on endings

Sometimes, when I finish reading a book that I really enjoy, I get a feeling of sadness or emptiness. Does anyone else get this feeling? For me, it’s like the feeling of missing a good friend. I think this might be one reason why I enjoy reading series of book so when one books ends there will be another one waiting for me to start, either on my bookshelf already or waiting to be written. But when the series ends, sometimes the feeling will be worse.

The first time I finished reading Lord of the Rings, I cried a bit. I was worried that it would be worse for Harry Potter, since I had gotten much more into those books and the books helped me through a depression and other difficult times. Also my journey with those books had been longer. But it actually wasn’t so bad. I had broken up with Rowling before the release of the final book. She released the book only a few days before the bar exam, and this infuriated me! Harry Potter had really helped me get through law school. If I got too stressed about something, I could escape to those books. But also, those books are all about contract law. It’s insane how useful of a study guide they were. For example, the reason why Avada Kedavra backfired on Voldemort was because he was in breach of contract.

Image from Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (film). Whereas the first party offers to the second party the first party’s life and agrees to hold harmless the second party from the results of that taking. In consideration thereof the second party forfeits his intentions. Translation from the legalese: Kill me instead.

Lily had proposed to Voldemort to kill her instead of Harry. In contract law, this is an offer. His act in killing Lily indicated his acceptance of the contract. (Never mind that a contract to do something illegal is invalid anyway.) But I’ll never forgive Rowling for releasing the book at a time when I was incredibly busy instead of on Harry’s birthday. It also prevented me from talking to some of my friends. They didn’t have to study for the bar exam, so they read the book and I didn’t trust them not to spoil it. And then when I finally did get to read the book, in one of the early chapters, Rowling makes fun of lawyers. Fuck you.

The feeling was much worse when I finished writing my book. I had the characters and ideas in my head for a few years. I had been writing about them and thinking about them for almost as long. And now, they are gone. I’m still tinkering with them. Even though their journey is complete, sometimes things come to me that may help me develop their characters. But on the whole, they are finished, and I find myself missing my friends,

About emmawolf

I'm a freelance writer living in Baltimore with my husband, son, and two cats. I'm working on editing my first novel. I love reading, traveling, and the cello.
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19 Responses to on endings

  1. misfitamanda says:

    I hate book hangovers. Ending a series is always bad for me. Sometimes, I’ll go back and re-read the books just to revisit my old friends. Stephen King’s Dark Tower series is 8 books and I’ve read them through 3 times. I’ve done the same with Jim Butcher’s The Dresden Files. Although he is on book 14 or 15 out of 23. So I still have time with them. I loved Harry Potter. It sucks that she released 7 at a horrible time for you though. Book 7 was my favorite.

    • emmawolf says:

      I am constantly rereading my favorite books. So it seems like I never read, since people are always asking me if I’ve read anything new and the answer is usually no. I should give the Dresden Files another try. I read a Dresden short story that I wasn’t too thrilled by, but I loved the tv show.

  2. Raunak says:

    your post reminds me of when I finished reading “Crime and Punishment”. It took me a week to recover. The thoughts running through Raskolnikov’s mind aroused several emotions of guilt that I had suppressed and hidden in the dark corners of my mind.Dostoevsky weaved a web that took me some time to get out of.
    Lesson: If you have hidden guilt, do not read “Crime and Punishment” 🙂

  3. Heather says:

    I always get the “missing my friends” feeling after reading a book I love, and especially after a good series.

  4. sj says:

    AWWWW, link love! ❤

    No, but srsly, I REMEMBER when you were too busy to read Deathly Hallows with me and I was SO SAD because I stayed up all night reading and wanted to talk to you, but YOU WERE MISSING FROM DA.

    Did you read the carpet book ahead of time, or did you avoid that, too?

    • emmawolf says:

      I avoided it. I basically went into hiding shortly after the carpet book surfaced (and thus, when people were talking about the carpet book recently, I didn’t know what they meant). But I broke down maybe a week before the book was released and tried to find the carpet book to read really fast before things got too crazy with the bar. But I didn’t find it and knew that if I did find it, I would lose too much study time.

      It was really tough being so stressed and not being able to talk to most of my support group for fear of spoiling DH/giving in and losing hours of study time.

  5. Pingback: 30 day book challenge. Day 23 « emma wolf

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