Classics Club August Question

What up, Classics Clubbers?

Alrighty, so the August question o’ the month! Here it is:

“Do you read forewords/notes that precede many classics?  Does it help you or hurt you in your enjoyment/understanding of the work?”

Well, sometimes. It depends on my mood really, but in general I usually skip the foreward or introduction in the beginning. More often than not, I’m too excited to actually start the story, and I also worry about spoilers. The times that I have read the foreward first, I can’t really remember if it helped or hindered, so I guess it didn’t much matter to me.

Thinking about this actually makes me wonder why they put these things at the start of the book – I feel like readers would get more out of them at the end of the book, after reading the story. That said, I hardly ever actually go back to the beginning to read the foreward. I only do that when I REALLY loved the book and I’m not quite ready to let it go yet.


What about you guys? Do you read the forewards? Do they have value, or is it just a way for publishers to make their copy of that classic a little different from the others out there, since they usually have different people doing the introductions?







  1. I usually read the forward when I’m done with the book. There are some good ones that have given me insight into the author/book. I get all cranky about spoilers so I definitely don’t read them first. 😉


    1. Once in a while I’ll read the forward if I want to give myself an idea of what I’m getting into. I read the Preface to Breakfast of Champions today and that helped give me an idea of Vonnegut’s mind frame, but since it was written by him there were no spoilers 🙂


  2. I never read the forwards! I know someone has put time and effort into it, but when I’m tackling a classic, it makes me feel accomplished to have those pages behind me before I even start. I know, I’m ridiculous.


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