I feel bad for books. A very weird statement, true, but hear me out. Have you ever read a truly great book – a book so wonderful you knew halfway through it was going to be amazing regardless of how it turned out? I have only had that feeling about a handful of books in my entire life and it when it happens it is so wonderful I almost want to slow down my reading. On the other hand, many books have made their way onto my favorites list with their plot twists or surprising endings.
When a book has you like a bull by the horns in the middle and you will read it as quickly as possible, as you are dying to know what happens next, those are are my favorite types of books. When you come to the end it is like you just got dumped – there is a hard stop, an abrupt end, and you didn’t get to say a proper goodbye. I know if I feel this way the moment I reach the last period, it will join a short list of of books where I end up thinking about the characters long after I have finished reading. What are they doing now? How did their lives turn out? What is next for them? And those books? Well the authors still deserve a long and very heartfelt slow clap. Isn’t that what this Emoji is meant for? And for once, I say that without a hint of sarcasm.
So if I love books and adore the endings why do I feel bad for them? I don’t feel bad for the great books, I feel bad for the mediocre novels, thrillers, and love stories that come immediately afterwards. If I am in a steady pace of books that fit under the category of “okay that was interesting, but next” and a mediocre one comes along, I will finish it. It will probably not be my favorite and certainly not memorable but I would move onto the next. The problem with the mediocre book is if it comes after a life shattering, gut-wrenching tale, it is that old saying, it’s a tough act to follow.
I finished a great book while I was in Florida last month, and then started and stopped three books halfway through. I’ve mentioned before that I usually listen to books and I usually listen the entire story even if they’re just going to be so – so. But since I finished such a great one I had very high standards and none where living up to them. So I feel bad for the books the mediocre books that have to follow the great ones, who have no chance of ever living up to their potential, no matter how hard they try. They will always be the redheaded step child, and maybe that is even giving them too much.
What kind of books fit under this special category? Well I just finished The Shoemaker’s Wife, I loved J.K. Rowling’s The Cuckoo’s Calling written under her pen name Robert Galbraith, and my all time favorite book A Prisoner of Birth.