guess dedications and acknowledgments have always gone the same way for me — something I skim past and barely think about it. Usually I’m there for the book and only the book! I’ll have to give them a little more consideration from now on!

  11. I read most of these, except for the copyrights as they are often mostly the same. I do often skim over them though. I love reading the dedications, authors notes and about the author sections. There’s a lot of personal touches in those sections often. With e-books they sometimes start at the first chapter and I always tap back to the cover first. Great topic!

  12. Pingback: Weekly Recap| May 24-30,2015 | Oh, the Books!

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