2024 Reading Challenge

2024 Reading Challenge
Jill Elizabeth has read 1 book toward her goal of 285 books.

2023 Reading Challenge

2023 Reading Challenge
Jill Elizabeth has read 5 books toward her goal of 265 books.

Moody Blues or The Surprising Way a Book Can Affect My Day

So I am reading The Member of the Wedding
by Carson McCullers. For those of you who are unfamiliar, it is a story about a twelve year-old girl who is rather out of sorts with the world because her brother is getting married (and also one suspects because she is a twelve year-old girl – she does appear rather caught in the middle between childhood and growing-up-ness, and uncertain where she fits in). She gets the idea into her head that she will run off with the bride and groom and become a member of their wedding – that the three of them will live together from here on out and that this will “fix” things in her world.

It is not a terribly uplifting story, nor is she the most sympathetic character. She is rather hard and prickly, mean to those around her for no reason other than her own out-of-sorts-ness – even when they are trying to help. It is easy to empathize with her, mind you (we’ve all been there, right?), but not so easy to sympathize. It is also not the easiest story to read as a result. As I have mentioned before, I like to read to get lost in another world or another life – and this is not a world or life I wish to get lost in. And yet I am finding that the story is having a strange and powerful effect on me nevertheless – it is making me also feel out of sorts with the world.

Since I started reading it, I have found myself feeling at sixes and sevens with the world. At first, it was just when I was reading – my mood actually darkened, the world got heavier, and things felt wrong. But as I have gotten deeper into the story (it’s a shortish story, mind you, so “deeper in” is to be understood relatively) and I guess therefore into the character, I have been unpleasantly surprised to find that the dark mood is extending to the times around reading as well.

I wonder if this happens to other people – do you get so absorbed, even in something you are not particularly enjoying, that it affects your mood/day? Do you ever find yourself reacting (dare I say overreacting) to regular life things in a way that is unlike you (or is an exacerbated version of you) because you are in a mood brought on by what you are reading, by some made-up person’s life/emotions/hardships/stress?

Or maybe it’s just me…

Regardless, let’s just say I am eagerly awaiting the end of The Member of the Wedding and the return to my own moods. They are more than enough for me (and those around me) to handle without someone else’s (and someone not real at that) glomming on and adding to or altering them!

5 comments to Moody Blues or The Surprising Way a Book Can Affect My Day

  • Yes, that happens to me too!! If a book or character makes me mad, I get all cranky and short tempered with real people.

    I just finished two good but kinda depressing books Doomsday Book and Forest of Hands and Teeth– I was so blah and down even the day after finishing them. I will try not to read two downers at the same time from now on.

    Funny, I’m reading a 70s book called The Meat in the Sandwich and the boy in it is so like the girl in your book– so out of sorts and ‘woe, is me’ that he is missing the joy of living besides trying to make everyone else miserable– I’m not out of sorts yet but I sure want to give him a good talking too!!

    • Thanks Lesa! I actually just bought the Doomsday Book, and now am afraid to start reading it!! 😉 Honestly – I agree about not reading “downer” books coincidentally – after MoTW, I am very carefully screening what else I start/what I read next – I may need to go with a favorite multi-read, just to make sure I’m not going to stay moody any longer or the people around me may mutiny!!

  • Monique

    Hi Jill,
    I’m a new follower from Book Blogs. Thanks for the warm welcome!

    ~Monique @ AsianCocoa’s Secret Garden

  • It happens to me all the time. Sometimes it even leaks out into my speech patterns. I’ll sound totally british once finishing a book or even see things through the character’s eyes. It gets a bit creepy sometimes when I start doing that but their mood defintely has a strong impact on my own.

    • Thanks for your comment Larissa – I guess I shouldn’t be so surprised about the effect of reading on mood, since I know I totally get sucked into most of what I read (even if/when I don’t want to or am not even enjoying the book!)… It’s kind of like dreams for me – I have very intense dreams and will wake up from them feeling happy, sad, exhausted, furious, depressed too.

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