I’ve been reading quite a few memoirs, murder mysteries, psychological thrillers and the like. I’ve enjoyed almost every one of them as they have all given me much food for thought, demanding that I ponder their messages , their themes long after I finish reading them. However, they have also left me in quite the state of melancholy.
It started with little things – an inability or lack of desire to write reviews, a lack of interest in pretty much anything but reading – and moved on to bigger things – withdrawal from family and friends, a general malaise, lack of interest in anything online. It is now to the point where it is all I can do to not lock myself in my house, unplug my phone and computer, and hide from the world.
I was having a conversation the other day about how reading a particular book was causing one friend’s bad mood. Every day there is someone on Twitter declaring that he or she needs to switch to a different genre for whatever reason. Noticing this phenomenon has me thinking (obviously). Is emotional involvement in a novel a bad thing?
I’m positive that it is not the authors’ intentions to cause that. They have a story to tell and hope they entertain their readers in the telling. More importantly, I know this will pass. I need to switch up my genre of book to something light-hearted and fun, fantastical but not overly dramatic. Still, here I am, wondering what is wrong with me and realizing that I have read some very depressing, intense novels over the past month.
I imagine as an author impacting the readers’ emotions is a good thing because it means that one has written characters with whom readers can empathize and champion. This keeps readers engaged and clamoring for more, does it not? However, when does it go too far?
How do others do it? How does one prevent oneself from becoming emotionally invested in novels, to the point where it impacts how one interacts with others in real life? Or is a problem that is unique to me?
Let’s open this up for discussion! Have you ever gotten depressed over a novel or succession of novels? How do you avoid the emotional pratfalls of reading?