Leaving a Little to the Imagination

Sometimes I feel I'm alone in my love of mystery. Mystery books are great, but I'm talking about the unknown when I start a book or see a movie. I don't need to see a trailer before a movie to sell me on it. Likewise, I don't need to read a review or summary before I start reading a new book. Just a taste will do.

When I start a book, I like being fed the pieces the author wants to dole out at their pace. Yes, I get impatient. Yes, sometimes I want all the information right then and there and to know all things will end in the happy way I want them to end. But that's the destination and I want to enjoy the journey as the author has intended. That means patience, and let's face it, most of us struggle with that.

So maybe I stand alone because I don't need teasers and I like a little mystery to remain before I sit down and indulge my reading habit. I love that moment of discovering who these characters really are and learning about them through the words and experiences I'm given. Those surprise moments we're given that make you want to call your friends and force them to read the same book right that minute so they can be surprised along with you. That's why I love a little left to the imagination when I'm reading.

Recently, I saw the third book in a series advertised and it gave away a huge spoiler through a photo. I've had this series on my to-be-read list for few months and it was in queue to read next. As soon as I saw the photo I knew exactly where the couple in the book would end up. Look, I'm not naïve in thinking that most books won't give readers the happily ever after they're looking for, but for me, I want to enjoy the plot as it was meant to be read. Needless to say, that series has been pushed back down my list because there is no surprise to the ending.

On the contrary, I have a friend who reads the end of a book before she buys it. She needs that confirmation before her purchase that it will end in a way that is satisfactory to her. During our book discussions, I've often wanted to tell her the endings of books I've read just to prove that they were made better because the ending wasn't spoiled. An example is The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay. If you know the ending going into the story, you lose the brilliance of that A-HA moment, which in this book in particular is so powerful. I love that feeling created by the author's hand to give the reader what they need when need it and as needed, allowing our emotions to play into the storyline. That's the feeling I want when delving into a good book.

Although I don't feel I need them, one thing I can appreciate is the art of a teaser, an amuse bouche -- just a taste of what's to come and what the author has in store for the reader. My readers are enthusiastic about teasers, which makes it fun to find those tidbits or excerpts and put out there. Trying to find a balance between giving away enough to intrigue but just shy of giving away plot is an art and one I strive to find every time I share a snippet.

What about you? Do you want to know the plot details before investing time and money into a book or see a movie trailer before buying a theater ticket?