Friday, May 8, 2009


Home alone, curled up on the couch with a cat on either side, the recently closed copy of If I Stay wrapped in my arms, tears streaming down my face; my husband and son walk in the door. “Oh, must have been a sad one,” my husband mocks. “Why would you want to read anything that makes you cry?” asks my son. Why indeed!

After my initial irritation passes, I realize this is a very good question. Many books have brought out strong emotions and it’s not unusual for me to laugh out loud, sleep with the lights on or utter a few choice words to the characters in a book. For the number of books I read, tears don’t actually flow that often. I’m not a cold hearted person, so of course Sarah’s Key and Shelter Me caused a few moments of sadness, but actual tears? This is only the second book that comes to mind which was the root of uncontrolled tears, the first being Suzanne’s Diary for Nicholas.

Naturally, after drying my face I set out to make sure every family member, customer, and friend shares the same experience. Do I really find satisfaction in offering this source of sadness? Some appreciate my suggestion, claiming the book was “absolutely wonderful, I cried for hours!” while others are dumbfounded as to why I would suggest “such a depressing book, I cried for hours!”

To get back to my son’s question, why would I want to read anything that makes me cry? I suppose it’s for the same reasons we like roller coasters or horror movies. Sometimes it’s fun to be scared and sometimes you just need a good cry.

How about you?
Have you read anything to bring on the tears or make you want to throw the book across the room?
Do tell!

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