Absorbing Reading

Victoria Valentina listening to Daddy read his latest story.

Victoria Valentina listening to Daddy read his latest story.

How deeply do you become involved in a story? Are you an outcome based reader? That is, do you read a story only to find out what happens, whodunit, how the plot resolves? Or do you plunge completely into the fictional world? Do you laugh aloud at the jokes and unexpected twists? Do characters become so real to you that you mourn if they die or suffer loss? Do you set the book down and stare blankly at the wall as you absorb the news of a tragedy that’s befallen, imagining the reactions of the characters and the repercussions on the society?

Ever thrown the book across the room?

Or perhaps the wires the writer is using to tug on your heartstrings are too obvious, leaving you too aware that none of what you are reading is real to allow any visceral response?

Or does your involvement depend on the length of the fiction? Or upon the skill of the author? Or the type of story?

I know that every time I finish “The Lord of the Rings” I’m going to be lost to reality for several minutes, “Well, I’m back,” still resonating. And part of me will want to pick up the “Fellowship” and start the journey all over again.

And for many of us the phrase “Red Wedding” is enough to trigger anger, disbelief, shock.

What fictional event left the biggest impression on you? Still holding any grudges against an author?