- Euphoria. You are about to start reading the book that everyone is talking about. It apparently got nominated for some prestigious literary award and it screams ‘intellectual read!’. This book is way out of your reading comfort zone but you are up for the literary challenge. As you excitedly alert all social media sites that you are about to tackle this literary masterpiece you experience what can only be described as a burst of reader euphoria. You are on top of your reading game!
- Struggle. You are a few sentences / paragraphs / pages into the book and it’s clear this thing is going to be a struggle. Hours have gone by and you have made little progress. If this was one of your usual novels you would have been sailing close to the midway mark by now. However you are experiencing some difficulty in working out what the hell is going on, getting a basic grip of what the book is about, wading through the author’s use of some old forgotten language, trying to figure out where in the world this is set and understanding some of the big words being touted about. Cue your huffing, puffing, wiping sweat from brow, loud sighs, dictionary, atlas, encyclopaedia grabs (to help with terms and words you have never heard of), your muttering and shaking of your head.
- Denial. It’s not long before a helpful little voice in your head says ‘this book is beyond you!’ This makes you put the book down and take a moment to have a strong word with yourself. This book is NOT beyond you! Ok so it’s set in a part of history that you are not familiar with, packed full of big words, based on some pretty complicated scientific premise and involves a fair amount of brain sweat – but this is the fun of a reading challenge! If you have to read whilst frantically working the dictionary, atlas and encyclopaedia then so be it!
- Pain barrier. You reach the literary pain barrier quite quickly with this particular book. It’s so hard! Your reference books have never been used so much. Your desk looks like you are studying for legal exams, not reading a fiction novel. This is the stage where you ask yourself – is it worth it? Will my life suffer if I don’t read this? Can I delete my tweets about starting to read this book? Can I erase all knowledge of purchasing it? The helpful voice returns saying ‘ditch it!’
- Acceptance. There is some joy experienced by the reader when they finally accept that the book they are struggling to read is not for them. Sometimes reaching this stage can be a golden reader moment. It’s like a literary weight has been lifted from their reader shoulders. They happily put the book to one side saying ‘someone out there will like this, but it’s not for me!’ However with this particular situation there might be some reader embarrassment when accepting a book is beyond them. This is where phrases like ‘life is too short’ and ‘I should have gone for that encyclopaedia upgrade’ come into their own. There is much relief when a reader realises they don’t have to suffer anymore and they can go back to their normal reading diet. This may produce some euphoric feelings. It may also result in the reader thinking about those around them who have claimed to finish the book. In their head they might spend some time questioning who actually made it through to the last page. Sigh!
Be careful readers 🙂
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