Did you guys know that it's World Book Day? That's right, there is an entire day dedicated to the wonder of reading and writing, so show some damn respect.
What's better than cracking open a book you haven't read yet? Nothing. Not even animal videos. And we looove animal videos over here.
A new adventure awaits! New characters! New places! New couples to mindlessly obsess over! And whether you use an e-reader, your library card or if you just buy them off the shelf, a reader's journey through the eight stages of obsession happens exactly the same way.
So if you're in the middle of a book, about to start one or about to finish one (and everyone should be doing at least one of those things), then use this guide to figure out where you're at in your reading journey:
1. The Giddy Stage
You have a new book! It may be a just-released title or it's an older book you never got around to reading, but it's new! You can't wait to open up that bad boy and dig in. You're skipping around the office and actually not glaring at whoever is eating leftover Thai food right at their desk. Nothing can ruin your anticipatory high. You are untouchable because you have a new book to read when you get home. And admit it: you definitely smelled your new book. Everyone does it. And if you don't, you really should. There is nothing quite like the scent of a new book. Breathe that musk in.
2. The Honeymoon Stage
This is the best book ever! You are so in love with the author and how they unravel the story. You already have your favorite character, and now you want to be them. You're still in the stage where you're doing your reading propped up neatly in bed or lounging gracefully on the couch. Your book deserves to be taken care of, because it makes you so damn happy.
3. The Obsessive Stage
The honeymoon is over. Your book is in your purse/backpack at all times, being banged around as you hurtle through your daily routine, just waiting for a moment of down time so you can sneak a few pages in. You read it at lunch, hunched over your Lean Cuisine and spilling that weird orange sauce all over its shiny new pages. You no longer use a bookmark; now it's all dog ears, all the time. Your book looks like you do after a night of debauchery: dirty, worn out and full of shame. Maybe not the shame part, but the book is definitely dirty and worn out.
Also part of the obsessive stage: you want to talk about it to everyone. You want to tweet about it. You want to go through Tumblr to see all the GIF sets. You're searching Etsy for really specific quotes from the book that have been stitched onto throw pillows. This book has taken over your life.
4. The Anger Stage
This stage could be different for lots of people. You might be angry at the author for some kind of plot twist or character death (the latter being known as the George R.R. Martin condition). Or maybe you're angry that whoever recommended you read the book didn't warn you about what was ahead (that being known as the Red Wedding Condition). Regardless of who or what you're mad at, the point is that you're mad. And if you're not mad at the plot or a person, you're most likely pissed that the book is almost over.
5. The Putting It Off Stage
You're now almost done with the book. And that's an awful thing, because you don't want it to end. Even though you are pulling your hair out in anxiety/excitement over finding out how the book ends, you want to prolong the process. It's torture. Pure, sweet literary torture. Because if the book doesn't end, then neither does your reading.
6. The Obsessive Stage: Part II
So you finished the book? Good. Time to talk to everyone and their brother about how it ended! You are annoying friends, coworkers, bank tellers, your dentist and strangers on the street about it. This is when you pour over every article every website has ever done about the book. This stage also includes dream casting the movie/TV show version of the book, or obsessing over the casting that has already been done should your book be getting an adaptation. And jebus help anyone who disagrees with your opinion of the book. You will be objective in a couple of days, but right now, you just want to talk to people who share your point of view.
7. The Jealousy Stage
Remember all those wonderful feelings you just experienced? You will never experience them with that particular book again. It's just not fair! You can only read something for the first time once, so anyone picking up the book you just finished is the subject of your rage envy. You are so jealous that they are going into this story without knowing anything about it that you want to choke them. The first introduction. The twists. The ending. You know everything now, which doesn't make reading the book any less enjoyable, but you'll never experience the book with fresh eyes ever again. Other people who haven't read the book yet are so lucky!
8. The Never-ending Stage
This is basically the time after you pass the jealousy stage, but before you read the book again. And when you do pick it up to read it once more, you're catching things you never noticed before when you flew through it for the first time. It's changing. The story is actually alive. It's beautiful, because the adventure within the pages never, ever ends; it just grows and changes with time.
We love you, books. Don't ever leave us.
So what stage are you in now?
(Originally published on Tue., Apr. 8, 2014 at 12:10 PM PDT)