I wake up in my bed with a pang of sadness. I just feel so incredibly sad and I don’t even know why. Oh, wait, I do know why. It’s just that it sounds, well, rather silly.
I’m mourning a book series I just finished reading, and it’s always been like this whenever I finish a book series I’ve grown attached to. I can’t bring myself to start reading something new, I haven’t said goodbye to the characters I’ve come to love and hate yet, I’m not ready to let go. So I’m mourning because it’s the end of three, maybe six or seven books, because I’m forced to let them go and I know there is nothing left for me. Their story ended and I have to move on, but I don’t really want to.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been a bookworm. And a major one at that. I was the kind of kid who read the school text books from page to page within the first week of getting them every single year. When I was in elementary school and my class took the first trip to the local library to have a library card issued to each of us, I was ecstatic. I remember clutching the white plastic card to my chest and asking one of the pretty librarians how many books I was allowed to bring home with me. Needless to say I was the kid who didn’t want to leave the library and wanted to borrow more books than I could carry. I used to bring plastic bags full of books home every few weeks, and since I grew up in an asian family which meant I had to walk home, it wasn’t an easy feat.
I was reading so much as a child that at one point my mother actually banned me from reading books. I know what you’re thinking, ‘What sane parent bans her child from reading?’. I know it sounds insane, but I preferred reading over playing with other children, which ultimately lead my mother to believe I would grow up to be socially dysfunctional (it’s OK mom, I turned out just fine), so banning of all books it was. But how on earth could I not read? I mean, I was (am) the kind of person who got so bored when I didn’t have a book to read that I would read the labels on tin cans and milk cartons because I didn’t have anything better to read. So you see I stayed up late in the evenings to read and stuffed the keyhole to my bedroom with paper so that my mother couldn’t see the light from my room shining through, and you know when your mother comes in sometimes to check if you’re sleeping? Yeah, that’s me quickly hiding the book under my duvet and pretending I’m asleep.
By the time I went to high school my friends used to say I had probably read half the local library, which by the way is an exaggeration. I did read most of the children’s and young adult sections, but I barely touched the adult books. I don’t really know why I never did, even to this day at my newly celebrated ‘adult age’ of 21 I actually prefer young adult fiction over ‘proper’ adult fiction. I enjoy my classics, Shakespeare is indeed one of my heroes, and thought provoking books are absolute treasures, but I have to admit young adult fiction is my favourite kind of book to get carried away in.
Which brings me to just how carried away and emotional I get when I have a novel in front of me. I get so carried away that I finish a novel at the size of 400-500 pages a day if I don’t have to go to work or lectures, and I get so caught up in what’s happening on the pages that I tune absolutely everything out. You’ll probably have to shake me or do something physical to get my attention, simply calling my name won’t work. One of my best friends was quite disappointed in me the other day when I missed out on the most hilarious sight of her brother trying to stuff a big bag of skittles in his mouth. Because I was reading. So you see, I can’t live without my books and I find it quite hard to part with book series that made me laugh or cry or whimper in anguish.
I don’t know, waking up after finishing a book series feeling devastated, perhaps it isn’t such an abnormality at all?