The Ten Stages of Reading a Good Book

Herein are the 10 Stages of Reading a Really Good Book (not a crappy one though, because that involves a book throwing, and no books were harmed in the making of this post)

Note: Because it is almost 6 in the morning, I am too lazy to draw images, google images and credit them, or use stock. So the emotional stages of this post will be represented by my cat, Bagheera. Why? This is the Internet and the Internet loves cats. Seems legit, right?

1 – Joy


A new book! Hooray! Oh, glorious, triumphant, wondiferous day! The celestial choirs of angels have descended around you as you turn to the first page. New book smell? I love it. New eBook on my reader? So shiny. Gimme, Gimme, Gimme!


2 – Intrigue


The plot has gripped you; sometimes it takes longer in one book than another to do so, but once it does, you’re in it. You’re in it to win it. (especially if you have OCD about completing your Goodreads goal every year)

Don’t talk to me. Don’t look at me. Don’t even think my name–I’m reading!


3 – Comfort


You settle in for the long haul of the story now that the protagonists are on their journeys, the badasses are badassy, the smartasses are smartassy, and the antagonists are twirling mustachios and experimenting with finding the right balance of “mwas” and “hahahas.”


4 – Distress


WTF just happened!


5 – Distrust


Your comfort is shattered by plot twisty goodness, and you are prepared for the author’s next curve ball. You know it is coming at any moment. You’re snuggled in the blanket, biting your nails, the book about an inch from your face as you wait for it…


6 – Denial


You have been fooled into another false state of comfort. How could this happen. As soon as you think the hero was safe..nope. As soon as you thought a character was too important to die, they croaked all over the page, and it was messy. The conflict! It is conflicty!


7 – Anger


Why? Why! Whyyyyyy couldn’t it be minor character #23 ½ from subplot-B who got the squid alien tentacle punch to the face and drowned in poisonous cephalopod ink from Jupiter instead? Why!

The world is a horrible place. Just horrible. I’m calling in sick.


8 -Bargaining


Look, book. If you want me to finish reading you, then you have to do me a solid and perhaps let the good guys win for a while, okay? Villains are great and all, but you’re stressing me out. You do this for me, and I will put off all my responsibilities and devour you today, deal?

(It ultimately fails)

Oh, you…you know I can’t stop reading you. Please don’t let any musicians start playing “The Rains of Castamere” at a wedding.


9 – Depression


You notice you are running out of pages, and realize you are dangerously close to the end. OMGOMGOMGOMGOMG. No. Just No. What will you do when it’s all over? How can you move to another literary realm of exquisite escapism and leave this one behind?

It’s. Not. Fair.


10 – Acceptance


Well, you finished the book. You are, at this point, either satisfied with the ending or an emotional wreck. But you realize it had to end at some point. That you can’t actually live in the book even if you wish it really, really hard. It is time to move on.

…After you read it all over again and then read the sequel.



P.S. If you don’t understand why the stages of grief make up the last half of reading a good book, you haven’t been reading the right books that stab you right in the soul, but in a good way. 😉

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