I recently read a blog post that was… odd. A bit confusing. Possibly a joke?
The post, in case you’re not interested in clicking the link, is about the concept of the “book hangover,” when a reader becomes so enmeshed in the story he or she is reading that the real world seems less real than the world of the book just finished. A concept that was conveyed as confusing and immature by the poster:
With all that being said, I’ve never experienced this book hangover nonsense. It’s called being a mature individual, if you ask me. I can imagine a seven-year-old talking about a book hangover (in other terms, of course) or even a 12-year-old. But I can’t see an adult talking about being lost in the world of the book they just finished the night before. That’s what I call an excuse.”
I find this reaction… interesting. As an avid reader myself, one of the reasons I read is to get lost in the world of the book I am reading at any point in time. Some authors draw me in more successfully than others (some have even failed to draw me in at all). The idea that a book was so powerfully written, and spoke to you as a reader so strongly, that you are still thinking – in fact, can’t help thinking – about it the next day? That’s a wonderful concept to me. To read a book that causes you to see the world around you differently? Also excellent. To read a book that has a world that feels so real the world around you seems like a paltry illusion by comparison? Genius.
I know that different readers have different perceptions, and reading for any reason, not just the reasons I read, is a good thing. But it is difficult to remain open-minded and accepting of a blog post that uses phrases such as the last sentence of the above quote (“That’s what I call an excuse”), in which it seems the author of the post is not willing to extend a similar courtesy towards readers other than himself reading his blog post.
Also, an excuse for what? Being late for work? Masturbating furiously? Time travel?
Oh, and the “…all that being said?”
But really, I like books just as much as the next person. Actually, I probably like them more.
I’ll refrain from requesting clarification as to who “the next person” is, and just note that if you’re qualifying your degree of affection for books with the verb “like,” you probably don’t “like” books as much as the average voracious reader.
I’ve talked about my future intention of getting multiple literary-inspired tattoos. I’ve posted on here around 500 times. I have my little library of books right here next to me. And I have a few series that I’ve loved just like any other person.”
Um… okay. What does getting tattoos have to do with liking books? Or posting blog posts? Are the blog posts literarily related? I mean, liking to write, while it shouldn’t be separated from a love of reading, is still capable of being thus severed. Although, the correct bibliophile verb is used in that last sentence.
Then, we come to this excerpt:
In the minutes immediately following the completion of a good book I might think to myself about how great it was or I might write a post on here it if it’s from the Amazon list, but that’s it. I usually forget about the books I read after a short time because I move on to read something else. I could maybe describe the plots of ten books I’ve read because the stories were that great, but I’d need a gentle reminder for just about everything else.”
Um… what? Why do you read if you don’t remember what you read shortly thereafter? What is the pleasure, if not an escape of sorts that is apparently all too easily given up for a return to the “real” world? And ten books? I mean, I probably read more books than that in high school that I can recount the plots of (and high school was… further back than I wish to admit), not all of which I particularly enjoyed (don’t even get me started on Great Expectations).
Of course, this entire post is predicated on the premise that the post about which I am ruminating is written with completely serious intentions, and the actual intentions of the author are something of which I can never be entirely certain. Perhaps the post was written to get people commenting, sharing, etc. (and if so, it worked, because his post already has more comments than my entire blog thus far). Perhaps this post was written as a joke. Perhaps I’m more biased than I should be because I am one of the commenters on this other post, and the response to both my comment and that of other posters was condescending and included emoticons.
I don’t know. What do you think?