…is that they come to and end.
A truth universally acknowledged by avid readers is that reading generally makes you happy even if it makes you cry. This has to do with the power a story holds over the hearts and minds of people. Our desire to relate to the life experiences of others is a desire to make sense of our own.
There is a subtle happiness in holding a book that intrigues, but a great deal of misery, denial and, ultimately, loss, usually come with. A fantastic book promises self-abandonment in a world the reader does not belong to, cannot remain in and will miss dearly after turning the last page. Nothing can remedy the despair of reading a mind-blowing story, knowing you will be blasted into reality from that much higher.
I am now hooked on Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series, but this holds true for just about any book I have ever enjoyed and hated to finish. I look forward to reading, but then I want to reread passages over and over again (very impractical with Game of Thrones) to engrave them in my mind, to make them my own; I want to know what happens, but I don’t want to finish the book. I am happy if there are sequels, but I know I will always compare them to the original book and miss what it has and they lack; I love the characters in the most unrequited kind of way – not wanting to be any of them and wanting to be all of them at once. It’s a desire to devour a world, to somehow project yourself in it beyond the words on the page.
A reader lives a thousand lives. It is the tragedy of a thousand lives to fail making peace with the one that is real. Click to Tweet
But you see it in deeper colors for it.
We read for entertainment and for education, but the incredible attraction of a good story comes from its promise of an exquisite solitary view over the lives of others. It is with non-sexual voyeurism that books prompt us to see into ourselves, knowingly or by effect.
Are you struggling with book withdrawal when you finish a fantastic read? How do you deal with it?
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