Why is Saying Goodbye to a Book So Hard?

Why is Saying Goodbye to a Book So Hard?

Sometimes it's a desolate feeling when you read the last page of a book.

I love visiting my boy who lives states away from me, but I hate the see-ya-later part. It’s a punch in the heart. Of course it’s only natural to feel that way when you’re walking away from someone you love.

 Me and my boy at Mount Evans in Colorado.

Me and my boy at Mount Evans in Colorado.


But does it make you a freak if you weep when you close the last page of a book? When you mourn the loss of saying goodbye to fictional characters you’ve grown to love?

Come on. Admit it. We’ve all been there. A great story is hard to come by and even harder to let go of. But why exactly is saying farewell to a book so hard?

1. You’ve formed an emotional attachment

Spending time with someone, even a fictional someone, creates an emotional attachment. There’s no way around it, especially when an author does his job and connects with the reader via a character through real-life feelings. This doesn’t necessarily have to be the hero, though oftentimes it is. Even a secondary character, such as a child or a hapless, lovable klutz can bond with us.

Example: The Pursuit of Tamsen Littlejohn by Lori Benton
Though I read this several years ago, the hero, Jesse Bird, stuck with me. His thoughtfulness, his childhood pain, his courage and protective spirit are all traits that I admired from the get-go.

2. You feel as if you’ve lived in the setting and now you’re being evicted

Everyone needs an escape now and then. When an author creates such a vivid story world that you wish you could live there, it’s tough to go back to your own reality.

Example: A Moonbow Night by Laura Frantz
This book is taking me forever to read. Why? Because I am seriously savoring every single word. From the thimbleberries growing in cool mountain ravines to the pluming steam of mineral streams, Laura Frantz paints a time and place that is magical. And I don’t even care if there’s no running water or air conditioning. I just want to live there.

3. You’ve learned an eye-opening truth and are grateful

There’s a reason Jesus used analogies. Truth is best conveyed in the guise of a story. It’s life changing when a Biblical truth goes down deep and takes root for the first time. That’s an experience that’s hard to walk away from.

Example: Streiker’s Bride by Robin Hardy
It’s not like I didn’t know Jesus didn’t love me before I read this book. But after devouring this story, I had a whole new understanding of His incredible strong but freeing love for me in a way I’d never experienced before.

Stop feeling like a freak next time you set down a book and are sad. You are not the only one.