Thursday Thoughts is an original, weekly meme created on Ok, Let’s Read. Each week a new, conversational topic is posted to encourage talking about a specific, book-related topic.
This weeks topic is Reader Problems – What are some of the “whiny” problems you find yourself coming across as a reader? Do you deal with book hangovers often? How do you react when a character you like is killed off? Do certain books you might be reading affect your daily life? Do you catch yourself day dreaming about characters in your books? In other words, how is the magical world of reading ruining your life?
Is it possible for the magical world of reading to ruin your life?
Unequivocally, completely, the answer is a resounding YES!!
How do I deal with character death? In certain instances not at all well. Allow me to explain…
I’ve been slowly but surely reading my way through The Dark Tower series by Stephen King. Over the course of so many long and involving books it’s inevitable that as a reader I will become attached to the characters. By the final book I’d spent so long with them it was almost as if I knew them. And you just KNOW what’s coming next, don’t you?
I won’t go into details, or risk spoiling anything for anyone who wants to read this series (which you really should), but reading The Dark Tower was one of the most traumatic reading experiences I’ve had for a while.
Rarely does a book actually make me cry, but this one managed it on multiple occasions, for a variety of reasons. I was awfully torn between not wanting to go on reading and experience more upset, but needing to know how the whole saga played out and what happened to everyone right at the end. I found myself thinking ’No, that can’t REALLY be what happened, can it?’ and this hope that things would ultimately right themselves kept me turning the pages.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, there was a certain death within one of the Song of Ice and Fire books which I gained a certain sense of satisfaction from, wicked as that may sound (although I would have settled for permanent exile of some kind too – it didn’t have to be death). This character had irritated me almost from the moment they appeared (again, I’m not going into spoiler territory here, I’ll keep it vague) and I was SO glad when I realised I wouldn’t have to read about them any more.
So, two completely different responses to the same narrative situation. Isn’t the power of good writing marvellous? To inspire such a range of emotions for readers is a wonderful thing, and I think it’s part of the reason I doubt reading will never lose its appeal for me.
As for book hangovers, I can’t really say I’ve experienced anything like that, so far. I can be utterly immersed within the world of a book, but when I put it down, even when the story and the characters remain in my thoughts for a long time afterwards, I do find myself seeking out my next read quite quickly.
I would imagine a book hangover and a reading slump all happening at about the same time would be a reader’s nightmare, and maybe I have that experience to come.
In fact, it’s probably inevitable, as I’ve been on a roll with some brilliant reads recently (including The Paying Guests, Fangirl, and The Bone Clocks, which I’ve yet to finish and review).
So, how does the magical world of books and reading affect you as a reader?