[Reading Woes] – Who is Afraid of Books?

stolen from (http://playmakersrep.blogspot.com/2011/11/set-design-of-whos-afraid-of-virginia.html)
so many books, so many worlds…

I know this may be an odd way to start an article, but could you help me?

You see, I seem to have developed a phobia.  I am afraid of starting a new book!  I would like to dub this fear “neoniblioportalis”, however, this situation is fairly ridiculous to allow for me to label such a situation, plus the name doesn’t roll off the tongue like I would like it to.

I love books. Whenever someone asks me if they could get me something, I usually ask for a book, which makes for awkward dinner conversations since sometimes it is the host asking if there was anything in particular I would like to quench my thirst with and not just being merely polite.

Yet now, I find myself daunted by the prospect of a book, new or old, mainly because I am just plain afraid of opening that first page and letting myself be immersed in a world.

That is the problem I am facing now. Suppose the book is really good? Suppose it is just captivating enough that I wonder while taking my own breaks into the unfortunate mundanity of our reality, is the character that I left to dwell between its own covers doing okay as well? I know the character is waiting for me to pick up once more so that the inevitable fate that those last pages will bring.

I find myself during those rare times that I am not plowing through the book, imagining the characters, matching wits with them as they take a break from their adventure and just spending down time with the reader of their fate.  Even the bad books have a redeemable character or two with who I would not spending some time with.

But still, once the book is over, will I be able to let it go?

More importantly, how will I let the book go? Won’t it feel betrayed that I am moving on?

I think getting married is a far less daunting prospective than opening this new book that is on my nightstand, but yet it calls to me, asking me to take the plunge into its pulpy depths. I cannot wait to feel the ink streets between my fingers as my eyes soak in the details of the world that the writer wants to show me.

What power these writers have and my resistance is becoming oh so much lower with each passing minute. Even if the book is not good by any standard, still I will become sucked in, just to observe and enjoy the stroll through mediocrity.  I know I must resist, for once I start flicking through those pages, the rest of the real world will fade away until I reach the conclusion.

But who am I kidding? As I write these words down, I have already decided the next set of books that will scare me into eventually giving my heart over to them and regretting letting my mind wander through their palimpsest streets.

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