Thursday, April 10, 2014

breaking up with a book you love….(a post for book-lovers)


Has this ever happened to you?

Yesterday I finished reading the final book in the Divergent series and I felt an immediate reaction. A slow, sinking feeling.


No, I won’t include any spoilers here but I will admit that I was totally bummed.

And it wasn’t simply the ending.

I felt stuck in that foggy, transitional space that all book lovers will recognize. That moment after you read the last sentence of a wonderful book and you’re left staring at the page. Cognitively you understand the story is over and that you should shut the book and get on with your life.  But emotionally you’re not ready to leave the engrossing world you’ve been living in all this time.

It’s like a romantic break-up; you may know it’s coming, but afterwards there’s an hollow space left behind. And a lingering sense of …regret.



Dear Book Series, I wasn’t truly ready yet. Sniff, sniff.  Can we get back together again?

It’s what I call my Book Blues. It’s the feeling I get when I’ve become completely engrossed with a book and it ends. After I’ve become so emotionally connected to the characters and captivated by the storyline that I carry the book with me wherever I go.

Just in case.

You know what I mean, fellow book worms. Just in case I get a few moments to finish a riveting paragraph while I’m stuck at a traffic light. Or waiting in a long line. Or while I’m stirring the spaghetti sauce.

This is the obsessive-neurotic side of a true book lover.

I have to know what happens next but at the same time, I don’t want it all to end.



Do you ever wonder why you’re drawn to a particular book?

Why one moment you might pick up a book and randomly gaze through the pages and then shove it back on the shelf? And another time in your life you might pick up the same book, read a few pages and immediately feel hooked. Curious, hopeful, anxious to jump inside the pages?

When it comes to our book selections I think timing is everything. Our mood. The state of our mind. What’s going on in our life. The last book we read. I believe all of these factors silently move us toward selecting that ‘right’ book.

Choosing a book is like choosing a quickie romance. We’re drawn to a certain book because it offers a perfect kind of escape at the right time.


I’m not usually a reader of futuristic-science fiction books, especially ones aimed at younger readers. But I’m not a book snob. Because I did enjoy reading the Twilight series, and while I tried and failed to get interested in the Hunger Games books, I’m always open to a good story, no matter the target audience.




Did you read the Divergent series?  How about the first book?

I enjoyed the movie but the book was SO much better.

I know. Where have you heard that before? But that’s my humble opinion. If you’re the type that likes to read book reviews before committing to a book, I found THIS well-written blog you might enjoy visiting.


stars of Divergent; Tris and Four

By the way. All of the images in this post came from A Good Book has an No Ending. It’s one of my favorite book tumblrs and a visit there is like swallowing a happy pill.

And if you’re currently looking for a new book right now, you can sign  up at Good Reads to receive their monthly newsletters.


book blues

In the meantime, tell me.

What was the last book you read that left you with a serious case of the Book Blues?

I’d really love to hear.






I’m linking up with these friends, I hope you can stop by for a visit: 






Yvonne @ StoneGable said...

Oh yes, you defined that feeling well. I usually bask in the ending and then wait, sometimes sullen, to be captivated by the next book! It's a funny, weird cycle. I can relate so well!

Cindy in Oklahoma said...

This may sound wackadoodle but I miss "The Education of Little Tree" all the time. I worry about him, wonder if he's okay......I don't know if I'm sad I never read the book earlier in my life or glad I didn't discover him until I was 60...

Donna@anangloinquébec said...

I have had some serious issues with good books. I have actually been forced to pull over to the side of the road to read just one more page of a good book...crazy? My kids used to groan when they would see me head to the couch with a good book because they have always recognized that at times I lack an "off" button and just don't know when to put the book down.

When I finished reading A Thousand Splendid Suns I had to read all of Khaled Hosseini's books. The latest one I read was, And The Mountains Echo. Fabulous. So many layers to his stories and I think that is what I enjoy the most. to find a good book now Leslie. Thank you.

karen@somewhatquirky said...

I find the end of book blues to be a very real phenomenon in my life. I'm in the process of rereading the Outlander series in preparation for the new one coming out in June and the series that will be starting on Starz sometime soon. I often find myself,in the middle of a project or driving down the road, thinking, "Oh I need to give Jamie and Claire a call and see how they are doing." I decided not to read the Divergent series because I heard it was another dystopian fantasy targeting teenagers. I did read the Hunger Games series but kept rolling my eyes at how poorly it was written. I didn't think I needed another series like that. Even so, after Hunger Games I kept finding myself hoping that Katniss would get happy. I often find myself making friends with characters and want desperately for a book to keep going so that I can just experience some of the good stuff that is to come after the resolution of the story.

Susan said...

I am reading the "Ladybug Farm" books. I am well into the second one and,happily, have 2 more to go!

pugsmom said...

I just finished Tara Road by Maeve Binchy. I totally fell in love with many of the characters and loved hating some of them also. I hated for the book to end, as I was not finished with their lives. Books have been my sanctuary, my escape, my life saver, my friends, my mood setters since I was just a little girl and Little Women made me cry deeply every time I read it. Loved your post today, so well written and thought provoking. I'm going to go read it again right now. Thank you, Sandra

Something Nice and Pretty said...

I'm the same way, I've been reading books for a long time, I have my certain favs such as authors and books. I'm not into the Twilight series or Hunger Games. I just like a good book, do you know what I mean? I also hate when I finish one of those good books!

Sharon @ Elizabeth & Co. said...

Reading a really good book is truly magical! I love when you come to the end and literally hold the book close to your heart. I have lots of favorites, but one that has stayed with me for years, yes years, is Bel Canto by Ann Patchett. Those characters truly came to life for me and I still think about them often! I LOVED THAT BOOK! A few other favorites ... The Time Traveler's Wife, Kite Runner, Fingersmith, Kindred, Atonement, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, Water For Elephants, A Thousand Splendid Suns, The Pillars of the Earth, The Book Thief, Gone Girl and Cutting for Stone was excellent!

Carla from The River said...

You just described me!! You are so good. How did you know how I would feel after reading Secret Keeper by Kate Morton. :-)

Great post, I do know how you feel.
xx oo

Michelle {Jarrah Jungle} said...

I loved this post! I do get sad when I finish a book because it means its all over. But then get happy because it means I can move on and read something else!

Vannessa@Luxuria said...

Wow! I can SO relate to what you have written Leslie. I don't have time to read too much non-fiction sadly these days, but the three books I remember leaving me with the feelings you so eloquently described were; The Help, The Pilgrimage of Harold Fry and The Kite Runner. The latter stayed with me for many weeks long after I had finished.
Love this post Leslie (as much as I love books) xx

susan hemann said...

I can so relate. I have several books on my shelf that I won't finish because I cannot break up with the book. lol

Unknown said...

I can't really think of one in particular...but I do seem to re-read a lot of lovely daughter bought me for Mother's Day a beautiful hard back edition of Winnie The Pooh...The House at Pooh Corner...I loved it as a child but I think I love Pooh more now than ever :) I'm so glad you have begun your yoga classes let me know how you get on...I hope you enjoy them.
And yes, what is nicer a pup and a camera...perfect combination;)
Happy Weekend...lovely to hear from you ;) xx

Art and Sand said...

I do not have the time right now for a new book series, but you have convinced me to start this series.


I Dream Of said...

HI Leslie, This is such a great post and made me smile because I sooo relate to everything you said. I still think, like many, I that partially live in Jane Austen's world even though I long ago read (and have since re-read and re-read) all of her books. True confessions, I have yet to read the last Harry Potter for basically the same reasons you described!

Thanks so much for popping over this week! It's lovely to "meet" you and you have such a fun blog here!



Sarah said...

Leslie, as always you've hit the nail on the head. I've never actually expressed this feeling, but you have. I often devour a book, reading non-stop until I'm finished, then disappointed that there is no more.
Thanks, once again, for an excellent post. I so appreciate your perspective.

michele said...

ohhhhhhh, yeahhhhhh, this is rich discussion. book blues. yep. twilight. check. i don't know how long you have read my blog, but i am team edward and the idea of being so desired and chosen and beloved has a supernatural power for me personally. i am pretty sure that's what it was about. at a certain age we (without knowing it i think) sense the dwindling thirst for our blood so it's a bandaid to escape in a book where we can once again connect with the desirable girl who felt her power. and that's enough of that. wow. i am like totally an 8th grader.



chillcat said...

I haven't read this series but last year when I finished Iris Murdoch's The Sea, the Sea I felt like this- absolutely bereft! I was remembering this feeling the other day, remembering how I wanted to remain in that concentrated world. It's such an achievement I think for an author to bring you to another place, make you surrender like this. Currently reading Valley of Grace by Marion Halligan, an Australian author, which also has a dreamy, absorbing feel. And set in Paris!

Hope you are well and happy xcat

Lori said...

I have felt like this on more than one occasion ~ it's like I don't want it to end ~ I am not ready!! My mood will also determine on what I choose when picking a new read whether it is a mystery, romance or something different. I have cooked many a dinner with the spoon in one hand and a book in the other. When purchasing a new book the cover draws me in first unless I have read a review or had a recommendation.

cindy hattersley design said...

I have not had time to read anything lately, but boy did you hit the nail on the head,

Custom Comforts said...

I must admit I rarely get to read these days. Two reasons - I'm too busy and when I do read, I fall asleep withing 10 minutes. A sign of old age I fear. But the last time I read a book I loved so much, I purposely did not finish it because I could not bear it ending. Years later, I picked the book back up and started all over from the beginning and finished it this time. The book you ask? Chesapeake by James Mitchener. One of my favorites and it meant even more at the time because I lived in Maryland, near the Chesapeake.
You make me want to go get a good book and start reading, but then my projects wouldn't get done.

Sue said...

I know that exact feeling and have had it many times in my reading life. I confess that as I get older, it comes less frequently and that makes me sad. I love so many different books it would be hard for me to name a few, but a few that I have read lately that have stayed in my head are Once We Were Brothers, and The Light Between Oceans. Neither uplifting but well written.

Ricki Treleaven said...

OMG…'re my soul sister. Carol from Art @ Sand sent me over to read this post, and I am often times out of sorts when finishing a book I *love*

I also love characters and worry about them between books in a series.

I'm addicted to The Infernal Devices series and Outlander!!! Not to mention Flavia de Luce, and I worry about what will happen to her in the next book!

GREAT post. I'm your newest follower.

Ricki Jill

Jeanne Henriques said...

I totally get that feeling Leslie. I have had a different dilemma. Our book group seems to go from one gripping tale to another, always involving tragedy and heartbreak. I love the swept up with compassion and sympathy and then am left holding onto an empty box of tissues when the last word has leapt off the page. I tried going to a softer, lighter book right after and felt it was too slow…I wasn't ready. I am taking a book break..time will tell and then I will be raring to go again. Thanks for your suggestions, always appreciated! xx

MelanHelen said...

I read series books (mostly semi-cozy mysteries) just to avoid that feeling!

However, I just finished "The Beekeeper's Apprentice," the first book in the Laurie R. King Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes series, and when I closed the book I was disappointed that I didn't have the next book in hand right at that moment -- past midnight on a work night.

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