Everyone knows that a book’s ending is make-or-break time.
In more famous cases, Harry’s kids are named for his parents and favorite Hogwarts professor, or (ahem) everyone’s favorite symbol of hope and innocence is brutally killed off. Thank you, Hunger Games.
The end of the semester feels a lot like reaching the end of a good or terrible book. You’re just trying to plough through to the ending, no matter what crazy plot twist might be in store or how late you have to stay up; your irrational worries have usually caused you to wake up crying at 3 a.m. and you’re hoping that the author (read: your professor) cuts your GPA some slack and doesn’t break your heart.
Despite my little, dirty, serial habit of skipping (shh) to the end of slow books in order to see what happens, I don’t like endings.
Endings mean change. Endings mean that you don’t get to follow around your favorite character like a puppy for another 50 pages or hear what overly sarcastic thing their sidekick is going to say when the main character inevitably screws up or watch the character who’s grown up in the last seven books finally fall in love.
Endings mean the story finishes, and you can’t change what the author has written. (Unless, of course, there’s a totally unnecessary sequel. But I digress.)
This reason is why some people write fanfiction, or ignore that last chapter for an ending of their own creation — half of those kid’s novels have the “invent your own ending” option.
But the thing about endings is that, no matter which crucially plot-important character has left, who ended up with who or who failed that test they really needed to pass, endings leave room for other stories to worm their way in.
So...you had to drop that annoying class this semester. You get to feel the soul-tearing, phone-throwing agony that is almost making the grade, but not quite. You stayed out too late one night and forgot an assignment, or didn’t and are just totally burnt out.
Occasionally, you may need to burn one or three books entirely and un-remember that Ron Weasley was briefly dating Lavender Brown before Hermione flung a flock of birds at his head.
But you can’t move onto “The Scarlet Letter” if you’re still stuck on “Alice in Wonderland.” There’s no room for Oscar Wilde if you’re still obsessing over Henry James. Your time “On The Road” is no less fun if you decide to plug in “Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist” while you drive.
Even if the book ends, you can still go back and reread it until the bindings come off.
Eventually you will forget the witty party scene on page 283 and that one character from the eighth chapter, and you’ll decide to come back and reread.
But isn’t it better to have “The Great Gatsby” if you know you can temper it with “Jane Eyre?” Doesn’t “The Bell Jar” add to “The Handmaid’s Tale?” Don’t you think Sylvia would have liked Offred, and Jay Gatsby would have related to Rochester’s crazy twisted romance schemes?
Endings mean your favorite characters crunch together to make room for their new roommate, ¬your new books. Endings mean you get this, and this and that.
Endings equal an epilogue: your favorite stories with new characters.