Check out this funny Goodreads blog about the terrible issues faced by book readers, that suffering class of people 😉
Number Two is a big one for me – “Feeling sad for people who don’t really exist” (Kimberly Moniz). Ridiculous, isn’t it?
But yes, I can feel strong emotions for characters in books (and movies or TV shows) – usually because they’ve been very well-written; and hey, that’s what empathy is for, right?
I have had most of those reading problems at some stage. Reading is SOOO difficult. Anyway, yes, you can see that this isn’t a serious blog post today, just a few thoughts on reading habits.
- the urge to eat something really nice while reading a really good book. This usually involves chocolate and a good cup of tea. But I will avoid eating while reading if the plot has gruesome deaths or icky descriptions about insects/slimy things crawling over people/bodies. Which is why I usually avoid those sorts of books.
- similarly, needing to be really comfortable, in a favourite chair or propped up in bed with the pillows just right, a cuppa at hand, and all the animals looked after (this is partly me being a good ‘mum’ but mostly so I get peace & quiet for the best part of an hour, if I’m lucky).
- reading until I fall asleep with the light on and the book still in my hand. This of course also involves needing to later re-read pages as I’ve taken in nothing while my eyelids droop.
- telling off my husband when he manages to need to talk to me just as there’s a really good bit: “Sorry hon, just gotta finish this section/chapter/book” (I used to think games players were bad – ‘just one more level!’ as illustrated by the brilliant Australian comedy group Tripod’s song, ‘Gonna make you happy’, but perhaps book readers are just as
- needing to wait to read a really good bit, when it’s private, and I (hopefully) won’t be interrupted. How do I know it’s going to be good? The rest of the writing’s been beautiful, well-paced, and my ‘reader’s senses’ are telling me it’s going to be a pivotal plot point. Sorry again, hubby!
- reading for so long while lying on one side that my arm falls asleep or is painfully locked into one position (this is related to Number Eight: “When you’re lying in bed and it’s all cold in your room—and the hand holding the book freezes to death, even though the rest of you is warm under the blankets” (Alina Marie Swan).
- becoming so immersed in a book’s world that you find yourself wanting to speak like the characters, and you miss that world when the book ends, and you find your mind wandering off into that world long after you’ve finished reading it. It’s a good thing I haven’t read Game of Thrones, or heads might roll 😉
So, what are your reading habits? Do you become an anti-social creature who doesn’t emerge until the book is finished, and then you’re adrift, trying to get back to that world? Maybe it depends on the book.
But happy reading, whatever you’re immersed in!