Why Books Scare Me
I am the book lover. At least, according to my friends, I am. I’m the go-to-girl when someone wants a book recommendation. My room (aka my inner sanctum) is hailed as a private library that friends and family members are frequently granted access to. It’s a title and notoriety that secretly makes me giggle and preen. And when I get more books? I am the happiest girl alive. I know you might think you are, but really it's me.
I freaking love books … But sometimes? Books scare me.
Yeah. I actually just said that.
I’ve noticed lately that I have been so excited for certain books to come out, but then when I finally have them in my fingers, I set them aside. Or place them on a shelf with their series-mates like decorations. Or carry them with me in my purse, work bag, car, etc. for weeks with the intention of reading them, but always finding an excuse not to.
Need an example? OK, fine.
Lets take Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi as an example. This was a highly sought-after book. After the smashing success of Shatter Me (which I raved about for months), everyone—myself included—was desperate to get this book. An amazing, patient and benevolent friend of mine actually got a copy at ALA in June. She offered to lend it to me almost immediately because she had plenty else to read in the meantime.
I know. This girl (*cough*Lena*cough*) should clearly be nominated for sainthood. I've already submitted the application.
She sent the book to me and I am ashamed to say it sat on my shelf for months before I returned it to her for reading. And I never read it myself.
It’s not as though I didn’t have the time. I most assuredly did. I think the problem is that I loved Shatter Me so much, I was worried about 2 things:
1.) The Sophomore Slump: We all know it’s a real issue in books. The first in the series is out-of-the-park phenomenal, but then the second just gets bogged down with details, separation of characters you’ve come to love, the introduction of new characters that infringe upon time spent with the original characters, etc. Sometimes this an author can climb out of this slump in book 3, other times the sophomore slump is the first nail in the coffin for the series.
2.) The Agonizing Wait: Cliffhanger endings slay me in a big way. To the point where I got through the 5 stages of grief, I think.
a. Denial: I don’t want to admit it’s over and that just happened. Clearly there’s a hidden chapter I’m missing.
b. Anger: How dare the author leave it like this? Do they want to infuriate their readers?
c. Bargaining: I’ll do anything to know what happens next. Seriously. I’ll come mow your yard for the next chapter.
d. Depression: I’ll never know what happens ever again, will I? Sigh. I need chocolate.
e. Acceptance: The next book will be out in a year! I can move on with a new book until then!
It’s utterly exhausting. And to repeat this process with each book in a series may eventually lead me to the nuthouse.
See? There’s just so much involved in this. I look forward to something so much, that when I happens I can’t appreciate it because I hate that it will be over soon.
Does anyone else do this? Do you get so excited to have a book, but then find yourself inexplicably shying away from it? Maybe we can get a group rate on therapy!