I just finished reading Landline by Rainbow Rowell today (review will be coming soon), and it got me thinking about just how much an amazing author can make me FEEL! Landline had me running the whole gamut of emotions and it got me thinking about them. I honestly think that I often feel more from reading than I do from watching TV – heck, sometimes more than I do in real life (at least I feel more emotions packed into a short amount of time than I do on a typical day). So. Many. Feels.
(The pictures are my kiddos.)
Laughter – I love a book that can make me laugh out loud. With Landline, I laughed often at the witty dialogue (and at the main character’s inner thoughts, which were often just incredibly funny). Another recent read that had me laughing and smiling throughout was Maybe Someday By Colleen Hoover. Now, neither of these books are comedies – my husband heard me laughing so often at Maybe Someday that he had to ask what the book was about. To which, I sheepishly responded, “Well, there’s this girl who just found out her boyfriend is cheating on her … ” Cue perplexed look from my husband. What, that doesn’t sound hysterical?
Anger – Have you ever read a book where a character made you so angry that you just wanted to strangle them? I have. Maybe it’s just because they did something so incredibly stupid that I wanted to smack some sense into them. Or there have been times when someone treated a character that I had come to love so miserably that I just wanted to scream. Sometimes anger at a book makes it better because it means you care, and sometimes you just get angry at a character’s actions and it ruins the book for you. I remember when I read Everything You Know by Mary Beth Bass and I was so aggravated with the love interest. He was just a jerk! He pretty much spent the whole book pressuring the main character to have sex with him and then acting like an immature moron when she said she wasn’t ready (it was a case of instalove too, so it’s not like they’d been together long). I really wanted to throw the book across the room!!! But then my Kindle would have broken, and I’d have had to move on to my next emotion …
Tears – I’m a crier. I cry. A lot. Ask my husband. We get into a fight – I cry. Even when I try really hard not to. So I guess it should be no surprise that tears often fall when I’m reading. Sometimes it’s just that my eyes tear up and I have to kind of blink a lot if I’m in public (had to do that a few times today while reading Landline at my son’s violin lesson – his violin teacher might not have understood if I started bawling in the middle of Seitz Student Concerto #5 – maybe I could have claimed I was just really moved by the music?) Then there are those books that make me sob. The most extreme example of this that I can think of is Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma. Seriously, when one of the main characters suffered a panic attack of sorts, I practically went through it with him – I was sobbing and near hyperventilation. I don’t know how Suzuma got me to connect with her characters so deeply, but I was literally living through his emotions with him. It was a bit insane!
Love – Okay, it’s not as if I’m saying that I actually fall in love when I read a book, but I certainly do often feel the physical effects of those swoon-worthy scenes (and I’m not just talking about the intimate scenes, though there are certainly some physical responses to those!). I often actually experience those tingles that come from first love, the heart-pounding intensity that comes from a moment stolen between the main couple I’ve been dying to see get together. And then there’s the heartbreaking moments. The moments when the main character feels insecurity and pain over unrequited love. The moments where a couple I’ve come to love starts breaking apart at the seams, where a marriage starts to crumble. These moments sometimes make me cry. But they inevitably give me a very particular physical reaction – my chest tightens, and I get a sort of hollow ache that starts in my chest and radiates through my body. I literally ache for the characters. Is this just me?
So, I’m curious – do you feel emotions this strongly when you read? Do you respond physically to the gut wrenching pain of the characters you read about? What are the emotions that hit you the hardest? Have I missed anything? I want to know!