How to Cope with Sad Books {with Gifs}

     Maybe you know what it's like: a book keeps you spellbound, hanging on its every word, and the characters play with your heartstrings until you're crying over their deaths. I know. I've been there.

     "Sticks and stones may break your bones, but tv shows and books will crush your soul to a million pieces." (Which reminds me that this is all too true for tv shows too...I mean, you're reading the girl who cried in The Office [that finale, man!!!] and Once Upon a Time. :P )

     Today, we're examining all the ways books tear our hearts out and how we can cope with sad books.

     Whew! I don't know if you've ever read The Maze Runner by James Dashner, but it is definitely one of those sad books. It even made my list of fictional characters that should not have died [spoilers], one of my most popular posts ever.

     Other books that made me cry:
  • The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  • Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
  • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J. K. Rowling
     These kinds of books make you want to scream and hurl the book across the room (or, in the case above, give the book a time-out...which probably doesn't help a whole lot...)


     When you experience emotional trauma at the hands of a paperback, it's disconcerting to look up and find everyone carrying on with their own lives.

     How do we mourn all alone? Don't worry, I'm getting to it.

     I think you really do go through stages of grief, however speedily, when a fictional character dies.

     It makes you a more compassionate person. (I read it online, so it must be true.)

     But what about the times you're just ugly crying, and no one is around? What if you don't have friends who have read the book to call and rant with?

     There is no perfect solution, but privacy and thinking about all the good times you had with that book might help. (Oh, listen to me: I sound ridiculous!)

     If you feel like the book has betrayed you, try writing an alternative ending.

     If you're angry, write a note to a character or the author, then rip it into a million tiny pieces.

     If you're really wrecked by it, maybe try some lighter fiction next time.

     And stop taking it so seriously. It's just a book. ;)

     If you want to have a better reading life, you're just gonna have to learn to deal with sad books.


This post is part of my 31 Days to a Better Reading Life series.

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