Wednesday, December 19, 2012
That's the big question, isn't it? What to read next?
Probably one of my biggest pet peeves about reading a book is the book-hangover I always get after reading something good. The feeling that all my emotions have been ripped out of me, leaving me hollow and out of it. The depression after it, knowing that a lot of characters have probably just died, and now you’re stuck in a bad mood until you find something else to read. That's the problem.
The first time I got a really bad book hangover was after finishing Harry Potter. The first two books just left me in a nervous frenzy, dying to get the next one. "Prisoner of Azkaban" left me disappointed there was nothing left to read. "Goblet of Fire" left me depressed. The other three books? I barely survived them.
The craving for more good literature that wasn't written in the 1700's drove me to reading the whole series less than a month afterwards. Then again a month after that. Then again and again until I was at the point that I'd take one HP book out from the library and read it continuously until it was due.
After reading it 12 times in one summer, I finally threw down my wand and began to search the library for something else to read. I'd find books containing magic and sorcery, but the story would never be as good as Harry Potter. The main characters wouldn't have the appeal Harry would. The authors just weren't J.K. Rowling.
I began to despair. I was certain I had read the best in the world and nothing would ever come along that captivated me as much as Harry Potter then. My school books all seemed beyond boring. All my old favorites were pale in comparison. I stayed into that frame of mind until the December after that, when my uncle sent my sister a book called "The Lightening Thief" by Rick Riorden.
Around that time, they were releasing a movie for it, so adds for the movie appeared on all my brother's favorite channels. It seemed like a really preteeny movie, something along the lines of iCarly, or High school musical. I read the first three pages of the book, saw that it started at a school, and gave up.
A month later I was desperate. I had absolutely nothing to read, period. I began to worry I would become illiterate.
I was looking through my shelf again in agony, when a paperback book fell and hit me on the head. I looked down at it and sighed. I decided to give it another chance.
Next summer, I decided to finish the series. Got the second book from the library, wasn’t impressed until the ending. Decided to get the third. Then the fourth. I was in love with it by the fifth.
Looking back now, I don't see how I could have ever disliked it. The first chapter draws you in, the characters are beyond loveable, the writing humorous and constantly interesting. As the series went on, the books got even more exciting, the characters even more likeable, and my love for it grew into obsession. I patiently waited for the authors next series, (which I had also started during a book hang over, and, at first, I also didn't like, until I re-read it and saw what an idiot I was,) and even got a twitter, partially so I could follow him. (Geeky, I know.) Now, it is the first series I recommend to people (mostly kids, especially middle schoolers) when they're not a fan of books, or looking for the next big thing to read.
The moral of this story? No, it’s not an ad for the books (however, if you get the change, look up "Percy Jackson and the Olympians" and check it out. You shall not be disappointed.) The moral of the story is--deal with the book hangover. It's horrible when you’re stuck in it. But it will end. And it’s totally worth it too. I wouldn't trade the experience of reading Harry Potter for anything. As for coping with book hangovers, I've learned that as long as you keep an open mind and don’t give up, it will end. And then it'll be awesome.
Posted by unsocialized homeschooler