June 20th, 2014

Cry Me A River

What with the recent explosion of attention towards a certain tearjerker of a book/movie, I've thought a lot recently about the emotional interfacing between a reader and a book. A good book (or story of any kind, really) makes a reader feel something—it connects with the reader on some critical level. A good book, at the risk of preaching to the choir, takes a person through a range of emotions and experiences perhaps otherwise unknown to them—so joy from the book is uplifting, sorrow from the book is cathartic, and so on.

(Of course, a really bad book can make a person happy and sad for very different reasons, most of which are aptly described in German, but that's another story.)

The thing is that I've never really been one to cry at a book. I've read many books that I loved, in which I found myself completely engrossed—but crying, actually being physically moved to tears? It's not really my thing. In my recollection, only two books have made me cry, and probably not the ones you'd think. (Of course, I also don't scare very easily, so maybe I'm the problem.)

So, having established that my tear ducts are, in fact, filled with cement, I'm terribly curious to hear from others. Are you inclined to cry with books (comics/movies/whatever)? If so, which ones affected you the most? Do you prefer crying over what's very personal to you, or will a more general tale of woe move you just as much? Leave your wisdom in the comments! I'd love to hear your thoughts.