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View Poll Results: Where do you prefer your ebook to start?
Cover 74 69.81%
Title page 5 4.72%
Table of contents 0 0%
Foreword or preface 2 1.89%
Epigraph 1 0.94%
Main reading content (e.g., the introduction, if one exists, or first chapter, if no introduction) 10 9.43%
I don't care 14 13.21%
Voters: 106. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 01-31-2019, 10:47 AM   #1
ElspethB
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Your Preferred Start Location

Recently, I have encountered several ebooks that opened immediately to Chapter 1 when I first started them. In each case, there was material before Chapter 1 that I would have missed: an author's preface, an introduction, even an epigraph that set the tone for the book. Whenever I start a book, I automatically use the navigation to go right to the front cover and then page my way through the frontmatter in order not to miss anything. I'm wondering if others are also irked by books that shart at Chapter 1.
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Old 01-31-2019, 10:55 AM   #2
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I don't read the front matter on light fiction, so chapter one is ok. I do read front matter on nonfiction. But I don't really care...it's easy enough to navigate to wherever I please.
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Old 01-31-2019, 11:58 AM   #3
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I don't care. It's trivial for me to back up and see if I missed anything (if I feel like it).
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Old 01-31-2019, 12:12 PM   #4
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I prefer to start at the first text in the story for fiction. I'd rather skip the cover, copyright notices, blurbs, also by, etc. and start at the prologue, epigraph or first chapter.

That being said, I really don't care where the book opens to since it is pretty trivial to skip to the place I want to start reading.

Last edited by DNSB; 01-31-2019 at 12:15 PM.
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Old 01-31-2019, 12:40 PM   #5
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I went with title page. I like to skip the blurbs but see everything else.
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Old 01-31-2019, 12:57 PM   #6
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Is the poll asking where I want the book to automatically open to? Or where I prefer to start reading?

I can't recall buying or borrowing from Overdrive any ebook that didn't automatically open to the cover page. Normally my first step is to access the table of contents. Then if I see the book has an epigraph I start there. Otherwise I start with Chapter 1.

I don't just start paging through from the cover because occasionally books will have filler material in the front such as reviews or lists of other books by the author and I prefer to skip those.
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Old 01-31-2019, 02:07 PM   #7
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I prefer for the book to open at the very first page - the cover. Then I can more conveniently choose what I want to skip over, not somebody else.

I pretty much always start reading at the prologue after having skipped everything previous, but occasionally there is stuff before that I am interested in. A graphic of a map, for example. Or an epilogue that sets the stage for the novel. Bottom line - I want to decide what is important for me, not somebody else. And this may vary from novel to novel. When some pretentious fool, the editor or whatever, decides to jump ahead with the eBook start point, I just scroll back and wipe out their decision ... and set my own start point. It's not that annoying to be required to do this, but I'd rather not have to.
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Old 01-31-2019, 02:15 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by haertig View Post
I prefer for the book to open at the very first page - the cover. Then I can more conveniently choose what I want to skip over, not somebody else.

I pretty much always start reading at the prologue after having skipped everything previous, but occasionally there is stuff before that I am interested in. A graphic of a map, for example. Or an epilogue that sets the stage for the novel. Bottom line - I want to decide what is important for me, not somebody else. And this may vary from novel to novel. When some pretentious fool, the editor or whatever, decides to jump ahead with the eBook start point, I just scroll back and wipe out their decision ... and set my own start point. It's not that annoying to be required to do this, but I'd rather not have to.
This.

As for reviews, other titles and all such absolutely unnecessary stuff, I delete them in the Calibre editor before transferring books to my reader. The same goes for excerpts from other books in the end - I totally hate those.
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Old 01-31-2019, 02:21 PM   #9
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I am soooo glad I cured myself of the need to edit every ebook I buy before reading it.
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Old 01-31-2019, 02:23 PM   #10
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I prefer the ebook to open at the first page that the author intended for the book. That would include the epigraph and any forward by the author specifically meant to be read before the main book content regardless of edition of the book (i.e. basically part of the book content itself). The closest to that was choosing 'epigraph'.

Otherwise, I prefer to start at the cover, but sometimes that's annoying when there is too much information or too many pages between the cover and the actual start of the main content, especially when there aren't good links in the ebook. So all things considered I'd prefer the default opening to a book to be the epigraph/beginning of the author's content. The only exception is that this should include non-spoilery translator's notes as well.

I consider all that as the 'main' content and separate it from preamble content such as introductions and most forwards because I hate that most of them are full of spoilers and would prefer all content like that to be afterwards but unfortunately the world isn't built around me. I wouldn't mind reading them first if it's a re-reading and already know the story, but there is so much I want to read that I've never read that it's very rare I re-read.

All this also touches on a huge pet peeve of mine as well. When you want to preview a book, such as at Goodreads or Amazon or wherever, they usually only give you a short excerpt to preview. All too often, this preview begins with the introduction of a book and so the actual preview of the main content is cut, and often the introduction is so long that the entire preview is of introductory materials. It's really ridiculous.
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Old 01-31-2019, 02:23 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by DiapDealer View Post
I am soooo glad I cured myself of the need to edit every ebook I buy before reading it.
I like tinkering with my books. Otherwise I wouldn't waste my time on it.
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Old 01-31-2019, 02:40 PM   #12
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Although I voted Cover I often add blurb at the beginning of the book using Calibre metadata. I usually read that first.

I like tinkering with my books too.

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Old 01-31-2019, 02:45 PM   #13
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I am soooo glad I cured myself of the need to edit every ebook I buy before reading it.
I wouldn't even know how! Books I read usually have a decent table of contents so it's not that hard to skip to what I want.

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I consider all that as the 'main' content and separate it from preamble content such as introductions and most forwards because I hate that most of them are full of spoilers and would prefer all content like that to be afterwards but unfortunately the world isn't built around me. I wouldn't mind reading them first if it's a re-reading and already know the story, but there is so much I want to read that I've never read that it's very rare I re-read.

All this also touches on a huge pet peeve of mine as well. When you want to preview a book, such as at Goodreads or Amazon or wherever, they usually only give you a short excerpt to preview. All too often, this preview begins with the introduction of a book and so the actual preview of the main content is cut, and often the introduction is so long that the entire preview is of introductory materials. It's really ridiculous.
I agree with you re: the intros. Back in high school I was spoiled for the outcome of a classic book - I was new to such things and didn't know they often contained spoilers. I find it often works better for me to read any introductory material after I've finished the main book.

If you have access to an Overdrive library, they usually have substantial samples of the main content.
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Old 01-31-2019, 02:48 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Sirtel View Post
I like tinkering with my books. Otherwise I wouldn't waste my time on it.
I used to like it too. Then I remembered I liked reading more than I liked enforcing a personal (and viciously rigid) structure/formatting/coding-convention on every ebook I owned.

Now I only "pop the hood" on my purchases if there's something specific about one that will help me debug a Sigil issue. Only truly atrocious formatting would ever interrupt my reading, and in those rare cases, I've found it's easier to abandon it rather than waste time fixing it. *shrug*

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Old 01-31-2019, 02:51 PM   #15
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I wouldn't even know how! Books I read usually have a decent table of contents so it's not that hard to skip to what I want.
I know how and have no desire to do so any more. Like you, I have no issue whatsoever with "thumbing" backward or forward a bit when starting a book.
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