**My apologies to our readers and Devon. This post should have gone up almost 2 and a half hours ago, but I was delayed at a doctor’s appointment and just got into the office. Next week we’ll be back on schedule**
I’m just getting over a cold. A nasty cold, complete with excruciating sinus pain. Pain which made it difficult to read or look at a computer screen. I had started a book before I got sick, which I had been looking forward to. It started off pretty well, too. But while in the grip of my headache, I found it impossible to read. Every time I tried, I would just put it down, close my eyes and pass out. And a funny thing happened. I just stopped being interested in this book. Its time had passed. Once I felt better, I tried to read it, but no…just not feeling it anymore. And it got me thinking.
Some people might think that us avid readers get a little too involved with our books. And sometimes I would agree. For this particular reader, the proof is in the way I have so much trouble saying goodbye to a book. Sometimes it’s because I loved the book so much, I don’t want to be parted with the world that I have been immersed in for however long. Sometimes it’s because the book just isn’t working for me, but I want to give it a fair shake. Much like with people, there are different ways we sever our relationship with books, with different emotions involved. The following are common book goodbyes:
The “See You Around…Maybe”: Just like people, there are books that we’re just not sure we want to put the effort into. This is what KristieJ calls the “It’s Not You, It’s Me” syndrome. It’s something in the subject matter or the style, or maybe you’re not in the mood for that subgenre anymore. This is a goodbye that I used to have a really hard time with. I would wonder, maybe I’m just not giving it a fair shake…or maybe it will get better…or maybe, just maybe, there’s something wrong with me, not the book. It won’t surprise you to know that I also give people way too many chances. But there comes a time when you just have to put the book down and say, “Hey, maybe one day I will be in the mood.” Just like someday I will be in the mood to give the annoying people a call and arrange a playdate. Then again, maybe not.
The “Later… Nice knowing you”: This is the happy middle ground. It was a decent book, an enjoyable experience, but nothing you’re all that interesting in repeating (say, B- to C range). So off it goes, back to the library, off to a friend or into the UBS bag. Thank you for a good time, onto bigger and better things. No emotion, no turmoil.
The “Please don’t leave me”: These are the keepers. The ones that you close, then open right back up and start over again. The ones that you keep on the night table for a week, to pick up and re-read the good bits. Happily, we don’t have to say goodbye. Many of us have shelves (and shelves and shelves and shelves) devoted to books we can’t bring ourselves to say goodbye to.
The “Don’t let the door hit you in the ass”: And take your bland heroine and your fake rake with you. Sometimes it isn’t hard to say goodbye. Sometimes it’s so easy, you can’t even be bothered to finish the book. Or perhaps you finished it because you wanted to see if it ended as badly as it began. Or it was so bad you needed to review and warn others. Any which way you look at it, you just couldn’t say goodbye fast enough, and never want to see it again. Away it goes, to be remembered only occasionally with a giggle or a shudder (not unlike how we remember old boyfriends).
And so I came to realize that it was time to say “See you around” to the book I had been attempting. Perhaps I’ll be in that mood again, and it will hit the spot. Perhaps I was never meant to finish it. Only time will tell, but for now in the TBR milk crate it remains.
So am I being melodramatic? Do others find that “ending it” with a book can be tough? What type of goodbye do you find yourself saying most often?