After the book

Posted on 21 September 2010

I just finished a book. It wasn’t the type of book I normally read (a paranormal romance, GASP), but it was good and it drew me in like any book of decent length and writing tends to. The last hundred or so pages had me sitting on my favorite overstuffed, two cats warm in my lap, and the pages flying just for the joy of reading and being in the world. And now, it is over.

I noticed this a lot with books. I hate to finish them. It isn’t that I find the endings unsatisfying or the books lacking. It is that I want more. I want to read what happens next, even if there shouldn’t be a next (and this book leaves some huge should-be-nexts in it.) I want, above all else, to stay in the world.

I read to escape. It isn’t that my life is bad (well, anymore), but I still like that feeling of being in a completely different time, place, and world. But, escapism is much like an electric current. It isn’t the start that hurts, the gradual increase and familiarization. No, it is the sudden stop at the end. There is no way to be eased out of a book. The end is the end. It can have all the closure and catharsis you want, but nothing short of bad writing would make me have a reverse investment in the characters and the world. Even spectacular “and they all died” leaves me feeling withdrawn.

I am sure other people feel this. Do any of you, my silent (and in some exceptions not silent) readers? Do you have any way to get over the feeling of loss? Because that is what I feel, a sense of loss, like a dear friend has left, or I have had to leave a paradise vacation. In fact, I get this exact same feeling after vacations when I don’t want to quite get back to work yet. And I can’t just go on another vacation (in my head or in reality), because I am spent and tired and not ready to pay the price of entrance. That preparation for a real trip, and the effort of learning new characters in a new world in my head.

How does one get over this feeling except with time? It is a puzzlement.


3 comment to After the book

  • I quite understand that impulse. I usually get around it by switching up my speculative fiction reading with other genres; gives me time to recover before I head into another universe.

  • ka243 says:

    I completely understand this feeling. It happens everytime I finish a wheel of time book. Not sure what will happen when there aren’t any more. I hope brandon will write more even though I really like his own books too.

    Something to do is find another book you like. the hard thing is the feeling that the new book could never possibly be as good as the one you just read…. but sometimes you can be pleasently surprised.

    Being generally happy with the rest of your life is also very helpful too of course 🙂

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