#236 When you hit that point in the book where you suddenly can’t stop reading

It happens out of nowhere.

The pace picks up, stories twist together, and suddenly the book is stuck in your hands. Your eyeballs grow wide and the clock keeps ticking as you go deeper and deeper into the dark hole that sends you straight to the last page.

You know you’ve hit that point if you’re almost skim-reading you’re so excited, if you’re clenching your bladder to avoid bathroom breaks, or you’re constantly flipping forwards to see how much is left before the end.

Here comes the big finish!


— Email message —

“While visiting a friend in London about a month ago, we stopped for a photo outside the Borough Market. When my son,who’s a student in NYC, saw the photo, he noticed his current college roommate, Tom, who is studying abroad in London for the semester, in the background. (navy blue shirt). We never saw Tom, but it’s awesome seeing someone you know in a photo from a faraway place.” – Amy

Photo from: here


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62 responses to “#236 When you hit that point in the book where you suddenly can’t stop reading

  1. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy books do that to me every time I read them. :) That’s why they are my favorite.

  2. Awesome Girl

    Thank you Sarah Dessen for writing all the books I couldn’t put down as a teenage girl. You’re AWESOME!

    • AA

      agreed! Sarah Dessen books did the same for me as a teen!!! (still does really, but I don’t buy them anymore :) )

  3. TrixieRix

    WOW at the email! They world is sooooo much smaller than we think.

    I’m working with a girl who grew up in the same suburb as me. We’re just two years apart. We went to the same HS and had the same majors at the same small, private college. After Katrina we both moved to Maryland and went to UMD for chemistry. We’ve both moved back to New Orleans to that same, small suburb. We just met a month ago when we both accepted the same vacant lab position.

    • That story is wild. Either that’s a pretty awesome coincidence, or one of you is stalking the other one.. :)

    • AA

      crazy…that lab position wouldn’t still be hiring would it…hint hint ;) though really, I love crazy coincidences like those! Makes you realize just how small the world really is :)

    • Abuela.62

      Though I totally agree how awesome it is to reach that I-don’t-care-if-I-have-to-work-tomorrow-I’m-not-putting-this-book-down moment while reading, the email about recognizing someone in a photo, taken so far from home, is surreal! Two Awesomes for the price of one = a fabulous way to start a three-day weekend. :)

  4. It’s fantastic when a book hits its high point, you finish reading it, notice that it’s 3am… And then remember that you can sleep in, cause it’s a weekend. (:

    I don’t care what anyone says, a night spent reading a good book is a night well spent!

  5. carissa

    Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes!

    When the action becomes too suspenseful and your eyes are glued to the page.
    Where your eyes are searching the story and your mind is fully engaged.

    One of the finer moments of AWESOME!

    *Random point abbot the picture:
    Why do people always put a ribbon at the finish line?
    I’ve run in a few races and though I’ve never been the first, there would be remains of the ribbon by the finish line if it were actually there in the first place…just saying.

    • I believe the ribbon aids in telling who came first. You know, you watch them at the end, they stick out their torso and break the tape (much like the woman in the picture); if you’re neck and neck with someone, the person who wins will most likely have the ribbon around their chest.

      …Or maybe they think it’s just pretty. (:

    • Lara

      I used to run cross country and we never had a ribbon. I think it’s just the big marathons that do that. Also, still having the strength to bust through a ribbon after a long race would be awesome. If I had to run a marathon, I’d be crawling at the end.

  6. kunal

    It happened with me last night when I could not put the novel I was reading. And seeing this post here the very next morning is AWESOME!

  7. Ooh I know this one very, very well indeed!! Brilliant ::)

  8. Taylor

    Oh yesss! This has resulted in many innapropriately late nights, followed by very sleep deprived days. I never regret a minute of it though. You gotta do what you gotta do. When I get in this mode, it honestly feels like the world around me disappears. It’s just me, and my book. I don’t even bother to think about the fact that it is 4 am and I have to be up at 6. Nothing is more important at that moment then reaching the end of the book. Very awesome indeed!

  9. Raumil

    Awesome thing #235 should be ‘when u read a post exactly describing a feeling u had some days before’
    just loved it!

  10. I love hitting that point in a book. Its like I just can’t read fast enough, I HAVE to know what will happen.

  11. That’s what happened to me when I read Dan Brown’s, Da Vinci Code for the 1st time! Talk about the author having a great knack for keeping you hanging on!! :D

  12. Anne

    Love that others have that same feeling! I always thought I was crazy to feel like I physically could not put the book down regardless of the fact that I have to get up for work in a few hours.
    Love the post and love the site, Neil!

  13. So page 1 of 1000 Awesome Things! lol.
    This is a great feeling when you are into the book and it feels like you’ve become part of the story. That’s the difference between a good writer and a GREAT writer.
    If you like this blog be sure to check out http://www.heatersandcoolers.blogspot.com!

  14. Magda

    Super cool. Could it be that there’s less than #235 pages to go? :)

    • wendywithaurora

      NO, NO, NO! There has to be a way for this must go on and on and on my friends, like the song that never ends…only with far better lyrics!!!
      We must unite and survive…keep the feed fire burning and alive!
      RU With ME?!*

      • Magda

        Darling, if you’re actually a sexy, tussle haired man with a three letter name starting with *T* and ending in *M* then it’s a deal ;)

        • wendywithaurora

          If you’re talking about Tom Hanks, Tom Petty, Tom Sawyer; Tim Robbins, Tim McGraw or Tim Di Pasqua, the deal is sealed!

  15. Beckah

    I do this when I read Harry Potter books. Last night, I was reading Order of the Phoenix and got to the fight at the Ministry, and then had to read the book all the way to the end. Not the best thing when you have a Maths exam at 9am the next day, but it’s just so brilliantly written – I have never been able to read that section of the book in parts.
    Before I’ve stayed up all night reading a brand new book I’ve just bought all the way to the end. I did that when I read The Perks of Being a Wallflower a few years ago.

    • Taylor

      Harry Potter books are definitely the top offenders when it comes to making me stay up all night. And I am pretty sure I read The Perks of Being a Wallflower in one night too!

      • AA

        the harry potter books taught me the virtues of pacing…not so much fun to get into the crazy reading frenzy…surge towards the end, come up for air and realize you have to wait another year and a half to find out what happens next :)

        • Taylor

          Ah, see I started reading them when the series was already finished. I think I read all 7 books within a week. Crazy times.

          • jdurley

            I also read HP after all 7 had been written, and I remember thinking at the time how awful it would have been to have to wait in between books!

            • AA

              very awful, especially that feeling of really wanting to keep reading and not being able too! But, it was also a lot of fun anticipating the next book with your friends who read the series. The author would also release small bits of info about what happens next all the time, which could lead to tons of debates. So awesome in its own right too!

    • The Harry Potter series was notorious for leaving me in this state where I just had to keep reading! :-)

      With Love and Gratitude,


  16. Kim

    Oh, yes, I do this all the time. It’s an amazing feeling.

    Another awesome thing- When I was a kid I had a night light on my bed stand that was bright enough for me to read by (ok, so in hindsight it probably really helped me get into glasses in 5th grade, but I could see the words!) so I didn’t even need to use a flashlight to stay up reading under the covers! Plus, even more awesome was that my parents would come in every once in a while and tell me to put my book down and I’d put it down, lay down, they’d leave and then I’d pick it back up. Finally they stopped telling me to stop reading because they realized they were telling me not to read and figured I’d sleep when I was tired… AWESOME!

    The world is such a small place and Facebook helps me realize it. At least 2 times i’ve noticed that 2 friends who weren’t supposed to know each other totally did! Crazy!

  17. This is an awesome thing! Right now, its The Dirty Life by Kristin Kimball that’s doing it for me. I just want to get home to read.

  18. Terrorize

    That happened to me today! Was reading Will Grayson Will Grayson and I just could not stop reading, and I finished the whole book in a few hours.

  19. wendywithaurora

    I’ve been spell-bound by these true stories,
    “Mrs. Mike”, by Benedict & Nancy Freedman
    “Bears in Their Backyard”, by Beth Day
    “Entering the Circle”, by Olga Kharatidi
    SO MUCH that I don’t want to miss a word, don’t want to skim and don’t want to feel the pages thinning, “on the other side”.
    TRUE, I’ve thought I’m in great bladder training for “the latter chapters in life, for the end of the race”, but I have never, nor do I think I will ever look anything like the girl in the picture when I reach the finish line.
    True story.
    The end.

  20. Jenn

    I’ve just started a new book and I can’t wait for when that moment comes! I’m so glad I’ve finished school so I can get back to reading something more interesting than a physics textbook.

    • wendywithaurora

      Have you read “The Holographic Universe,” by Michael Talbot?
      I’ve been looking for a physics study/physicist who has, to ask “their” honest opinion.

      • Jenn

        I’m not sure I would describe myself as a physicist. I took grade 11/12 physics because it was either that or biology. I looked up that book though, and the ideas sound interesting, but unfortunately they don’t have it at my public library, so I’d have to go down to Toronto to get a look at it.

        • wendywithaurora

          Thanks for your reply.
          If you had any plan to further explore Physics, Psych., Social/Human Services, I personally think it’s a phenomenally interesting and informative book.
          I just love to hear what other people have to say.
          Happy summer-light reading.

  21. Abby

    I love this! It happened to me last week when I was reading Ferris Beach by Jill McCorkle.

  22. We’ll see if I get to experience this again soon.. I’m going on vacation next week with the wife, and bought the first Hunger Game book at the recommendation of a few people here.. (I’m looking at you jdurley).. Hopefully after the first few days of vacation, I’m plowing through to the end and getting ready to download the next two books!

    • dana

      Hunger Games is the most recent set of books that did this to me. I devoured all three of them. Hope you like them as well!

    • jdurley

      Just last month I saw that the geekteen had left Catching Fire lying around, so I picked it up to glance at.
      Yeah…so I re-read it, and THEN the final book afterwards, and THEN purchased a book of essays about the series just so I could keep reading about it.
      So I’m pretty confident you’ll like them, but if not, I am quite sure your wife will! Whatever you do, don’t bring the Snuggy!

  23. Elysa

    Best book ever – the princess bride by william goldman. I LOVE the movie, and respcetfully say the book is SOOOOO much better than the movie!

  24. Jax

    Hello! Some more awesomeness… The Book of Awesome (and its sequel) gets name checked in my latest article for Slice.ca:


    Helping to spread the joy that is 1,000 Awesome Things :)

  25. ilo

    ah, i can definitely relate to this one always. :)

  26. AA

    I actually try really really hard to keep this from happening, as if you leave me alone with a stack of books, I can totally burrow away for a good week. So when I feel my pace start to pick up and the pressure to just keep going until the end starts to build, I usually force myself to take a break for awhile. But every now and again, it catches me off guard, and I’m simply stuck! So I hide the alarm clock and put away the phone, so I won’t feel guilty for reading straight until 4 am :)

    But as long as it’s not an unfinished series, or you have a really busy day the next morning, it usually is pretty awesome when it happens!

  27. Pingback: #236 When you hit that point in the book where you suddenly can’t stop reading (via 1000 Awesome Things) « Sheepless in Rhode Island

  28. Connor

    For me, otherwise known as page two.

  29. wendywithaurora

    Sometimes I come here to this story-land, to play catch-up with the count-down… Reading “all delightful comments” and I just LOVE the way some “members” very early on politely iced the “not so nice” out, or asked them to “get with the program!” Like there was a collective consciousness and inner knowing for what would nourish the growing.
    The unity and community of people who truly care to keep this a sacred space,with the world shared…a marvelous model of the way humanity should be… is remarkable!
    Meandering mindfully and emotionally through all the fun and games; nostalgically feeling all I can, deep down in my bones, on this journey unfolding iconally is mezmerizingly gripping.
    A really good read is food for many thoughts, like these:
    -where can I hire a good cook and house-keeper?
    -the bathroom break, at 15 steps, is just too far away!
    *+++ many other short-cuts *
    So it’s come to be, something’s that once mattered more to me are in the past, and some more important things matter much more!!!
    Like this Awesome community and MY MOUSE!
    (True story~ recently, we had to get another computer. Ha, ha, ha.)
    *****Thank you everyone for this/these wonderful BOOK(S)=D

  30. NicktheDad

    I love when you stop seeing the words and the book just seems to teleport the story into your mind like some sort of seamless internal movie – projected on the inside of your skull. I’m not even aware of turning the pages anymore.

  31. Kani

    I have red so many Tamil novels; all the novels are belongs 19th, 20th century. Especially kalki navels are very good once I start reading I never go anywhere, even my mom so many times scold me due to this reason

  32. wendywithaurora

    Me again for follow-up, pick-me-ups, please and thank you.

  33. sneakers57

    Then you read really fast and are sad and exhausted when it’s all over.

  34. Nothing better than a good read!

  35. Stephanie

    Haha, I can relate to this with about a billion books! Deffinatly Harry Potter books, Lord of the Rings and Eragon Eldest and Brisingr. Recommended books for anyone to read. AWESOME

  36. Pingback: Awesome things « youknowicanseeyou

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  39. michelle

    Pretty much every book I read does this lol. I love to read, its one of my favorite things to do. I’ll never get tired of walking into a used bookstore, and taking a deep breath, and smelling all the dust and mold. Its one of the best feelings in the world.

  40. Pingback: Brookline Wants to Know Your Feelings | Book Buzz

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