The Art of Book Wussing: The Book Thief

Book wussing: The act of leaving a book in the middle because something bad/sad/scary is going to happen, and you know it. Even if the book is enjoyable.

I am bad about book wussing. I have a habit of feeling something I won’t enjoy is coming in a book, so I’ll put it down. I put it down with every intention of picking it up, and soon. But sometimes, every time I look at the book, I quake. It will haunt me, I will think about the book all the time and how I should finish it. I think about how I should just get over it and finish the damn book. But sometimes, it’s almost impossible for me to pick the book up again.

Example: The Book Thief by Marcus Zusack | goodreads

The Book Thief cover

What I remembered: Death, everything he says about Rudy, Liesel stealing books, Max

Why I wussed: Rudy, duh.

What I loved: Liesel and Hans reading and learning to read together! My heart. Max in general. Rosa going to the school to tell Liesel. All the love. And definitely Rudy.

I bought The Book Thief in 2010. I started reading and enjoyed it. I knew what was coming. The book tells you straight out, and then hints at various other things. At some point, I stopped reading it. I have two different post-it notes in the book, one at 274 and one at 370.

I will admit that 2010 was a really difficult year for me for so, so many reasons. But still, I’ve had 3 years to finish this book. Every time I saw the book I would think about it. I wanted to know how it ended. I wanted to love it as much as everyone else! But I knew sadness lurked in the pages.

Finally, in November (months ago, I’ve actually had this whole post drafted and kept changing my mind on when/if to post it), I decided to finish it. I actually read the whole book, which is good. I remembered a lot from the beginning, but there were a few things I had forgotten. And yes, I sobbed and sobbed. HOWEVER, I am glad I finally got the nerve to read it. I am generally a fan of sad stories, and crying in books doesn’t bother me. But wow, the pain.

This book isn’t a favorite, but I do think it was meaningful. It made me think and feel a lot of things. I felt a lot for the characters, and for multiple characters. I did feel like the end was way more abrupt than I expected it to be. It felt like so much was riding on this one event and then things just kind of ended. I think Liesel dealing with everything and a picture of what happened after might have been nice. The ending wasn’t bad, but I would have liked a little less blank feeling.

So, my book wussing was validated because of the pain but also silly because it was survivable.

Have you read The Book Thief? Was it an instant favorite for you or do you have more complicated feelings for it? Did you weep a river? Have you watched the movie? Should I? Let me know!