Thursday, 3 March 2011

BTT: Allowed To Peek

image Do you cheat and peek at the ends of books?
(Come on, be honest.)

Not as a rule. Does it ever happen? Of course it does. With novels, it would be if I find myself stuck half way through and doubting whether I’ll find it worth while to struggle on. Then I might have a peek at the end – or some place nearer to the end – to see if that helps to encourage me to read on.

The question makes me think of Moominland Winter by Swedish-speaking Finnish novelist and artist Tove Jansson. Moomins are usually in hibernation from November to April (I always kind of envied them!) but one winter, the young Moomin troll wakes up and just can’t go back to sleep. While his whole family continues to snooze, he sets out to explore the winter. In one place in this book, peeking forward is actually encouraged…


On page 44 (out of 131), something sad occurs. A squirrel dies. Too-ticki (friend of Moomin’s) tries to explain. Since I only have the book in Swedish, the following quotes are my own translation:

‘If you are dead, you are dead,’ said Too-ticki in a kind voice. ‘This squirrel will eventually turn to earth. And later, from that earth, trees will grow, in which new squirrels will be jumping around. Now, is that so sad?’ *

The asterisk leads to a footnote at the bottom of the page:
* If the reader starts crying, take a quick look at page 120. (Author’s note.)

On page 120, in early spring… Moomin again sees a squirrel:

‘Are you called the squirrel with the beautiful tail?’ Moomin asked slowly.
’Of course,’ said the squirrel.
’Is it you!’ exclaimed Moomin.
‘Is it really you? Who met the Ice Woman?’
’I don’t remember,’ said the squirrel. ‘You know, I forget easily…’

… … …

PS. This is my second blog post today.
Scroll down or click the link if you
also want to take a peek and find out who is
Getting Younger And Younger”.


  1. Great answer! Thanks for sharing. Here is mine

  2. when I was in my teens, i always looked at the last page and if it did not have a happy ever after ending I would not read it. now the only time i look is if i have read half the book and think do i care enough to keep reading and then i will go to the last two chapters to see who did it and put it down. that is rare but it does happen

  3. Yeah, sometimes the temptation to peek just bugs :)

    Here's my Cheating (Booking Through Thursday) post!

  4. I'm with you on peeking ahead of the novel is bogging down.

  5. I agree I never peek at the ending, unless I am bored and not going to finish the book anyway, then I may peek at the end, but most of the time I don't do that either if it is so boring I can't finish the book, I don't really care how it ends.

  6. I never peek at the end of books because then I wouldn't want to finish reading them. This book looks good, I can think that a squirrel does not have a good memory, that seems accurate. I always wonder if they ever remember where they buried their nuts.

  7. A great example of when peeking is encouraged! See mine here

  8. sometimes I look ahead, but don't consider it cheating.

  9. I don't usually peek at endings, but I can't say I've never done it. But I do like it when the ending makes me want to go back and finish the rest of the story.

    The book sounds very cute - I think I'd probably love the Moomins!

  10. Loved the moomin example :-)

    I peek, quite often. Less when I read ebooks.

  11. I never get tempted as it would ruin it for me.

  12. My post would have been short: No!

    I think Moomin reminds me of Eeyore.


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