Sitting here, right now, I’m trying to figure out the answer to a question. I know I’ve wondered about it hundreds, maybe even thousands of times, but I still can’t answer it.
The question is, what do you do after you finish reading a book? Are you supposed to just move on and pretend that you didn’t really get anything out of the book? Even when you really did? Or are you supposed to sit and think about it, even if you’re getting strange looks from your younger siblings because you’re sitting on the stairs, with a book in your hands and tears streaming down your cheeks?
About a month ago, I was sitting next to a friend at church, right before the sermon started. Her friend had just given her back a book that she had borrowed. It was a book I’d heard of before, but didn’t know much about, and, of course, hadn’t read yet. My friend offered to let me borrow it, and there was no way I could turn it down.
The book was titled The Book Thief. Basically, it’s about a girl living in Germany during World War II. It’s not a simple read that you can demolish in one afternoon as a time waster. You might be able to read it in one afternoon, I don’t know, but it’s still not a simple, easy book. It took me a month to read it. I feel really ashamed about that, but I was having a hard time reading anything. It wasn’t until yesterday that boredom finally cured me.
And so, I finished it today, about ten minutes ago. It was a good book. I enjoyed it. It did make me cry, but I am a female who finally understands the taste of grief, so I’ve been crying at a lot of books lately. (Believe it or not, A Mango Shaped Space by Wendy Mass is in my list of books that I cried at.)
So, now I’m just wondering. When a book really touches you, what are you supposed to do? I’m not particularly fond of the idea of sitting on the stairs while my brothers half-argue with each other over something ridiculous and half-stare at me like something weird happened. But, at the same time, just continuing on with my life like nothing happened feels wrong, somehow. Like I’m not giving those poor characters what they deserve—even if they’re entirely fictional.
As you can tell, I ended up writing this blog post. But I still don’t have an answer to that question. Do you?