Good Grief: when the story is over

Dear Vi,

I just finished reading the Best Book. Really good. You should read it, too.

Except…I was nearing the end when I read the last two words on the left hand side: “It’s okay.” And then I shifted the book a bit in my hand as my eyes slid to the next page on the right and what I assumed was the next chapter.

But instead of the next chapter, I read the word “Acknowledgments,” and “First, thanks to Frank…“.

There was no blank page to signal the book was over. Not even a good old fashioned The End in fancy flowing script.

Here’s the thing: when I finish a book – especially a good book, I like to savour the ending.

I like to set the book down on my lap and gaze at the ceiling for a few minutes, absorbing what I just read, reflecting on it a bit. Maybe I have a little introspective smile on my face. Maybe I think about turning the book over and reading it again.

So, in the absence of a blank page following those final words, I was robbed of all that delicious savouring.

I tried to go back and read the ending again, capture the aborted moment, but it was gone. Forever.

In a funny little way that I’m embarrassed to admit, the entire book was diminished for me. Instead of that final minute of reflection, of easing back into the ordinary world, the transition was abrupt and jarring.

I need to take a minute to savour what I’ve read…then turn the page when I’m ready to ease myself back into the world, and read the author’s thank you’s to everyone who helped along the way.

However…the book really was excellent and I’m glad I found it in the library. Give it a read and see what you think.

How do you like to finish a good book?

2 thoughts on “Good Grief: when the story is over

  1. I am a savourer, like you. I like to hold the closed book in my hands a few minutes, maybe hug it, maybe think about what the next chapter might be, or reflect on how the characters got to the ending, what they learned. An abrupt ending would be terrible!

  2. Omg, I hate when that happens! Or when there’s extra content at the end when you thought it was part of the actual story. I like to savor the ending too. Unless it’s a book I’m just slogging through–then the ending can’t come soon enough. But if I read the last page without knowing it’s the last page, I get really upset and feel almost betrayed. I’ll sometimes flip forward to see how many pages I have left to just to make sure that doesn’t happen. But then I have to be careful to not actually read any text.

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