Hmm. This is something I doubt I would ever do. I like the journey a story tells and wouldn't want to arrive before I've left the station. We’ve even coined a phrase that demonstrates our passion for being surprised by an ending: spoiler alert. But people like to do things their own way, and I get that. As a matter of fact, I hate it when others comment on, say, what I like to eat and when. So vive la différence, I suppose.
But as a writer, I will comment on the implications of reading the ending first. First, the whole plotter-vs.-pantser issue. For writers who outline and plot out their books extensively, a reader jumping to the ending and ignoring all the narrative gymnastics the author has gone through seems disappointing. And for the pantser, who followed instincts and flashes of imagination along the way, then painstakingly revised to make sure everything was neatly woven together and makes sense, it also seems unfair. But who said the world had to be fair to writers?
Second, I've said many times in public settings that I believe writing a novel is an exercise in putting off the ending for as long as possible, while keeping the reader entertained along the way. So in that spirit, reading the ending before its time is a circumvention of my wishes as an author. But you know what? If you've paid for my book, you're free to use it any way you please. Read it backwards. Read every other page. Read with one eye closed. Listen to it, wait for the movie, or—better yet—the Blu-ray. Hell, wait for the VHS if you’re so inclined, I don't care. The important thing is to enjoy the experience.
And that's what should be at the core of reading, after all. Enjoyment of some kind. I have a terrible fear of heights. That means I do not enjoy Ferris wheels or roller coasters or looking over the lip of the Grand Canyon from behind a sturdy barrier. It's a visceral reaction that I cannot control or intellectualize beyond the obvious: falling from great heights is not advised.
"Gravity unleashed is a risky proposition at best," as one of my characters observed in HEART OF STONE.
I'd like to make one last observation in the form of a question: Does anyone skip to the end of a movie or a television show to watch the ending first? I may be wrong, but I don't think people do. I'd love to hear your thoughts on that.