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Friday Coffee & Bookish Speaks – Glossaries in Books

Today I am drinking a fresh roasted coffee from Papua New Guinea with cream.

What are you drinking?

Today’s topic is a little weird. I don’t think books have glossaries very often.  I’ve come across two books that start out with a glossary. I have to say that I wasn’t a fan. To me, a glossary in the front of the book means there’s going to be a lot of terms the author is going to expect me to come back to the glossary. I don’t want to do that. My feeling is that if you need to define something do it in the story. It may seem a little harsh but that’s my opinion.

One of the books I DNF because it was so ludicrous starting with the glossary. The other book was really good and I went back and read the glossary it added to the story. I felt that I didn’t need it to get through the book.

I think if there is going to be a glossary it should be in the back. I find glossaries in the front of books daunting. I like when books don’t have glossaries but I’m coming to understand that some authors feel they are needed. On rare occasion, they might be necessary.

What do you think about glossaries in books?

{ 8 comments… add one }
  • Jeann @ Happy Indulgence September 30, 2016, 3:14 am

    The thing about having glossaries at the back of the books is that I never know that they’re there until I reach the end lol. I wish there was a note or something at the front about it.
    Jeann @ Happy Indulgence recently posted…Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children – Book & Series ReviewMy Profile

  • Kristin September 30, 2016, 6:53 am

    I feel the same way. I love that an author’s created their own world but I need to be able to understand it and if I have to keep stopping in the middle of the book to figure out what’s being said, then I end up losing focus on the story itself.
    Kristin recently posted…Review: Beast by Brie SpanglerMy Profile

    • Jessica September 30, 2016, 8:58 pm

      Yeah. I don’t want to stop to look up a word for that very reason. I just want to read the story.

  • ShootingStarsMag September 30, 2016, 12:28 pm

    I like them in the back too. I know I’ve seen one before but that’s because the book was from the U.K. and it was added to the U.S. edition, I believe, to help non-UK readers understand the slang/words for things. That made sense to me!
    The other one I remember would be A Clockwork Orange and that’s needed because he makes up words, etc. I eventually got used to the words and didn’t need to keep looking to the glossary and that’s nicer!

    -Lauren
    ShootingStarsMag recently posted…October is Harry Potter MonthMy Profile

    • Jessica September 30, 2016, 8:55 pm

      I understand the need to interpret slang, that was the one book that I talked about did.

  • irena_bookdustmagic October 2, 2016, 3:04 am

    I actually like them, because they are rare in books I read, and if they do have them, I prefer for them to be at the begining of the story.
    The same goes for playlists. I’d like to know what song to listen to while I’m at the scene, but would like for the song that instead of stating what scene, it would be page numbered so you know when to play a song without spoiling yourself.
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    • Jessica October 4, 2016, 5:42 pm

      I’ve never seen a playlist in a book… interesting.

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