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November 05, 2008


Jersey Jack

I won't call you crazy, but I cannot see any logical reason why a book shouldn't have an odd number of chapters.

neil nyren

Both as an editor and as a reader, I believe strongly in chapter breaks. Besides all the good reasons you mention, the reader simply needs a place to pause if he or she wants ("I'll just finish the chapter"), and space breaks don't work as well for that -- the next line's just sitting right there in front of you. It can sometimes be a bit exhausting reading a book without chapter breaks.

As to chapter numbers, if any reader is noticing them, that seems like a bad sign to me that the book hasn't absorbed him enough. And if he's paying attention to whether they're odds or evens, well....OCD may be the right word for it.

Julie Hyzy

Your comment:

>>I don't think there's a person alive who feels quite comfortable in closing a book for the evening in mid-chapter >>

Well, there's one person alive who never considers chapter breaks. I just stop reading when I feel like it. And - it's rarely at a chapter break.

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