There’s something about reading the last book in a trilogy or series. You eat up all the other books in the series and when you finally get to the last book, you hold it gently in your hands, turning it carefully. You open the front cover up gently and read the summary, amazed that the final book has come at last. You flip through the pages, reveling in the newness of the book. You take a look at the back cover, just in case you might have missed something. You don’t, but you want to read it anyway, just in case.
You turn it back to the front. You stare at the front cover intently. The picture is perfect, to be honest. It holds so much in such a small amount of space. It tells the story without telling you the story. It sucks you into the details of what the story could possibly tell you int its final chapters and pages. You just sit there for a little bit, wondering if you could possibly begin the story so long awaited for.
You open the cover again slowly, as if you’re holding something of historic value. To you it is, regardless of the opinions of others watching you handle such precious cargo. You flip through the title page and the dedication page, savoring it all.
You reach the first page and there you begin.
You read the first few pages and then you realize something: This is the beginning of the last time you’ll ever get to be involved with these characters that you’ve begun to care for for so long. How can you start the book with this realization breaking upon you like waves crashing relentlessly against the rocky shore?
You reach for your bookmark and place it into the virgin book and slowly close you. You can’t do it, not just yet. You can’t handle the truths that these characters will no longer take you on their journey anymore after this point.
You slowly put the book down. It stares up at you with sad puppy eyes, begging for you to pick it back up. It’s ever so lonely; it wants to be placed in your hands, the very ones that it’s been dreaming of since it got placed in the bookstore display. It wants to tell you its secrets. You look at it sadly, filled with longing. Not just yet, my dear book, you say to it. You can’t tell me your secrets just yet.
You let it sit there for a few hours, maybe even a day or two. It’s taunting you, pulling you with all its force and might, sucking you into its power so that it can finally unleash it’s flood of words upon you. You want it to, oh how you want it to do just that. But once the gates have been opened, you can never go back. You can only read a book for the first time once.
You let it go for as long as you can and then…you can’t let it go on any longer. At this point, you’re dying to know what the contents are within those two simple book covers. Sitting down on the couch once more, you pull the book to you. You lean back against the couch and pull your feet up to a more comfortable position.
Once more, you open the book. Just a few more pages, you think to yourself. I’ll just read to the end of the chapter. No need to rush this final journey.
A few pages turn into a hundred pages before you finally tear yourself away and look at the clock. You hadn’t meant for this to happen. You didn’t want to make it go so fast. But somehow, the book had done what it promised you to: it sucked you in. It wove it’s magic into you and you couldn’t stop in fear of never knowing what’s going to happen next.
You put the book done and walk away before it drags you away again. And once more, the cycle begins. The reluctance to move so fast to the end only to come back again and read another hundred pages.
Before you know it, the end has come. The last page comes and then tearfully, the last word. You sit there silently for a moment, taking it all in. Was it worth it? Yes. Oh, definitely. You go back and re-read the last paragraph, then the last sentence. It’s hard to finish such a wonderful series when the world is still bouncing back and forth in your mind.
Finally, you set the book down. You’re pleased with how it turned out, there was no disappointments to drag you down for the next few days. The book in turn, is satisfied that it could finally tell you its story. Both leave with the knowledge that both have changed from the experience. Someday you know you’ll meet again, this time with the knowledge of what’s going to happen. But this time, you know you can slow the roller coaster down to a leisurely walk where you can take in all the details.
That is all in the future. In the meantime, you walk around with a smile on your face and head in the clouds. Little do the others who are wondering what’s gotten into you that you’re secretly in another world, processing a new book that you want to keep secret in your heart until you know how to speak eloquently to its virtues.
That is how a book lives forever.