Monday, February 7, 2011

In Grateful Remembrance - Do you read the preface and introduction of a book?

As the soldiers carried the flag-draped coffin and the lone bag piper played a lament, tears streamed down my face. I was watching the brief repatriation ceremony on television. Although I did not know the solider, my heart went out to the family, friends and comrades for the tragic loss of the young soldier.

My mind wandered back to about ninety years ago to the First World War. During my research about this war, I have been reading the newspapers of the time. My focus was Owen Sound and area with a particular interest of how the war affected Knox Presbyterian Church, Owen Sound. Day after day the local newspapers reported the death or wounding of young men. Loved ones and friends learned of the casualties through letters, telegrams and newspaper announcements. Days, weeks and sometimes months went by before the deaths were confirmed. Now, in contrast, with modern communication, sometimes only hours have passed before the world knows.

-- Above is the beginning of the Preface to "In Grateful Remembrance" - a work in progress. (The title will be in italics once it is a published work.)

My question to readers -- Do you read the preface and the introduction to books? Both the preface and the introduction to the book are important parts of understanding why I have been working on this project for five years.

As I mentioned in my goals for 2011, this book will be published this year. I am committeed to getting it completed. I am working on one solider a week. Occaisionally, I will note some information that I want to add and I will put it on my library research list. So far, I have been able to keep up with this plan. At times, if I have a soldier that needs a lot of research, I may not have time to write many blog articles. I still try to visit some blogs each day. The research of others is inspiring.

In addition to this project, I am also working on client research, presentation preprations and other interests in my life.

I would appreciate your comments to my question.

© 2011 Janet Iles


  1. I always read the introductions/prefaces and even skim the acknowledgements. Good luck on all your projects!

  2. I check out the introduction and preface and, like Jenn, the acknowledgments as well because they often given me a sense of the writer as well as the contents of the book.

  3. I hope your writing goes well and you achieve your goal! Like Jenn, I read the intro/preface. Jo

  4. Pamela over at the blog What Women Write, had an interesting posting on a related topic just this week.

  5. I usually read them -- if they're not too long-winded. Otherwise I skim -- swiftly. I think it's important for those two introductions to whet the reader's appetite, acknowledge those who worked on the book, and give necessary background to understand why the author wrote the book, if compelling. Good luck with this goal. Getting a book out is a HUGE accomplishment

  6. I will ditto what Jenn said too. Even the dedicated to information.


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