There’s nothing quite like being so wrapped up in a book that you feel emotionally let down when it ends, when the last page has been read and you’re cut off from the life of those characters going forward. You’re sad, but at the same time, you feel satisfied—full from the experience, if only for a little while.
That’s why I’m a weirdo and end up delaying the inevitable, saving the last few pages for some other time when a) I feel a bit more prepared to move on or b) I have another book waiting in the wings.
Yes, I will actually walk away from a book for a week or so—even if I only have a few pages left—because I don’t want it to end.
But it doesn’t just stop with that, my friends, as I take it one step further.
Money is an issue, which makes the fact that I have the attention span of a manic gnat slightly helpful because I can re-read things I read a couple years ago and find new details that I missed, but I will splurge every couple of months or so on something new.
And although I look forward to having one or two books I can read, I then get stressed out because I am suddenly overwhelmed with quality reading material. It’s like I go from famine to feast and I feel the need to go on a bender and read everything, just because it’s there, or stash it away for those times when I have nothing new.
It’s been like this since the beginning.
As a kid I was the one who read all the time—when we were driving, watching TV, waiting in line somewhere—and going to the store to get a few more books was a reward that I always looked forward to.
And Book It? I was the Queen with my little purple button full of stars to indicate books read and personal Pizza Hut pan pizzas earned.
Of course I went through that adolescent phase were books were replaced with New Kids on the Block cassette tapes and multiple viewings of “Clueless” followed by college years that often required so much studying that any “fun” reading was out of the question.
But I eventually came back to books—a way to distract myself, to escape from the reality of my world and instead get absorbed in the reality of somebody else, if only for a little while.
There are times I think about getting an e-reader — I do appreciate how they get more people to read — but I like the feel of a book in my hands, being able to mark the pages that really stood out and then finding those notes when I read it again in the future. I like the anticipation of an Amazon package arriving in the mail, and as odd as it sounds, I like being able to actually turn the pages myself…until I get to that last page.
All of this could be avoided if my favorite authors would just continually write sequels and ensure that I will always have quality material waiting for me when I finish something up, or at least provide Facebook updates on what the characters are doing now.
But regardless, the ups and downs—the anticipation of starting to read something new, the resignation when that book is read—are worth it. Reading is something that molds you and adds to your character because you often take a little bit of something from every character you meet.
Foe me, C.S. Lewis said it best:
“You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.”
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You just caused memories to come rushing back with Book-It. I swear my family and I were at Pizza Hut so often because of how many of the purple stickers I collected. So lovely. Thanks for sharing.
1) I’ve been moping around for a week because my holds on the library haven’t come through yet. While I know I could just walk over to the bookshelf and pick up an old favorite to get me through, I feel the completion of each book deserves a brief mourning period (and I’m excellent at moping.) b) There are three empty mugs sitting next to me, all from today.
Reblogged this on and then I was like, and commented:
I just started reading Amy Poehler’s book “Yes Please” and I’m having an extremely hard time putting it down…I just started it yesterday and I’m sad because I’m almost done.
I have that one on my Wish List and wondered how it was!
It’s fantastic. You learn a lot about Amy, but at the same time a lot of her writing is advice-driven. She has a lot of good input for people at all stages of their lives. When I’m done reading it I’m going to give it to my mom to read.
I go through fits and starts when it comes to reading. I have no less than 4 books on the go at one time but am currently reading nothing but blogs. Then the tide will change.
The C.S. Lewis quote at the end says it all!
I am a binge reader myself. I live in extremes. Either I read nothing (can’t get into a book), or I consume a whole book in a day or two tops!
P.S. I just started a satirical blog called The Baloney, I would love if you would check it out! 🙂
So true, except for the bit about the tea. I’m a hot chocolate person 🙂 I walk around in a daze when I finish a good book. Takes me a couple of hours to get back into the real world…
“You’re sad, but at the same time, you feel satisfied—full from the experience, if only for a little while.”
I absolutely love how you’ve said it! It’s exactly how I feel after a good book ends! And I thought I was the only one who delays finishing a book until another good book is in my hands!
Yes! Book-It! If you were the Queen I was at least a Princess.
Couldn’t agree more! I read many books at a time because I can’t choose between them. I even joined Wattpad so I could read EVEN more–for free! One of my favorite books is The Stand by Stephen King which is a HUGE book, yet I still want more. After I read Wicked, I fell in love so much so that the next three or four books I read after that I couldn’t even finish. Sometimes I have to go right back to the beginning and start all over again.
I’ve started doing kindle books to save money. PLUS then I have access to my library’s digital loans without having to leave the house (because you know how I hate that). Books. Fun. I’m currently reading the last fluffy one I liked over and over again.
I’m with you on the “books v kindle” thing, although I agree the Kindle has its uses. Often when I read your Blog I feel somehow related to you, because we seem to share so many traits. I can certainly go back and back and back to a book or film and still see something new and derive fresh pleasure from it. Even when I know the whole things backwards, I can still say to some unfortunate companion, or a cushion if I have been forsaken once again. “Ooh look out. You’re going to love this next bit, and even the cushions have been known to groan
I love real books too! And I get the binge reading. There are times I leave the library with a stack of ten books that only last me two or three days. And what’s with the smell of library books? No matter which library they come from, they all smell the same.
In my house we have a rule that if you are in the last 20 pages of your book no one is allowed to bother you for ANY REASON. And woe unto the person who breaks that rule.
I do the same thing! I’ll put off reading the end of a book if I’m not ready to move on and be cut off from that world cold turkey. I’ve got a bunch of books now that I want to read and I’m kind of reading them in rotation. A little of this one, some of that one. I’m too impatient to wait until I finish one to get to the next.
I’ve really gotten into Audible.com lately. I can’t seem to get a pair of reading glasses strong enough to keep me from having blurry vision for hours after reading for only 20 minutes. I love Audible, though, because you can do all sorts of things while hearing a great book, like housework, exercising and getting ready for work. Still would prefer an actual book, but having someone read it to you is the next best thing.
I wish I could put off reading the last pages until I’m emotionally prepared. Actually I wish I could put off reading any part of a book. Once I’m suckered into that first page though, I can’t stop until I know the end. Opening a book is a big commitment in my world.
So, I recently got in trouble with some friends for pulling a book out of my purse at a football game. What? They had it handled on the field. I certainly wasn’t going to impact the outcome.
I too have been guilty of many book binges in my life. I have also held off on endings. Most recently, Neil Gaiman’s American Gods (which I finally forced myself to finish, given it was actually the second reading!).
I too have been guilty of many book binges in my time. I have also held off on reading the endings (most recently, Neil Gaiman’s American Gods, which I told myself was okay to go on and finish given the fact that it was actually a second reading)!
Oh my, I thought I was the only one who dragged out the ending of book I was really into – thank you!!! I also have gotten angry at the person interrupting me (usually my poor husband) as I get close to the big finish of a book that engrosses me. A recent read that I stretched out was The Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon. A book that will always make me angry if I am interrupted is The Shining by Stephen King – almost time to re-read this one again!
I loved this, and related to every bit of it. I often felt like an aberration in my family: “You’re wasting your life, reading all the time”. My earliest, fondest memory is walking to the bookmobile with my mother, and the smell, oh, the smell of the books.
I have to finish if I’m only a few pages from the end. Sometimes I’ve stood under awnings on the way to my daughter’s day care to finish what I’m reading. Shh, don’t tell her.
I agree! With certain books, I feel like I grow to love the characters so much, I don’t want to see them go! I get like that with movies too sometimes, but especially books. I do have an e-reader, but I still enjoy actual books best. I have this thing where I like to twitch the pages while I read, because it makes this crispy noise… sensory thing I guess. And I love the smell of old books. My brother and I once got in a huge fight when I was visiting him, because we found this cool used book store and I wanted to go in, but he wouldn’t let me because he was afraid I’d want to stay there all day and he had other things to do.