Cozy Reader, Hidden Danger

The bags under my eyes have returned. I did not invite them. However, I did stay up rather late reading the end of “The Scorch Trials”. This is akin to throwing crumbs on the front lawn and being upset when the neighborhood birds show up for the feast.

So my face is slightly puffy, a headache is brewing between my temples, and my entire body feels achey (#flawless). And you know what? As much as my body feels out of sorts, it is nothing compared to what those characters have gone through in the “Maze Runner” series. (spoiler-free zone).

The extreme polarity between our situations struck me as I read the remaining chapters over the last two days. I’m no Van Gogh, Monet, or Kinkade, but let me paint you a picture:

My eyes frantically jumped from word to word as they raced to the bottom of the page. My toes curled tighter into my feet. My jaw clenched. My entire body became invested in the reading process.

My mind filled with questions. What would happen next? How would I cope if misfortune struck? What—

“Hey, Sis,” my Aunt greeted as she walked into the guest room. “Just wanted to say goodnight.”

That is right, people. As the characters in the book frantically fought for life, I was tucked away in bed. Adrenaline kept me company, but danger remained far away from me and my Hillbilly heating pads (dry beans in cloth bags #hatersgonnahate). After all, this is the way of the Bookworm.

Right?

Bookworms delve into every genre and hang tight for the wild, sweet, otherworldly, tragic, hilarious, and harrowing rides. We mourn, we laugh, we freak the #fudgetarts out, and we lecture the characters (I’m looking at you Ron Weasley). All of this takes place from the relative safety outside of the book.

(I mean, yeah, we often find ourselves in the most uncomfortable positions while reading, but it is rarely life threatening.)

The craziest part is how real it all feels. I made the mistake of reading the last book in a popular dystopian society trilogy prior to work once. It was horrible. On the outside, I probably looked like a train wreck because on the inside I was curled up in the fetal position in the #depthsofdespair. My thoughts alternated between trying to make sense of it all and planning a verbal and/or physical attack on the author.

Falling under the spell of a sweet, thrilling, or mind-boggling story is one of my favorite feelings in this world. A talented spell master transports the reader right into the heart of the action. The reader remains unscathed on the outside, but is in constant flux internally. So while it may seem I’m not doing my part as I cuddle down with blankets and Hillbilly heating pads, I’m really with the characters in spirit.

And honestly, without me the poor guys would be stuck in limbo twiddling their thumbs on page one.

(RL2015 update: I’m at the beginning of John Green’s “Paper Towns”. Moose warned me I will want to throw the book down in frustration at the end. Let’s find out!)

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