JENNY: There are a lot of different readers in the world.
Some of the read for story and want that story to start on the first page.
Some of them read for voice, for the way the words sound, and don’t care when the story starts.
Some of them read for comfort and just want more of what they’ve liked before (and that’s why series are like annuities for authors).
Some of them read for escape and some read to find different worlds and some to read to be made uncomfortable, and some read for a combination of the reasons above or for different reasons at different times.
But, I am willing to bet, the vast majority read fiction first and foremost for one thing: character, which is why character can make or break your story. And goal, motivation, and arc will make or break your character.