How do books make you feel?

Well…

I have recently just finished reading Me Before You (read my review here) and it was extremely sad. It made me feel an array of emotions throughout it’s entirety. The strange thing is, after reading some reviews of this book, I picked it up 1) because the story actually appealed to me and 2) because people had said it would make me cry. Why? Why would you pick up a book that you know is going to make you cry. I picked up The Fault In Our Stars because of the emotional aspects involved with reading it, yet I still read it, and I still cried.

So why do we put ourselves through this? Why do we read books we know are going to make us cry? Well, if you really think about it, although crying is sad, it is still an emotion, as is, for example, laughing. Why do we pick up books that we know are going to make us laugh? Usually because we want to feel good, right? So I think the real question here is, why do we read books we know are going to make us emotional? By emotional, I don’t just mean sad, I mean any emotion; happy, sad, tearful, thoughtful, whatever.

Personally, I like a book that is going to make me feel things. I know I have picked up the wrong book if I don’t feel anything through reading it, and the author has not done his/her job in captivating the reader to feel a certain way for the characters. Books are written in a certain way, so the author wants you to feel those things; they want you to cry, or laugh, or think about the narrative. When I’m crying over a book, it means I have completely engaged with the characters and that makes me feel so good, because it makes me want to read more of the author’s work, as I know that they can write a good story!

What about you? If you know a book is going to be sad, would you pick it up? What would make you want to read a book that you know is going to make you cry? Or laugh? Or think? Do you have any examples? Comment below what you think 🙂

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11 thoughts on “How do books make you feel?

  1. When you cry over a book, it could be that it’s just very manipulative.

    Anyway, I think the reason we read these kind of books – and play horror films, and listen to loud music is to experiment with these emotions. Stars is a great example (I love that book). It’s a death-obsessed book, and while reading it gives you the option of exploring the theme of death and endings in a safe environment. No one is going to to die because you read it, so you can feel the sorrow without actually experiencing the real life thing. Art is, in a way, an exploration of all these negative emotions that confuses us. That’s why art is so steeped with negative emotions.

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  2. I think that people enjoy books that make them feel something because they don’t feel much during their day-to-day life. I know that my days pass in a numb blur. There’s school and work and rushing around to get everything done. I usually don’t feel anything except boredom and stress. Feeling any emotion besides those two is a unique experience, so I love it when a book can make me feel something.

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  3. When I know a book is sad, I really have to be in the right frame of mind to read it. I had heard great things about TFIOS and wanted to read it, but it had to be the right time for me. Took me probably a year before I actually sat down and read it. Same with Mitch Album’s The Five People You Meet in Heaven.

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    • I understand, I can’t be sitting in public and have to be in the right mind set to read a sad book. If I’m in a happy mood, I don’t want to ruin it by reading a sad book! I haven’t read The Five People You Meet In Heaven, I might have a look at that and add it to me TBR 🙂 thanks!

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  4. Love this post – it’s a very good question. I love to books because they let you experience the lives and feelings of other people. Staying in your own life and only experiencing the emotions attached to it would get extremely boring. Reading lets you leave that behind and explore a whole world completely different from your own. It can also help cheer me up because I have memories attached to certain books. A couple of chapters of Harry Potter can always make me feel a bit better because it takes me back to my childhood when I was carefree and happy with none of the stresses that growing up brings!

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    • It’s really nice you have connections with books that you can use as a happy memory, i’m sure I have one but none spring to mind at the moment. I agree with what you ate saying about the characters as well, it is really nice to live another life whilst reading and experience all of those emotions 🙂

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  5. I think the whole point of a book is to make you feel something, anything at least. I especially love books that produce strong emotions from me because sometimes it’s just so nice to have a book touch you in such a way that it makes you cry or laugh. This way, books are so much more meaningful than an ordinary story. Loved your post.. 🙂

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    • I agree, I love it when I am able to emotionally connect with a book. When I really feel for a character, it makes me want to read the book again and again, because I know that I will get that emotional connection. Going into a new story, I am always a bit wary as to whether I will get the connection with the characters that I do from other stories.

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