Reading a good book is like falling in love. Between the pages, dreamlike worlds take over the reader’s mind’s eye. The mundane obligations of her life begin to glaze over and float away: reading on the subway or the bus, she nearly misses her stop on the regular. The one time when she actually has to backtrack a mile on foot late one night, she isn’t even mad.
The avid reader knows that no matter what goes on around her, she has there in her bag hundreds of pages of respite. She’s transported from her own shortcomings and is a welcome guest, for a time, in a world unlike her own. Anything seems possible when she is reading, or knows she will read again soon.
But the approach of a good book’s end brings on truly unsettling sensations. As the pages dwindle down and the events described on them begin to tidy up, in creeps a feeling of impending abandonment and a premonition of the return of that old, insidious companion, solitude. And reality. Never again will she contemplate the wonders of the untouched Amazon or an illicit but overwhelming love; these images are gone, and the feelings they conjured can’t ever be felt as they were the first time: So it seems.
Without a book to read, the’s dogged by the anxiety that worlds are unfolding around her and without her, between the covers of the millions of books she hasn’t read and never will. But because there are so many, it’s impossible to pick a new one.
In the end, she’s simply got to crack one open and dive back in.