That Panic Moment When I Thought Books Might Have Lost Their Magic…

I finished the 2nd book in an insanely good trilogy today by Lisa McMann (Fade in her Wake trilogy – in case you were curious).

I generally don’t love series and trilogies, but I can’t get enough of these people.

It’s been a long time since a book has dragged me in and not let me go.

It used to happen all the time. With almost every book.

Now it’s rare. I even recently purchased a new release from one of my FAV-EVER authors – I read the first bit, got busy, and I know I’ll read the rest, I’m just not dying to.


I used to scoff in my college lit classes when the professor would talk about symbolism and word placement. I no longer scoff (okay, still sometimes). I now understand how many times an author “chooses” a particular word over and over through first drafts and second drafts and revisions, and edits…

Earlier today I had this terror moment of –

Have books lost their magic for me? 

And I’m not 100% over the panic of this realization because my perception of stories and writing has changed so much over the past few years. I see the mechanics side of it. I understand the editing side. The detail side. It’s really hard to let that go and just READ. It’s harder to find myself in that glorious moment of having a willing suspension of disbelief so I can enjoy the story.

I’m at this place where every little thing matters. I can’t keep reading if there are inconsistencies in plot, character or action. I start to second-guess the author. Then the story doesn’t feel genuine. Then… At that point I don’t care.

I’ve even read some fantastic books that didn’t grab me and make me obsess like they would have even five years ago. Maybe it’s the writing or the story, but most likely it’s the voice.

Things have changed. I’ve changed. My perception has changed. My tastes have changed.

This is fine, it just means I always need to read the first chapter before I buy… 😉

It also means that I really really savor the books that do pull me in.

So, for the authors out there – Do you find yourself getting pickier about what you want to read the longer you write?

And for the readers – Do you find yourself getting pickier the more books you read?

~ Jolene


5 thoughts on “That Panic Moment When I Thought Books Might Have Lost Their Magic…

  1. This is so me right now it scares me. Like I’m afraid I’ll never love books the way I used to. I especially have a hard time with books in the genre I write. I’m on constant critique mode and have a hard time shutting it off. For this reason I do check out first chapters on Amazon before I buy. It brings new meaning to the importance of first pages (or paragraphs, sentences, words) as a writer. I love the Wake trilogy too. 🙂

  2. Books are my escape. Stories and worlds and characters ALWAYS have magic BECAUSE i know what went in to them. I don’t critique unless I’m supposed to. And even then I allow myself to experience the book from a reader’s perspective. I may be a writer. But i will always be a reader first. I think I’m okay with that 🙂

  3. So which book was it, if I may ask? 🙂

    I’m probably more critical. And I’ve probably set aside more books these last two years cause I was dissatisfied. And sometimes it has to do with the writing. Or it’s just too slow for me. And even though I can’t see the telling in my own, I notice it in others. Although that bother me as much.

    So it’s affected me, but not as much as you, I guess.

    K. So this is the 3rd time I’ve clicked on your blog in the last few minutes, going to different posts from Feedly. And I’ve seen two headers. How does that work? I get headers that change when you’re on the site, but I haven’t seen it where you have a different one every time you visit. Did that make sense?

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