During a walk to the town centre today, a beautifully serene late summer’s day, I finally figured out why it is so hard for me to finish some books. I say some books, because it is usually not the ones with happy endings or endings which I already know.
Rather, those are books like Waverley. Books where I have an inkling that something terrible might happen before it’s all over. Books where I think that one of my favourite characters might die. Books, in short, that I don’t want to end, especially not in the way they do.
I know from experience that it gets better the second time, and then every time after that. But the first time is always the hardest, and it’s usually the time I cry. Then, I can remember that feeling of empathy and melancholy ever time I read that particular book again.
So much for friends who never lived; and yet they can die.