Don’t you just hate it when your day becomes ruined by a book?
I sure don’t.
You see, when you read as much as I do, stories become familiar. They fall into patterns. As you read, you think, “I’ve seen this plot before. I’ve met these characters. I know how this is going to end.” Without realizing it, your standards skyrocket and a couple of things can happen: you become a snob or you lower your standards. I’ve done both. There are times when I’ve turned up my nose on stories because their predictability is beneath me. There are also times when I’ve pushed aside that critical voice and chosen to enjoy things for what they are.
All the while, though, I have this tug in the back of my mind–this nagging desire to read that one story that is going to sweep me away and leave me breathless. My subconscious knows what kind of story it longs to get lost in… I just need to go out and find it. This longing propels me forward, keeps me reading. Despite genuinely enjoying almost everything I choose to read, there’s always the hope that the next book will be it.
So I read. I read book after book after book. I read so much that the endless stream of stories drowns out the little voice in the back of my mind. Years pass and I become so entrenched that I forget why I’m reading. I simply push forward.
And then, it happens and and it catches me completely by surprise.
I strike gold: a story that sucks me in, knocks me down, pulls me along, and seeps into me. It blocks everything out, setting its claws deep into my imagination. I’m in its thrall. During the day, I spend my hours desperately longing to be back between the pages. At night, hours slip by in the blink of an eye and, before I know it, the night is half gone.
It’s so rare that a story affects me like this and, honestly, it’s one of my favorite feelings in the world. I love, love, love the sheer delight of being so lost in a book that it follows me everywhere. I relish the tension of wanting to know what happens next and never wanting it to end. Of course, the gnawing urge to continue turning the page usually wins. It’s a bittersweet thing. As the story flashes by, I mourn the impending end with each page.
Anyway, I guess what I’m trying to say is that my day was beautifully wrecked by a book. I don’t have to be at work at all and had great plans for all the things I was going to accomplish. I was going to clean the house, go to the gym, paint, organize a nice dinner for my family, and write a new Literary Pilgrimage post. But, instead, I stayed up until midnight last night reading and, as soon as I was awake this morning, picked the book back up and didn’t move until I reached the end four hours later.
Now, I don’t know what to do with myself. I’m still basking in the glow.
In case you’re wondering, the book (or, rather, books) in question is the A Court of Thorns and Roses series by Sarah J. Maas. I read the first book last weekend and loved it so much that, when I got to the end, went right back to the beginning and read it again. It was the second in the series, A Court of Mist and Fury, that wonderfully disrupted my day.
Now I’m waiting on the edge of my seat for the third book to come out in May.
Have you ever been wrecked by a book? What was it? What did you love so much about it?