Earlier this week, while Jess was helping me decide what book to read next (one of many reasons why having a librarian in your life is awesome!) she asked me, “Do you have book fear?” You see, I planned to read Ned Vizzini’s It’s Kind of a Funny Story, and after weeks on the waiting list at the New York Public Library, it was finally my turn. But after 2 pages, I realized I couldn’t continue. Don’t get me wrong – the book was wonderful so far. But I was afraid it would make me feel sad.
As Jess explained her theory of “Book Fear” – that feeling that keeps you from reading a book because you’re afraid of how it will make you feel – I realized, I DEFINITELY have book fear!
Book fear can be rational – I’m afraid to open Nic Bishop’s Spiders because I am highly afraid of spiders! But they can also be completely irrational. I was scared to read Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. I read 100 Years of Solitude and fell in love with the beautiful way he writes. It’s one of my all-time favorite books and my fear was that if I read another one of his books, it wouldn’t be as good and I wouldn’t like him as much…crazy, I know.
Or you could have book fear about how it will make you feel, which is how I felt about It’s Kind of a Funny Story. When I finally read Love in the Time of Cholera, I couldn’t believe I put off such an amazing book! Hopefully, one of these days, I’ll conquer my book fear. There are so many wonderful books out there…if you’re brave enough to read them.
Do you have book fear?