Guest Post: Shannon Bradford


So, a couple of weeks ago I asked you lovely bloggers if you you would like to be my guest blogger, and yesterday I received this lovely little post fro Shannon that fits perfectly! If you have a minute check out her blog at ‘’! (It’s definitely worth a look, trust me!) 

When Books Betray You

I have a small secret.  My husband of (almost) thirteen years is not the love of my life.  No, I’m not having an affair, and I’m not pining over a lost love.  Unless of course you count fictional characters as having the potential to be the one who got away.

The truth is the real love of my life is books.  Not any one book in particular; I’ve had relationships with many different books. There have been more innocent crushes than I can count.  There have been a few steamy loves; with action hot enough I worried about scorching the pages. I’ve fallen in love, sometimes several times in one night. I’ve even run away a few times, travelling to distant lands with people I have barely met. I’ve waged wars, and been on both the winning and the losing side. Every night, it’s a new adventure. 

Long before I met my husband, before I had children, I was just a nerdy kid with her nose buried in a book.  My books have been there for me, longer than almost anything else has. When everyone else is gone, I will still have my old friends, waiting for me just where I left them. They never judge me, never tell me I should lose ten pounds, never tell me what I just said was stupid, and never make me feel bad when it is years between visits to my favourite lands. They accept me for who I am, how I am.  How could anything compare to the joy books have brought me? 

This deep and lasting love makes it even worse when books betray me.

I’ve had friends before who say one thing to your face, and another behind your back.  I’ve had girls smiling sweetly, while they try to take my job. I’m almost used to humans not being what they say they are. Everyone has an agenda, and it is amazingly easy for many people to throw someone else under the bus if it helps them get what they want.

Books are not supposed to be like that. Books are supposed to tell you a story, teach you a lesson, or take you on an adventure.  I don’t require books to have a happy ending.  I like it when my friends are okay when the book is over. I worry about them when the story ends; it does make me feel better to know they are all right. But when they don’t get everything they want, I can be okay with that. As long as it makes sense, I can be all right with any kind of ending. 

Sometimes, though, I cannot accept the way the books ends.   

I’m sure everyone has been there. Reading happily along, and suddenly, BAM. Your universe is collapsing around you. It’s the love story that ends with someone being hit by a car and dying. It’s the adventure that ends when the hero wakes up and realises it was all a dream. It’s the murder mystery that brings in a random stranger who has not been mentioned before and had no motive as the killer. It’s every clichéd over done ending that somehow makes it past editing and into the general population and every teenage couple that is deeply devoted to each other within moments of spotting each other across the cafeteria. 

Every time a writer gets a little lazy, they, and by extension their book, betray the reader. 

We, the readers, spend our time and money, investing in the fates of these characters. We have a right to expect quality story telling. We have a right to expect authors to put more thought into their book than in how they plan to spend the royalties. We have the right to expect our books to follow a logical progression. Even when we are surprised, we should be able to look back and say, “Yes, that is how it should have been.”

What can we do when our books betray us? Do we take to the blogs, and trash the book, the writer, the agent, the editor, the cashier at the bookstore, everyone who had any hand in bringing this book into our lives? Should I create the angriest tweet possible within 140 characters? Do we bring back the book burnings, crying into the flames, begging for the ending that should have been?

No.  Of course not. 

You cry, you rage, you throw the book across the room, and when you are done, you pick it up, and you forgive it.  Even if the book was not there for you, you are still there for them. 

Because this is true love.


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