So Long, Old Friend

Finishing a book is always bitter-sweet.  On one hand, there is a feeling of accomplishment (particularly if it is a rather large book), but on the other hand, there is a feeling of great loss.  At the end of a book I always feel like I am saying goodbye to a good friend.  (Note: This does not apply to a book that has been nothing but an unpleasant struggle to get through; i.e. The Old Man and the Sea.)

When I read a book I allow myself to be completely immersed in the story; I get totally lost in their world (and I wouldn’t have it any other way!).  I develop an emotional attachment to the people and places in this new world.  Their friends become my friends, their enemies, my enemies.  Their joys are my joys and their sorrows are my sorrows.

My first emotion upon finishing a book is sadness.  Then comes accomplishment.  Or is it the other way around?  I have a hard time letting go of my new friends; of the new world that I have become a part of.  I almost always wonder what will happen to the characters next.  Will they succeed in their ventures, will they live happily ever after?  I have come to realize that when I read a book, it becomes a part of my identify; it shapes who I am in it’s own way.  And in this way the story is not completely over, because it lives on in me.  And that brings me comfort.  Also, now that I have finished one journey, I am free to begin another!  I get to travel to a whole new world, meet new friends, encounter new adventures.  And that is the beauty of reading:  you can go on a million journeys without ever leaving the confines of your living room!  And unlike real life, you can even re-live them over and over again!

Last night I finished “Wickett’s Remedy” by Myla Goldberg.  It’s about Lydia’s life and experiences during the 1918 Spanish Influenza epidemic.  A great little piece of historical fiction (one of my favorite genres).  Next up on the docket is “Bikini Season” by Sheila Roberts.  Three things attracted me to this book.  The title caught my attention, as it seemed like it might be a funny, “light” book.  Then the description on the back reeled me in.  Check this out:

Erin Merritt has returned to her scenic hometown of Heart Lake to plan her wedding, but when she repeatedly runs into her childhood crush, she wonders if she’s engaged to the wrong man.  To make matters worse, all the stress is making her eat, and now she can’t fit into her wedding dress.

An accolade on the front cover sealed the deal.  “Bikini Season deals with that most painful of annual rituals, fitting into one’s swimsuit.  But it’s really about so much more–fitting into one’s life.”–Susan Wiggs.  I can’t wait to dive in and meet the new friends that await me in this story.  I’ll let you know if it’s any good! 😉

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