Anyone else get sad when they get near the end of a book they love?

I just finished reading In One Person by John Irving, and as I got near the end I felt myself not wanting the story to be over. I realized that happens to me frequently with books I enjoy. Pretty normal I guess, but for a little while after I read the last page I was actually a little down in the dumps. I hope I’m not the only one that gets that invested…

O my goodness yes. In my teens I couldn’t get enough of “The Once and Future King” and would actually be a little depressed for the last tenth of it or so.

Yes! I’ve read the Narnia series out loud about three times to the kids. About 20-30 pages before the end of The Last Battle I begin to get weepy, knowing it will soon all be over. Definitely makes me sad.

I’ve had that happen with other books as well, though when I use my iPad now it seems to affect me less. The physical cues of the book ending (holding fewer pages in my right hand, and more in my left) just aren’t there, I guess.

Only with really good books, like 5/5 stars good. So it’s pretty rare, but when it does hit it can be a pretty powerful feeling … like walking a dear friend to a train after some great time together, knowing that you won’t see them again any time soon.

All the time. I never get people who say they don’t like reading fat books. If I like the book, the fatter the better!

It’s also why I really dislike short stories. Blech. If they’re good, I want 'em long.

I was thinking that too, but the Kindle shows you a percentage of the book left to read and once it gets north of 95% …

Yeah, my iPad does that too, and I feel the same way. It took me time to switch over from heft of the book in one hand to progress bar to trigger the impending sense of loss!

That’s a great analogy.

yes, and i remember steeling myself as the remaining pages dwindle only to be caught off-guard by a largish appendix.

When I finish a really good book, I’m always worried that I will never again find anything so good to read. Part of my sadness is a suspicion that it’s all downhill from here.

I felt that way about Lonesome Dove many years ago. I was sad when I finished it, but also aware that I had just read one of the greatest of the great American novels.

I do sometimes. I think it’s just endings in general. A few times I ended up not reading the last few pages of a book I’ve read before, but didn’t want to end. I still haven’t watched the very last episode of Breaking Bad. Maybe tonight…

I don’t like being “surprised” at finding I’m at the end of a book before I’m ready.

Not a common occurrence with hard copy books, but happens to me now a lot with ebooks. The page numbers don’t mean much. There is typically quite a few pages of cruft at the end of an ebook. It’s very easy to glance to the end of a paper book and see how close to the end. For a really long book I even note the number of the last page so I can adjust how many pages to read in a chunk so that I finish at a suitable time (e.g., just before lights out). But trying to flip to the end of an ebook and avoid reading any of the text seems impossible.

I’ve had this experience a number of times. It is usually a combination of two things: sometimes simple regret that the pleasure of reading the book is coming to an end; sometimes wanting to see more of what happens with engaging characters and an odd sort of feeling that you’re going to miss them.

Oh yes I get very sad at ending a good book, and walk around sometimes for days missing the characters. The first time I ever read Where the Red Fern Grows - waaaaay back in the day - I actually was so sad that the next day I checked it out from the library again and started reading it all over from scratch.

Only twice have I read a book so good, I was deliberately rationing myself to read only a few pages at a time, to make it last longer.

A Deepness in the Sky by Vernor Vinge, and
Omega by Jack McDevitt.

These are the two best “first contact” science fiction books I’ve ever read – and I’ve had the joy of saying to to Mr. Vinge and to Mr. McDevitt in person!

When I was 12 or 13 I read the Mists of Avalon and cried through the last fifty pages or so. Partly because the ending was sad, but mostly because I knew I was going to have to say goodbye to all the characters I had just spent the last couple months with.

Yes. In fact, I’ve been known to take up another book before I end the one I am really enjoying. I just want to spin it out a bit longer.

I cried for a day and was depressed for a week after finishing the Narnia series. It was like losing friends.

I was this way with The Red Tent. Toward the end I read slower and slower and when I got to the end of the last paragraph, I sad and sobbed.

This also happened with an audio book, All the King’s Men. It was a loooooong book-- 22 hours! I used to have a 45-minute commute and listened to it on the way in the morning. I’d get to my client’s office and sit out in the car, still listening. I fell in love with the voice of the reader. I feel that I understood the story and the themes of the story much better than if I had read it. At the end, I was sad and heartachy for several days… missing that voice in my ears on the way into work every day.