If only fiction books had indexes…

As an indexer, I wish every book had an index.  As a fiction-reader for personal pleasure, I really wish more fiction books had indexes.  Maybe it’s my increasingly forgetful nature that makes me wish this.  I am forever reading a book and trying to think back, “now what was his sister’s name?” or “didn’t it say before that he lived in California?”

Part of the problem, of course, is that I cannot turn off my critical reading brain completely when reading for pleasure.  I’m driven to pick up discrepancies in what was said in Chapter 1 versus what was mentioned again in Chapter 7.  Professional hazard.

But sadly, it’s also that sometimes I just cannot remember who a character is that was mentioned in Chapter 1 (especially in character-heavy books).  I would love to be able to quickly go to the index and find character “Susan Smith” and go right back to where she was first described.

Some fiction is indexed, but it’s relatively rare.  Generally it seems that historical fiction is the most likely type of fiction book to be indexed, understandably so.  Still I crave indexes in all fiction.   Am I alone in this?  Is there anyway to start a trend in the industry to encourage the indexing of fiction?  Or do I just need to do more of those memory-improvement exercises so I’ll remember who is who?  Any thoughts are welcome.

One Response to If only fiction books had indexes…

  1. Audrey Owen January 21, 2023 at 7:18 pm #

    I confess that I wondered what an indexer could bring to fiction, so I clicked the link. Now I get it. If the books I’m reading had indexes, I wouldn’t have to drag my character list around with my book to the coffee shop, to the library, to the beach, to bed. I’m always afraid I’ll lose the list. So, I say, “Great idea!”

    Wonder what the publishers think.

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