BookTasty Talks: Escapism or Emotion

Hi there everyone!

Earlier this week I was working on my Top Ten Tuesday post about characteristics that will make me NOT want to read a book. As I was writing that specific post (you can read it here) I began to realize what I guess I always knew about myself but hadn’t ever really put it into words.

I realized that for me, reading is pure escapism. No crying, no serious “real world” troubles, no cancer, no abuse. I don’t want to feel like I’m reading the evening news while reading a book. I don’t want to be forced to think about difficult topics. There is only a certain amount of space in my heart, mind and soul to be able to handle the hardships of the world. It’s not like I hide from or ignore those problems, I’m very aware of current events and what is going on in my local community, state, nation etc… it’s just that I feel my emotions very deeply and sometimes you just need to switch the junk off, to be able to survive. This is probably one of the main reasons why I adore Young Adult and Middle Grades fiction as much as I do. There are just so many options within these sectors of the book world that are nice and cry free.

With all this said I also believe in being a well-rounded reader so sometimes I do force myself to read some books that are out of my emotional comfort zone. In recent months I read Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys (work camps and genocide), If I Stay by Gayle Forman (death of family members), A Long Walk to Water  by Linda Sue Park (Lost Boys of Sudan), and One for the Murphys by Linda Mullaly Hunt. See?! I sometimes venture into the scary world of crying books!


OMG Someone give poor Stitch a tissue!

So, what about you? Do you like a good tear-jerker that makes you reach for the tissue while reading? If so, more power to ya! You go get all comfy and cozy with the emotions! :)


Puppies. The perfect escapism.

Or do you like to keep your emotions at bay while reading and  prefer to enjoy books that provide an escape from all the hardships of the world?

Go ahead talk to BookTasty a little!

16 thoughts on “BookTasty Talks: Escapism or Emotion

  1. This is too funny, because I plan on putting together a post similar to this. It’s not exactly the same, but it definitely touches on some of the same things.

    I’m definitely with you about cry-free books. There is only so much that I can handle, and I no my limit. I do read books that will leave me an emotional mess, but I have to mentally prepare myself, and also really have to push myself to do it.

    I’m glad I’m not the only one hear, because I know so many readers that love the tearjerkers, and I think that’s great, but I’m also like “how can you handle all that? Because I can’t”

    Great post!!!

    • You’re right, mental preparation IS a big deal when you challenge yourself to read a tearjerker (if you’re not normally into them). I had to prep myself for If I Stay AND Between Shades of Gray big time!

  2. Great idea for a post! I honestly like to read books for entertainment, not to broaden myself or learn about tragic topics. I don’t look for books that deal with “tough” subjects just for the fact that they deal with them.

    As for tear-jerkers, there are some that I adore and sometimes… I just want a good cry. But I don’t want a book that’s going to make me cry the entire time! If I’m going to get emotionally involved in a story, I want it to be because of the story, the plot, the characters… not the “tough” subject.

    I want a book to entertain me, to make me think, to let me lose myself in it… if it makes me cry, great. I also feel that way about if it makes me laugh, get angry, whatever. Do I seek out books to incite different emotions? Nope. But I love when books surprise me and I feel those things!

    • That’s an interesting point about entertainment. My husband reminded me that for him movies that bring up emotions is entertainment for him. Some people just enjoy a good cry once in a while, like you do and that can be entertaining. :) thanks for sharing!

  3. Hi BookTasty, nice post! I’m one of those read-anything kind of readers – not that I don’t have discriminating tastes, but I’m willing to give anything a try. I wholeheartedly believe that there are a whole range of books out there and reading can likewise serve many purposes; This includes the loftier endeavors like education, enrichment, connecting with the world – and pure and simple entertainment – and all of these purposes are equally valid!

    It’s interesting that you mention YA lit, because while it can definitely be an escape to read a harmless supernatural romance, for example, YA lit can also serve as way for young people to deal with those tough and unpleasant issues in a healthy way. The extreme themes that are often present in YA fiction (abuse, death, drugs) allow teens to live these experiences and learn from them along with the characters without necessarily having to experience them for real.

    That said, I have always been one to defend the Twilight saga to those who criticize the poor quality of characters, lack of depth, etc. because sometimes we just need some entertainment, and there’s nothing wrong with that!

    • Oh I totally agree with you about providing teens insight into those tough issues. As a middle school media specialists I have seen my teens flock to the tearjerkers or the issue books (ie A Child Called It was crazy popular!)

      Of course I also agree that all types
      reading ate valid. :) Im just talking my
      personal preferences when reading. :) thanks for your thoughtful comment!!

  4. I read for escapism too. When stories get too gritty and I just feel depressed, I can’t handle it. I actually really like sad stories, it’s the disturbing ones I can’t handle for the same reason as you – they stick with me too much and I can’t get them out of my head. It makes it hard to function. I should try to branch out of my comfort zone some more and read stuff like The Fault in Our Stars. I don’t read usually read contemporary. I really like this post!

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  6. Every once in a while I like to read more emotional books (The Fault in Our Stars, anyone? Looking for Alaska? Like, basically anything by John Green?) but I find myself leaning towards books that have a more feel-good atmosphere to them. Great post!

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