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?
I love the emotional involvement too. I wasn't intending to read so many serious, deeply involving books in a row. I will definitely have to choose my books more carefully in the future!
Yes I can definitely experience an effect on my emotions from what I read. I enjoy this….I like to have mind and heart engaged by books. I generally can't read too many books of the same emotional vibe in a row, though.
My recent post Join Me Tonight on Blog Talk Radio
Kathleen – That's a great idea. I did lighten things up a bit, and it has definitely helped. I should take note so that this doesn't happen again!
I read a lot of depressing books and do become emotionally invested in them. I make a point of watching a funny movie or TV show or to read a few magazines before I start my next book. It is my method of "cleansing" out the negative stuff that stays with me after reading some of the books I read.
I'm thinking my beloved vampires are calling me. I have a few YA series I need to finish. That should do the trick, don't you think?
It isn't so much that the books are depressing. I think it's that reading so many similar books in a row got to me. They weren't whiny or anything. The topics were just very deep, and they all explored some intense topics. Too much without a break. I do need something lighter and fun!
When I read to many depressing books in a row, which will put me in a funk (!), I have to mix in some fun chick lit!
My recent post My First Completed Challenge
You need what I call a literary palate cleanse. Read something light and goofy just to reset your brain!
I don't really find "depressing" books to be all that depressing- I usually just find them whiny and never think about them again. The ones that stick with me (in a negative way) are ones with unnecessary violence or really bad sex scenes. Those make me wonder why certain authors feel the need to include stuff like that, which leads me on a depressing sort of downward spiral about humanity.
I try to read reviews and just avoid those books altogether.
My recent post Why I Dont Like Modern Literature