BY: GABBY DUNN
Starting a new book is a risk, just like falling in love. You have to commit to it. You open the pages knowing a little bit about it maybe, from the back or from a blurb on the front. But who knows, right? Those bits and pieces aren’t always right. Sometimes people advertise themselves as one thing and then when you get deep into it you realize that they’re something completely different. Either there was some good marketing attached to a terrible book, or the story was only explained in a superficial way and once you reach the middle of the book, you realize there’s so much more to this book than anyone could have ever told you.
You start off slow. The story is beginning to unfold. You’re unsure. It’s a big commitment lugging this tome around. Maybe this book won’t be that great but you’ll feel guilty about putting it down. Maybe it’ll be so awful you’ll keep hate-reading or just set it down immediately and never pick it up again. Or maybe you’ll come back to it some night, drunk or lonely — needing something to fill the time, but it won’t be any better than it was when you first started reading it.
Maybe you’re worn out. You’ve read tons of books before. Some were just light weights on a Kindle or Nook, no big deal really. Others were Infinite Jest-style burdens. Heavy on your back or in your purse. Weighing you down all the time. Maybe you’ve taken some time off from reading because the last few books you read just weren’t worth it. Do they even write new, great works of literature anymore? Maybe that time you fell in love with a book before will just never happen for you again. Maybe it’s a once in a lifetime feeling and you’re never gonna find it again.
Or something exciting could happen. Maybe this will become your new favorite book. That’s always a possibility right? That’s the beauty of risk. The reward could actually be worth it. You invest your time and your brain power in the words and what you get back is empathy and a new understanding and pure wonder. How could someone possibly know you like this? Some stranger, some author, some character. It’s like they’re seeing inside your soul. This book existed inside some book store, on a shelf, maybe handled by other people and really it was just waiting for you pick it up and crack the spine. It was waiting to speak to you. To say, “You are not alone.”
You just want more of the story. You want to keep reading, maybe everything this author’s ever written. You wish it would never end. The closer it gets to the smaller side of the pages, the slower you read, wanting to savor it all. This book is now one of your favorites forever. You will always wish you could go back to never having read it and pick it up fresh again, but also you know you’re better for having this close, inside you, covering your heart and mind.
Once you get in deep enough, you know you could never put this book down.