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Reader's Ambivalence

Image courtesy of dan
at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Have you ever felt the thing called "reader's ambivalence"? It's a mental condition/ feeling/ disposition that I made up a term for.  

But I have been wanting to call IT a name. You know, that feeling you get when you approach the end of an incredibly engaging book. Well, fiction mostly. Definitely biographies. Maybe poetry, selectively. 

You want to reach the end because even if you have only too willingly succumbed to the temptation (again and again and again) of reading just a wee bit of the end, there is nothing like getting there in the proper chronological way -- the way the author would have wanted you to get to the end. The only way that you can claim part of the book because it has made you think, feel, laugh, cry (don't you just love the taste of salt in your tears mingled with the smell of the old pages of a sturdy hardbound book?), breathe deeply, sigh, and belong. Belong to the place and time and events of the story that has become real to you.   

And yet, you also want the book to end. Quickly. Now. So you can move on, so to speak. Because you are exhausted, way too involved, too spent from irreverently laughing and/or uncontrollably weeping, or maybe just feeling empty. You have better run out of pages to turn because you just want to stop and sit still and rest. 

Because there's another book waiting to be read.


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