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  • Writer's pictureJohn M Donovan

Are You Pro-Prologue or Anti-Prologue?

I have recently learned that there are people who don’t read prologues.

These are avid readers, I’m told. They just don’t read prologues.

They buy books and they read them, except for the prologue part. They’re anti-prologue.

I don’t understand the reasoning. Do they just assume the writer had nothing important to say in the prologue?

How would they know this without reading the prologue?

Looking at my own work, I see that The Fraternity has no prologue. Trombone Answers has one at the beginning of each section. The Rocheville Devil has none but both sequels to Trombone Answers will have one. My work in progress might have four or five—Prologue 1, Prologue 2, Pre-Prologue, Final Prologue, etc—but it’s a satire and including multiple prologues is a joke in itself.

I guess that once you’ve bought the book you can do what you want with it. Read the prologue, skip the prologue, read only the even-numbered chapters, skip the verbs, use it as a paperweight, whatever.

But honestly, how much time are the prologue-skippers saving by skipping the prologue?

And aren’t they curious? Heck, if I find someone else’s email on the work printer, I give it a read—so you can bet I’m going to read every word a writer considered important enough to put in a book.

Unless it’s poorly written. But how would I know if it’s poorly written? Hmmm….

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