Friday, April 13, 2007

Get Involved...?

Is it possible to get too involved in a book? There have been books that I had a hard time putting down and there have been ones that I almost instantly forget after I finish the last chapter. But is there a point where you get too drawn into a book?

Right now I'm working on A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin. It took about 100 pages to finally draw me in to the point where I like it, but now I'm afraid I might be too involved. This is the first in a fantasy series that came highly recommended by friends and other readers on the forums I frequent which is why I persisted through the first 100 pages. The book is a little darker than I usually go for, but I like the characters and the depth of the plot. Martin has done a wonderful job of establishing mystery and intrigue without overdoing the dramatic irony. I hate when the author gives the reader too much information and I get so frustrated with the characters' stupidity and ignorance. So far, A Game of Thrones is going well.

However, like I mentioned before, it's a little darker than some of my recent reading. I noticed that the last few days I've been a little down and depressed. This could be due to the rainy and cloudy weather we've been having in the Midwest, but I think my mood is directly linked to this book. Because I get so drawn into the characters and their lives I find that my emotions reflect what's happening in the book. I realize that evoking emotion is a central part of books and reading, but is this too much? I guess I need to be more distinct with myself in delineating between reality and fiction. I love to read and I love when I find a book I can get lost in. But is there a point where you can be too involved?

Has anyone else had this sort of experience? What sort of affect does your reading have on your emotions and your mood?

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