I started a book last week and my mum looked over my shoulder and the following conversation went something like :-
(Mum) "You're not reading the prologue, are you?"
(Mum) "I never read the prologue. Why are you reading the prologue?"
(Me) "Because it's part of the story." ??!?
Which got me to wondering - surely most readers read the prologue don't they?
Maybe it's because I read a lot of murder mystery and urban fantasy, and you generally find that if there's a prologue it's important and usually three-quarters of the way through the actual book there's a big reveal and suddenly everything that happened in the prologue makes sense.
I'm sure there have been cases where I haven't wanted to read a prologue, where I've been put off a story by a badly written / boring one.
I have a vague memory of books where the prologue seems to have been a very dry recounting of either a world's history or a character's genealogy. And I admit I probably skipped those. But in general, at least these days I read the prologue. (If anything I'm more likely to skip the epilogue, especially those that seem to consist of a single page at the end - they got married and had children.)
What about you? Do you read the prologue or skip it? I have a copy of the Cravings anthology to give away to one poster to this thread. Winner to be chosen on Sunday by random number at random.org.