The thing is that it really is a risk getting into a book series. It's an emotional investment! You fall in love with characters! You laugh, you cry, you scream, you throw the book against the wall in a fit of rage! (Don't laugh, a friend of mine actually did this while reading The Help.)
I once read every single book in "The Cat Who..." series by Lillian Jackson Braun. That was over a TEN-YEAR LONG commitment for me. I discovered her books when I was 11 and then somehow got away from them. Then I picked them up again sometime last year and continued my journey with James Qwilleran, Koko, and Yum-Yum through many a murder mystery adventure. I was completely re-invested. Then I got to the last book and Braun started ruining my life.
She was killing off favorite characters and ruining relationships and sending people to Paris! I was angry. But there was a glimmer of hope. There was one more book from 2008 that wasn't published for some reason. Ah, sweet redemption! Here was Lillian's chance to make things up to me, to set things right, to let me know that Qwill and the cats and all the residents of Moose County were going to be okay. Maybe there was a chance that it would still be released.
But it wasn't. She died in 2011, and I was annoyed. I ranted and raged! I complained to anyone who would listen! Then I decided to do something about it. I started researching, looking for any information about the plot that would give me peace of mind. Instead I found out that Braun had died in hospice of a lung infection at the age of 97 filled with regret over not finishing the last book.
Great. So know I have an unhappy ending AND I feel like a jerk for being mad at this woman.
I don't think I deserve that kind of guilt.
But as risky as books sometimes are, you can't stop reading. Because books are wonderful things. I learned a long time ago that they're "word windows" and that "every time you open one, a new adventure has begun." Now isn't that nice? I think so.
So with that in mind I keep on going. And what do you know, this latest book actually taught me something about myself. I wish I could say it was a lesson about courage or strength or my ability to persevere and stand by my convictions in the face of adversity, or any one of those big ticket items that you want to tell your grandkids about someday, but it wasn't.