Like many avid readers, I’ve developed some reading quirks. Most of you have heard about my series anxiety. I get a copy of a much-anticipated book in a favorite series and then let it sit on my coffee table. I don’t want it to disappoint. I have to mentally prepare myself for it. It’s a problem. I know. Eventually, I dive in and devour the pages, coming out the other side as a happier reader.
Well, when reading one of those few series that gives me the “am I ready to do this?” butterflies every time, I discovered something new. I was working my way through Chloe Neill’s House Rules. (Review to come and giveaway goodness, to boot.) The tension was mounting. Everything was going good for Merit & Co. I could see the cracks, though. I knew the world would have to come crashing down any moment. Relationship woes had to be coming. Secrets had to be revealed. Basically, everything was so riveting and so tense I was convinced the world was about to come crashing down on my beloved characters.
So, I stopped.
Yep. I sat the book down and did something else. I just really didn’t want to have to chuck that book across the room. I didn’t want to scream at the characters for keeping secrets or making poor decisions. I wasn’t ready to watch it burn, which is typically my favorite part.
I took a breather and came back to the novel the next day. Devoured it. I handled the events much better (and they weren’t nearly as bad as I feared), and enjoyed the process. But I have to admit this was the first time I ever just said no to experiencing “throw the book” intensity. I plowed head-first in Richelle Mead’s Succubus Dreams, which made me ugly cry. I burrowed in deeper when Chess said and did everything wrong with Terrible in the latter Downside Ghosts books. So, where did this new-found restraint come from?
I’m looking to my fellow readers to feel less weird about it all. Have you ever put a book down because the tension was getting too high for you? Did you ever just need a break from the overwhelming nature of a novel? I’m not talking about the bad kind, but something so good you fear it’ll pull you under.
Hit the comments. Assuage my fears of being the only one who has done this!