Upon Finishing

For years I would, after devouring a great novel, feel low upon finishing it. It was worse than the end of a holiday. I had been part of a whole new world, a separate society, an individual’s trials and tribulations, murder and redemption or love and hate and then, with the turn of a final page, it was gone.

Book clubs are a cure for that sudden onset of depression. Instead of feeling lost upon finishing a captivating novel, you feel a buzz of anticipation. What did the rest of the gang make of it? You do not have to foist the book you have just enjoyed upon someone and have to wait for them to decide to read it. With a book club you know a group of people are reading it at the same time as you. … The gathering represents closure and a pain-free way to start another book. Instead of saying to no one in particular, with a deep sigh, “Ah, that was so moving” and being looked at as if you are either slightly simple or overly bookish, you can say it and receive a knowing nod or an informed shake of the head.

Alyson Rudd