Am I the only person out there who finds there to be a distinct difference between how I feel while actually reading a book versus thinking about or remembering the story itself? I feel like I’m weird in that some books, which hold the nearest and dearest places in my heart – Lord of the Rings leaps to mind, and The Silmarillion, which I’m currently reading and is the inspiration for this musing – were sort of a mental slog for me. I found it very difficult, whether due to the writing style or something more ethereal – to be drawn into and captivated by much of it. Maybe my reading time was just too choppy, not allowing enough time for me to sink into the LOTR mindset. Whatever it was, the physical act of reading often felt like something I’m forcing myself to get through, sometimes just to say I have. But when I’m not actively reading, I’m obsessed. The story captivates me and the world makes me want to live there and meet the characters. Even The Silmarillion, with its multitude of similarly named characters that are incredibly difficult to keep straight, can set me to daydreaming for hours in the back of my mind. It’s happened a few times before – that actually reading a book makes me want to tear my hair out but then all I want to do when I’m done is go back and read it again – mostly with classics like Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights (children’s classics I loved even as a child – I could read The Secret Garden over and over and over and never get tired of it). Am I that lazy of a reader, that I only want simple and easy books that hand their plot and excitement over on a silver platter, and these authors are skilled enough to thwart my laziness? Or is it a matter or aesthetics – that I want the beauty handed to me, and these authors make me search for it – after all, Wilde and Fitzgerald and Kerouac are some of my favorites and I never have trouble reading them. Or is this simply something many readers go though, a sense that when you’ve worked for something, it’s even sweeter than when it’s just handed to you? I desperately hope it’s the latter, but based on my experience with other authors, I’m pretty sure it’s one of the former.