Saturday, September 8, 2012
In The Mood
Must Love Books. It was a review of a Girl of Nightmares which unfortunately didn't quite do it for her. Not because it was a bad book but because she thought her setting just didn't mesh well with what was happening in the book. You can check out her post if you'd like. You should because it's what inspired this post.
She mentioned that the first book in the series, Anna Dressed in Blood, was read during a thunderstorm on a dark night. The perfect setting for the book. It got me thinking about our settings and if it could effect our like or dislike of a book. I'm fairly certain it can. I read the book Stolen by Lucy Christopher on a crowded, noisy plane that I couldn't quite get into because I was too distracted. I like the book but a different setting and I might have loved it.
Another experience has convinced me once and for all. Let me explain.I don't get scared easily. I actually go to horror movies not to be scared but to have a good laugh. Scary books just aren't scary, and that strange noise in the other room doesn't evoke fear but annoyance that something is probably broken. So when I tell you that the only book or movie that has ever actually scared me was Stephen King's Salem's Lot, you would think, "wow, that must be one scary book." But the truth is, it wasn't THAT scary, it was the setting I was reading it in. Let me elaborate. I was reading at night in my basement room with only a single bedside lamp on. The house was empty except for me and I was at a very intense part in the book where the characters are hiding in a house from the evil vampires. They think they're alone when they hear the floor boards creek from the upstairs. Right at that moment, in my own room, my bed side lamp's bulb burned out without a sound and I was left in darkness. Not two seconds later the front door above me opened and someone stepped inside the house and the floor boards creaked. You can imagine my fear then. Perfect setting for that book right? What might have been only an intense book became freaky as hell! All because of setting.
I also find it fascinating how books can actually effect our emotions. A happy book with a happy ending leaves us elated and a bad book with a disappointing ending can have us snapping at everyone.
But books also effect us physically. I've read books about freezing conditions, snow storms, and frost bite that had me shivering on a hot summer day and books about hot deserts, dry heat, and dehydrated characters that had me baking on a icy day. Similarly, I've read books that describe food so well that I'm suddenly quite hungry.
Yep, books are funny that way, agreed? What say you? Have you ever read a book in the perfect setting or vice versa? Do books effect you physically and emotionally too?