The Emotional Journey of Reading Books

Here is a video collection of the many emotions I go through while reading a book. I have way too much inner-dialogue going on 24/7 and because of such, I often think in “movie” quotes or book quotes. It’s like having a few hundred too many imaginary friends.

1.The Hook

The hook is what I call the point in the novel where the light from Heaven cracks open, the page glows, and you are like Alice going down the rabbit hole, knowing you are now in it for the long haul. When this happens, I often see this scene from “Grandma’s Boy” in my head where he comes home stoned, raiding the fridge and declares, “I don’t know what you are,  but I’m going to f@#king eat you too!”

2.The Oooh! Moment

I know there is a story diagram, arcs and dips, that the flow of novel is supposed to follow, but I happen to feel that the Oooh! Moment comes at different times for readers. Perhaps, it might come at the same moment, but there can be something different about that moment that each reader appreciates and clings to.  When I hit that mark, when the action gets good, when the sexual tension goes up a notch, or when I realize I don’t have it figured out anymore, but want to scurry up the mountain to find out where in the hell the author is taking me, I remember the Zesty salad guy…wait for the end of the commercial!

3.The I Hate You Moment

Some books…just piss…us…off.  I have literally growled like some rabid animal and chucked a book across the room I was so disgusted, aggravated, or angry with the way dialogue or the story development was going in a few books. There are plenty of movie “meltdowns” we could attach to this emotion, but here’s one that comes to mind from “Happy Gilmore”:

4. Redemption / Climax

After the “You’re gonna die clown” moment, sometimes there comes a moment of redemption.  I am very grateful for this because I always WANT to enjoy a book that I am reading. This goes hand-in-hand with the climax of a book where you know good things are coming or that the end will at least not disappoint.  This, for me, is Lisa Kudrow’s line about shopping in “Romy And Michele’s High School Reunion”

5. Emotional Roller coaster

Not every story is meant to be a happily ever after. I don’t mind dramas. I don’t. I love a book that sucks me in body and soul, so if it does that, I forgive the author for leaving me emotionally crumpled, bawling, or scarred for life. It looks a little something like this:

6. It’s Over?

If you’ve just discovered your new favorite author or series, you may find yourself in a moment of fangirl/fanman madness as you wait for more.  You visit the author site, prowling for new release dates, giveaways, and any sign of life about the characters to which you’ve become emotionally attached.  You pray you’ll meet some other geek in the painful real world that will gush story lines with you.  You dream at night that you are back in the warm bosom of the pages and you are the protagonist. You know exactly what you’d wear…what you’d say.  Congratulations, you have just become a book stalker and probably look something like Bill when he’s practicing to be the Bionic Woman for Halloween on “Freaks and Geeks”.


Well, time to go pad the walls in your book reading nook corner and remove all sharp objects. It’s a war zone in there!

@rantandraveaboutbooks thanks for the inspiration!

Happy reading.  D.D.


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