Weird Book Rituals

On Friday, I received the latest (and last) book in the Percy Jackson series: The Last Olympian.  I’ve been waiting for almost a year for this last book in the series.  I’m almost done with it and if I hadn’t fallen asleep reading the past two nights (no fault of the book…it’s great.  I blame my sleepiness on the NBA playoffs) I would be finished by now.   I have this weird ritual involving the end of a book series, ok pretty much any new book, but I take special joy in celebrating the end of a series.

First I have to hold the book for a few minutes.  For as techie oriented as I am, I’ll always choose to physically read a book in lieu of reading it on the computer.  There are too many experiences involved in reading a book.  I love the scent of a new book, and knowing that I’m the first person to open the cover and flip through the pages.

After just holding the book for a while, I start analyzing the cover art trying to identify any foreshadowing or symbolism. As terrible as this is for anyone (especially a librarian) to admit, I do occasionally judge a book by it’s cover.  Don’t cringe, I know….it’s a flaw.  The artwork on some books (the US versions of Harry Potter — THANK you Mary GrandPre) are almost as delectable as the story inside.

I’m a font freak.  I love looking at them, analyzing why a particular font was chosen.  I like the shape of letters and the structures of words.  I like looking at different text and seeing the impact of the typesetting and how it can alter and affect the tone of a book.  I love when authors use different styles of fonts to indicate other speakers or change in time or setting.

I need a quiet spot to read, most of the time I need to be alone in a room or in my bed with just my reading light on.  Ever since I was a little girl, I would read late into the night.  My mom used to have to take my books away so I could go to sleep.  Even now, I’ll read until the wee hours of the night just so I can finish a chapter or two.  I’m a little obsessed with finishing a book.

When I was ready to read Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, I sat in a recliner with a huge bottle of water, some snacks and a blanket.  I held that book for at least 30 minutes before I even opened it.  This was it.  The end of it all.   Soon, I would have all the answers I thought I was waiting for.  12 hours later I learned that wasn’t true…darn you JK Rowling!!

When I read the last page and closed the book, I remember blowing out a huge sigh of relief.  Relief that I had finished the series and that I saw something to completion.  I had major surgery 5 months before the book was published and I remember trying to calm myself down on the way to the OR by repeating “things will be ok.  I have to be around to find out what happens to Harry” over and over.  Inside my head…otherwise they would have taken to the psych ward instead of the OR.

I’m a disgustingly fast reader and I continually have to force myself to read slowly so I can enjoy a book more, but it’s a losing battle.  I’ve always been a fast reader and would often read 2 books a day when I was growing up.   I’ve been reading since a very early age and can’t remember going a day without reading a book. I’m so very lucky to have the financial means to feed my love of books.  I’m pretty sure I spend more money on books than I do on clothing.  Is that wrong?

what about you my fellow book lovers.  Do you have any weird book rituals?

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2 Responses to Weird Book Rituals

  1. Jen says:

    Ok, when I get near the end of a really great book, I sometimes avoid actually finishing it because I know I will suffer post-reading depression. Of course, I do inevitably finish it. Then I actually get sad and lonely feelings. I know, I have some reality vs non-reality issues.

    • Chris says:

      I feel the exact same way. I’m always forming unhealthy attachments, as I like to call them, with books and characters and places. That line between reality and fantasy is awfully blurry sometimes. Now I must rendezvous with Percy Jackson before Kronos comes back and causes another volcano to erupt.

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