Hunger Games Withdrawal

Why are books always better than movies?

What am I going to do now? I finished Mockingjay, and I don’t have another Hunger Games series book to snatch up and gulp down. The folks over at Forever Young Adult have a name for this serious condition. They call it TEABS—The End of an Awesome Book Syndrome. I have a bad case of it. In fact, I think it’s why I was grumpy for absolutely no discernible reason yesterday. After all, I had the day off. I should have been pretty happy. Instead I was surly and snappish. One of my Goodreads buddies suggested it was because I didn’t have another Hunger Games book to read, and I thought, “He’s absolutely right.” Oh, I picked up The House of the Seven Gables again and began The Heretic’s Daughter. It won’t be the same. I might even love those books in their way, who knows. But they will probably always be like the rebound boyfriend—who knows how it could have worked out if you hadn’t tried to go out with him after the guy you thought was The One broke up with you. It’s a strange feeling, being on the other side of having read a fantastic series, left only with the feeling that there won’t be any more. I felt the same way (only worse) when I had finished Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. I have grad school to throw my effort into, and in fact, I had better take that seriously or I’ll be in some trouble. I need to do some work on my portfolio.

Jonah Lehrer speculates on “The Future of Reading” in Wired. So do we read differently on e-readers? I know I highlight and annotate more because I am not worried about mucking up the book with my scribbling. Aside from my Kindle books, the only books I highlight and annotate are textbooks and professional reading. And there is something to be said for feeling free to talk back to my books. An annotation I added last night in The House of the Seven Gables was a simple observation that Nathaniel Hawthorne sure likes to break the fourth wall. I also highlighted a particularly good barb about the Puritans in The Heretic’s Daughter that I’ll probably share with students when we study The Crucible. And did you know you can access your highlights and annotations online? You have to log in, which keeps your notes secure, but still, how cool is that? On the other hand, I will never decide I don’t want to hold a real book in my hand. It was nice reading The Hunger Games series like that. You knew I was going to bring it back around to that, didn’t you. I should probably stop blogging and get to work on my portfolio. Throwing myself into my work—isn’t that the classic way to get over that lost relationship? Whatever works.

One last note and I am leaving. If you all had told me I would find more pleasure in my book blog than my education blog, and that I would post more frequently, despite the fact that anything I write over there gets comments now, whereas comments are somewhat scarce around here, I would have told you you were crazy. This poor blog has limped along for years. It didn’t even find a focus until I’d been writing for at least four years. That’s kind of crazy. I’m so happy to feel like a part of the book bloggers’ table in the cafeteria. Even if I don’t quite feel like the cool book bloggers with the black turtlenecks—the ones who have friends who are French foreign exchange students.

photo credit: Massimo Barbieri