I Always Read the Acknowledgements Page of a Book

Published on 1/16/2022

I was recently talking with a fellow bookworm, and I mentioned something I’d read on an acknowledgements page on a book we both loved. They looked confused and asked me what page I was talking about. It turned out they had never read an acknowledgements page, whilst I always read it.

That got me thinking about whether other readers are taking the time to properly finish a book, or closing it when the story ends. I also had to consider why I choose to read this additional page. So, here’s why I always read the acknowledgement page of a book, and why you should too.

1. Someone worked on this book

I never rate a book below three stars, even if I didn’t really like it. This isn’t a great habit and I’m definitely not recommending it, but it’s the truth. I feel bad rating something so low because I’m hyper-aware that someone really worked on this.

I’ve written a few books and it is tough. It’s a draining experience, both physically and emotionally. And that’s just writing the book, as publishing it is a whole new ballgame. This person wrote a book, and that is an impressive feat, and that’s also why I always read the acknowledgements.

Because not only did they spend time writing this page and probably editing it, but that page summarises the experience. It thanks everyone involved, who also played a part in creating this book. So if you loved a book, take the time to acknowledge those involved by reading this page. Take the time to let the author be grateful and happy, and read that page.

2. It can reveal interesting things

Reading an acknowledgements page can be like getting a behind-the-scenes look at a book. Just like how IMDB or Wikipedia can reveal a lot about your favourite films or series, the acknowledgement page can do that for a book.

Sometimes they’ll reference someone in their life as the inspiration for a character, which makes you look at them in a whole new way. It adds depth to the novel to know they drew from their personal experiences.

Sometimes they’ll acknowledge the sheer level of research that went into a book, as well as how they did it, who they interviewed or where they travelled to. You get to see all the effort that culminated in this book.

It can also give you a direction of where to go next if you really enjoyed this topic or style, as they might reference what inspired them to write this book. I’ve seen authors directly mention a novel that first got them thinking about this topic, or a real-life person who inspired the plot.

I think reading the acknowledgements page of a book can help the book to be more than a book, as you get a chance to see between the lines of text.

3. As a writer

I started reading acknowledgements pages when I started writing my own books. I finally understood what went into making a book and so I wanted to appreciate the people who did it. I see it both as an inspiration of what I could hopefully do one day and as clues to how to get there. It shows how they reached the point of publishing, all the people involved and how they contributed.

It reminds me that it isn’t easy for everyone, some have a rocky road too, so I shouldn’t give up. It also highlights just how many people it takes to make a book successful, as they mention so many names who directly worked on this project and contributed in some manner. So it’s unfair for me to compare my manuscript to this incredible work, as I’m just one little person.

I read the acknowledgements because I hope to one day write my own, so it’s kind of like research. It feels like creating good karma for my publishing journey, by reading these incredible books from the first page to the last page without cheating.

Fleur

Fleur

Welcome to Symptoms of Living! A place where I like to relieve myself of the barrage of thoughts and ideas filling my mind. Here I'll take a look at various topics, from books to BPD, series to self-harm, there's nothing that we can't, and shouldn't, talk about.

Having struggled with mental illness since the age of 15, one of the hardest parts was how alone I felt in it. While mental illness is beginning to be discussed more openly, and featured in the media, I still think there is room for improvement. So whether it is mental illness or merely mental health, a bad day or a bad year, let's make this a place to approach it and strip it back. Everyone has their own symptoms of living, and you certainly won't be the only one with it.

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