Reader’s Anxiety

I'm even getting some anxiety from this book pile. I know it's for an artistic look, but YEESH someone straighten them.

I just got immensely discouraged because I had been writing this post in class (I was also paying attention…it’s possible) and hit save draft when class was over…yet I don’t see my post. Anywhere.

So here we go again. I’ll try not to let my frustration color the post.

Reader’s anxiety! Sounds like something we can all relate to in some form or fashion, right? There can be many definitions:

  • That feeling you get when you’re reading a book and AHH anxiety! pops up because of suspense, pain or knowledge of pain for characters (if you’ve ever read the Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin, you know this feeling) or good writing leading you to a point which you don’t quite know how you got to. Any numerous feelings that can feed the anxiety monster.
  • Anxiety at not being able to finish a book fast enough or having to put it down for, you know, LIFE and stuff because it’s so good!
  • On the other hand…anxiety of having to read a book for school or to finish it just to get it over with because it’s SO NOT GOOD.

These all qualify, certainly, but I feel like another one that most people might not admit to, is the anxiety you feel from not being able to just ABSORB all the books you want to explore. I know it’s because of my impatience and ADD, but for some it’s the knowing that you can’t read all the books and that’s sad. My ex boyfriend said he didn’t like to read because what was the point? He couldn’t read ALL the books so why try one? His logic dumbfounded me, and needless to say, we are ex’s (exes?). Thank God. But back on track…I hope you guys know what I mean when I say that I get a feverish/anxiety-ish feeling knowing there are books out there for me to read and think about and ponder over and OH GOODNESS it’s so awesome, isn’t it? This is a contributing factor to the state of my bookshelf. It’s filled with half-read or just-started books with the exception of one or two not started or a couple finished that I can’t bear to part from.

There’s also the anxiety of the English major, which is having to read copious amounts of literature for school and having copious amounts of literature sitting at home to read for pleasure. Every once in a while the two mix, but sadly not often enough.

I should mention that there’s also the wonderful feeling of just absorbing the aesthetics of reading a book. Slowly. Among those are:

  • smell. THE SMELL. Book sniffers know what I mean. Old or new (both distinct and awesome) they have the best smell.
  • Pages! Ink on paper is special, guys. It just is. Sometimes I get frustrated with books that have especially glossy or thin pages, or the pages where the edges are cut to different lengths (so your finger has to waggle for a while to turn the page). But even if they aren’t the best features, they contribute to the experience all the same.
  • Relaxation and Even Breathing – I feel energized by books (they were never a good way for me to fall asleep) and I always notice my breathing becomes more even. Books DO put me to sleep on occasion, but I blame that mostly on just being freakin’ tired all the time. No matter what my state, the act of reading (or just being ABOUT to read) relaxes me.

I’d like to think that everyone else experiences this, but I know there are people that just can’t stand to be sat down with a book. I see kids all the time on campus that are in a frenzy over a book and you can see the negativity EMANATING off of them. Like the book is the only thing that’s holding them down and if they could throw it as far away as they could I think they would.

If there were a drug that could give you these feelings (yes, even the anxiety! but wait, most drugs come with that at some point, don’t they?) I’d be an addict.

Book sniffers unite!

That’s not me, by the way. I would never wear that much eyeliner. She is rocking’ the flames pretty well, though.