The Cost of Awesomeness
by P.E. Mari 9:10 am 10 comments
I went on a bit of a mini vacation this week and the one thing I made sure to do before leaving was to download some books onto my Kobo. I went to Toronto by bus and it's a five to six hour bus ride so I needed to keep myself occupied or else I'd go insane.
Being the absolutely broke student that I am, I usually check out books from the library's e-catalogue and that day, I struck gold. Oh my gosh I got a bunch of super awesome books, headlined by a book I've been dying to read for the longest time, Quintana of Charyn. You know, the finale in that incredible series I rave about to whomever listens, by that author who's writing I enjoy so much that I wrote a whole post about it.
I was in heaven. I did a happy dance and hugged my little Kobo and I couldn't wait to get on that bus. And on the bus, I was in the best mood. I had Doritos (regular nacho and Inferno), Hershey's Dark Chocolate, a blueberry muffin from a rest stop, and some water. Those are all among my favourite foods, but the only time I desired any single one of them was when I forced myself to take a break from reading.
I was so emotionally invested to this book, this freakin' amazing book, that sometimes I had to stop or I'd cry on the bus (even at happy scenes!) or laugh too hard, or I'd read something so chilling I'd need something real and substantial to remind me that, even though I felt so many emotions while reading, incomprehensibly this wasn't real. The emotions felt real, and I had to control them.
I finished reading Quintana of Charyn on the way back home. Another drive, this time in a car. I didn't have much left to read, but I was fully engrossed in Quintana of Charyn while I had it. That ending was spectacular. I was in the middle seat of a car getting punched by my sister because that's what we do when we see yellow cars and my mom and aunt were gossiping away in Farsi with my uncle making the occasional comment here and there, and this was a fantastic reading experience despite the noise or being cramped with no room to put my feet. This was awesome. I was reading an awesome book.
Finding an awesome book is like a reader's Christmas. The special ones are rare and they are works of art; stuff I worship as a blogger and a reader. Reading the book is incredible, and the ending is always the best part. It's what comes after that reminds me that like everything in life, there is a give and take.
After I read this book, I closed it and realized there were four more hours to go on the car ride back home. I first closed the book and thought about it. The ending was satisfying and you know the feeling you get when you encounter something great? One of those totally inspired moments like, DAMN, people are amazing for being able to create something like this. After savouring the ending, I immediately started the review because I want all of you people to realize how amazing Quintana of Charyn is. (Stay tuned over the next few weeks.)
Writing a review is cathartic, especially after reading an emotionally demanding book. It helps you sort out your thoughts and sometimes you realize there is no possible way you can write a review that will serve the book justice, but you try anyway because you're a blogger and this book deserves a great review. It took me an hour and a half to write the review because I had to stop and think about how to frame it. Not too gushy (I probably failed), not too long.
After finishing the review, that's when I felt awful. It's done. The story is over. This amazing story that has given me such joy for countless hours is over and it feels awful. I opened my Kobo. I had downloaded seven books from the library and they were all titles with lots of acclaim and hype. I chose one and I flicked to the first page. I spent what felt like a long time staring at the page, unable to absorb any word until I realized that I couldn't read another book.
You see, great books don't come around very often and enjoying them is one of life's best pleasures. The after though, after reading the book and writing the review, is hard. You don't want to forget this book. You feel like while the next book may possibly be good, it's not the culmination of one of your favourite fantastical trilogies by one of the best YA authors out there. I always wonder, will I ever find a book I'll enjoy as much as this great one? Sometimes it's a long time in between these books and reading them is like seeing colours in a black and white world.
Every single first "after book" I've ever read has disappointed me. Sometimes I wonder if it's because I'm comparing the two. If so, it's not fair. My heart is probably still with the first book. Days after reading Quintana of Charyn, I couldn't read anything else. Nothing could compare. I was a bit in withdrawal.
This isn't something that is known only to books. It's the same after watching your favourite sports team get eliminated in the playoffs. It hurts. It's over. I personally have to step back afterwards, usually missing much of the rest of the playoffs, before it's bearable to watch the sport again.
So upon reflection, this isn't something new to me. I do it all the time, because with all things great, there is a cost. I can't read a great book and then go on to read another book. I need a few days to calm my mind and organize my thoughts. It especially sucks when you have to do that stuck inside a car for four hours with a seven year old. It's the cost of awesomeness, and it's worth it.