I’m Always Reading: Bookish Stress Edition!

Posted January 20, 2013 by Asheley in Uncategorized / 17 Comments

This picture belongs to me. So does this coffee.
I’m gonna drink it while I tell y’all about my bookish stresses.

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

I’m audiobooking this and following along in print because 1) I want to read more classics and 2) I really want to see the movie. I had no idea when I started it that it would be so emotionally enveloping. I knew absolutely nothing about this story going into it. NO. THING. That being said, I have made more faces and felt more feelings with this book than I ever would have imagined. There is NO WAY I would be able to get through this book without discussing it with someone that already read and loved it.

Thank you Hannah for going through this one with me because otherwise, I’d just be a mess the entire time! I love it. Except when I am torn up over it. And even then, I kind of love it too. (For example, the other day something happened and I had to stop reading it for a whole entire two days. I was all stressed out. Then I took a deep breath and dove right back into it. I love it. Oh, Anna!)

I’m about one-third of the way through this chunkster and I have absolutely NO CLUE about what’s coming up AT ALL. So NO SPOILERS, please! I need it to stay completely unknown to me!

Oh! You guys, this book, this book….I love it so much. So very much. I’m in it for the long haul.

Wither and Fever by Lauren DeStefano

The Chemical Garden Trilogy by Lauren DeStefano is hands-down one of my favorite series ever. It is dark and it gets darker, and I anticipate that Sever could potentially be the darkest of them yet. I am re-reading them because it’s almost time for the final book (counting down the days!) and you guys, they are indeed so much better the second time around. These books! Just, aaaahhh. The first time I read them, I was in awe of how Lauren DeStefano could take an absolutely bleak and horrible, dark and creepy world and write it with such a beautiful language, such flowing words. The first time I inhaled the books, reading super quickly. This time, I’m taking my time, savoring each word. Reading super slowly. Catching every detail. I am loving it. So much.

I’m reading along with Heather, and I’m enjoying this so much because this is her first read! It is always so wonderful to read a favorite book or series and re-live it through someone else’s eyes for the first time. 

I’m scared to pieces, absolutely petrified, of what is to come in the third book! I won’t spoil anything for anyone that hasn’t read these brilliant books yet, but will ____ find _____? Does ______ get ______? What about ____? Grrr! I have a million questions like that and I promise you that I will have my answers! I will! But not before I pace the floors, chew off all of my fingernails, yell, cry, and probably pass out a time or two. Not joking!

Unearthly and Hallowed by Cynthia Hand

You know, it’s kind of funny how this came to happen. I initially planned to read this series because it would be completed in 2013. I decided to go ahead and read it now because I’ll be attending the Pitch Dark Days event near my town in a few weeks. Author Cynthia Hand will be there – hers are the only books that I had not read by the authors on the panel. So it seemed perfect, right? Time to start them!

When I started Unearthly a few days ago, I didn’t realize that everyone and their brother was reading them too! I was already discussing them with Lauren, who was ecstatic that I was finally reading them. But Hannah coincidentally had started the book at about the same time too. It seems like we’ve gotten sucked into this world at about the same time, in about the same way, and we are both apparently loving it a ton.

I can only speak for myself when I say that OH MY GRACIOUS I AM SO STRESSED OUT ABOUT THESE BOOKS, YOU GUYS. I LOVE THEM TO PIECES AND I HAVE NO IDEA HOW THEY WILL TURN OUT! At the time of this blog post, I have finished Unearthly. As soon as this goes to press – the very second – I will begin Hallowed, which is sitting calmly to my left, and will probably read the heck out of it until I finish. And I don’t know what I’ll do until I can get my hands on a copy of Boundless, the last book in this trilogy. I’ll probably panic. Y’all think I’m joking, but I’m not. I call this Bookish Stress.


When I feel Bookish Stress, I get the feeling that I’m having a fluttery heart. Palpitations. Maybe I sweat a little. Is that gross? Inappropriate for a Southern girl to say? I don’t even care. (You guys are readers too, so knock off the judgment!) Bookish stress sometimes makes me chew on my fingernails. Sometimes Pretty much always, I pace the floor while I read. I make lots of faces, and I’m sure they’re hilarious. I YELL AT THE CHARACTERS! I YELL, y’all.

You guys, I FEEL the books I read, down to the core of my very being. 
It’s bookish stress! 
It’s the very best kind of stress to have, you see. 
I absolutely love it. 

And I’m not going to lie, I’m TOTALLY stressed out over the books I’ve shown you up there in my pictures. But it’s bookish stress, so it’s all good. I kind of love it. 

I’m reading other things while I’m reading these books, of course. They’re really not stressful though. And they’ll show up on the blog soon!


What books make you feel BOOKISH STRESS?
I know I’m not the only one out there feeling it!

Also, have you read any of these books in my pictures?
Love them? Hate them?
Tell me about your experiences!


About Asheley

Asheley is a Southern girl. She loves Carolina blue skies, Ben & Jerry's ice cream, and NC craft beer. She loves all things history but prefers books over everything.

You can find her somewhere in North Carolina, daydreaming about the ocean.

Find Asheley on Litsy @intothehallofbooks!


17 responses to “I’m Always Reading: Bookish Stress Edition!

  1. I love that you feel so deeply about the books you read. I can understand how that goes — although it is sort of rare for me, unless I am reading an amazing book or a really bad book. Anyways.

    I've read the Unearthly books except for Boundless and love them. Tucker forever, yo.

    Also have read Wither and Fever and while I didn't like Fever quite as much, I still liked it and am looking forward to Sever.

    AND! I really want to read AK. I actually just bought it like 3 days ago through Audible. I'm hoping I love it.

    • I don't ALWAYS get as emotionally attached, but when I do, MAN I DO.

      The Unearthly and Hallowed books just broke me. I am in no way ready for Boundless!

      Wither and Fever are so, so great to me. Among my all-time favorites. However, my stress comes from so many unanswered questions and wondering how Lauren D. will surprise us and what she will throw at us in the end!

      And Anna K. SIGH SIGH SIGH THAT STORY. Sigh again.

  2. I love this post! Gotta break it down by topic:

    1. Anna Karenina. I bought this book TEN+ years ago. I think I was still in college so it's been a while. I have tried to read it THREE different times and always get too bogged down to get anywhere with it. But the fact that you are reading it and loving it inspires me. I'll give it another go here soon:) And I want to see that movie too because Kiera Knightly rules:)

    2.Oh The Chemical Garden Series! You and I are on the same page for sure. I am both excited and petrified to start Fever just because Wither DRAINED ME emotionally. And by most accounts Fever is even more intense. But as soon as I finish Boundless next week I am on Fever!

    3. Which brings me to the Unearthly Series. HOLY Addiction! This series has completely SUCKED ME IN and has me in it's clutches. After you finish Hallowed email me and let me know what you think. I found it to be much more emotional than Unearthly. AND are you going to read Radiant, the novella that comes after Hallowed and before Boundless? Read it last night. HIGHLY recommend. especially if you are curious about Angela because it gives her POV. $1.99 at Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/Radiant-HarperTeen-Impulse-ebook/dp/B0092QBP8Y/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1358721349&sr=8-1&keywords=radiant)

    4. And lastly I love that you get so worked up over books. You and Lauren are two peas in a pod! I love when I get all those "book butterflies" while reading a book I am really into:)

    And yes, we southern girls do SWEAT. We live in the SOUTH, of course we do! Perhaps we should say perspire, it's more genteel sounding 😉

    • 1. I could NOT get into Anna K. until I had someone reading it to me. The reason for this is: if I cannot pronounce the names, I can't get into the story. With all of those Russian names, I couldn't get past the second or third chapter. Reading the book and having the audiobook going at the same time (thru the library) has done WONDERS for this. I'm LOVING the story and while it is taking a long time (it's chunky!) I'd NEVER have probably picked it up again were it not for audio reading it. And I NEVER would watch the movie if I didn't do the book first. So I'm motivated to get thru it. I'm about halfway thru and IT. IS. SO. GOOD. And truthfully, I have no idea about any of the story, so it's a real treat to have such a big surprise with the turn of every page. I love it.

      2. The stress for me is all in how it will end and I have no idea how it will end and there goes my fingernails!

      3. WOW The Unearthly series has broken me. BROKEN ME. I read Unearthly and Hallowed back to back, which is a weird thing for me, you know. THOSE BOYS. *phew* I spent days stressing over it and I've decided I'm just gonna have to wait a little bit before I read Boundless. I just can't go straight into the third one! I am next in line at the library for Radiant (Angela hasn't been my very favorite, so I'm not sure I want to buy this one, particularly since the library has it.) but I'll get to Boundless soon! EEEKKKK – THE MOST bookish stress I've had in a very long time. Seriously.

      4. Getting worked up over books is THE BEST. It's strange – Mike laughs at me, but it's the best kind of stress. I'd much rather my stress be book-related than all of the other kinds of stress in the world, ya know?

      And YES to the SWEAT thing. You're right. Perspire may have been a better way to say it. Haha. 🙂

  3. This post exactly describes me with EVERY BOOK I READ, which is a lot of them. All those physical symptoms you describe, I get them too! Sometimes I can't even sleep because I'm worried for the characters and MUST KNOW WHAT HAPPENS.

    I love classics, but I have never attempted ANNA K. SO fun that you have NO idea what happens. The movie looks lovely!

    I am already having heart palpitations about the CHEMICAL GARDEN series. But it's a big deal that you think it's one of your favorites ever. I definitely plan on reading it once it is completed, and you can give me some guidance about it.

    I keep saying it, but I cannot believe how many people are currently reading the UNEARTHLY series. I'm kind of sad that I'm not going through it for the first time with all of you, but it's fun to see your emotions! I want to know what you're thinking about the story and the guys!

    • I think that the fact that EVERY BOOK YOU READ makes you feel this way is one of the reasons you and I are so perfect as friends. We are indeed two peas in a pod, like Heather says. I absolutely get worried for the characters too!

      Anna K. is no small feat, and I've had to work for it, but I will be so proud of myself when I'm done with it and can sit down and watch the movie. HOWEVER, it IS very stressful for me because even though I know nothing about it, as I'm getting thru it, little pieces of foreshadowing bits are coming thru and I'm making predictions, and my predictions aren't always positive ones. So I'm STRESSED like crazy about it because I'm super attached to some of these characters. I've been listening to it and reading along for about three-ish weeks now and I'm about halfway thru. So I feel like they're my family, just from Russia, you see. And yes, I have NO IDEA about it at all. I haven't even seen the movie trailer. I'm scared!!!

      Chemical Garden series. I'm so EEEEKKKK about the last book. But in a very excited, good way. I'll be thrilled to re-read it with you if/when you decide to read it, whenever that may be. I love it so.

      And Unearthly. Good gracious. Stress. We're in discussions about this now. *deep breath*

  4. Most of my bookish stress results from cliffhangers at the end of series books when the next book isn't out yet! For example, the Delirium trilogy! Can Requiem get here already?! MUST KNOW WHAT HAPPENS. Also, The Infernal Devices trilogy! What's going to happen?! I have no idea. (Go Jem!) Precisely why I also need standalone books! To keep me sane while I wait for the next installment in these crazy series I love. 😉 I haven't read any of the books you mentioned, but I'm glad you're enjoying them all! 🙂

    • So funny you mention the Delirium trilogy! Since Requiem is soon to be published and I don't love reading books back-to-back, I'm ready to start those books! EEEKKK!!!!

      YES, Infernal Devices. I read the first one and decided exactly THEN that I would wait until the end of that series to reread the first one and finish it. And I stopped with Mortal Instruments and will restart it when they're finished too. The cliffhangers ARE so stressful. You're so right. I don't always NEED standalone books – I love series books – but I love the series books that leave you wanting the next book, but comfortable enough that you can sit on the ending for a while without having health issues during your wait! One example of that was Rootless by Chris Howard, which was one of my favorites from November. I really want the next book, but it wasn't a cliffhanger – it was this really great stopping point that leaves me comfortable until the next book comes out. THAT is so NOT stressful!

    • I'm so glad you're starting the Delirium trilogy! I hope you love it as much as I do. I'm hoping to get to Rootless sometime soon – I've had it on my TBR since I read your review! And I'm glad to hear that it ends at a nice stopping point. My favorite series are the ones that leave me wanting the next book but DON'T have a cliffhanger! I finished Just One Day by Gayle Forman yesterday…and am already pining for Just One Year. AGHH.

  5. Ems

    I cannot wait for Boundless!!! Cynthia Hand is coming to Idaho this Friday, along with Brodi Ashton, and Ashley & I are going to go see them.

    Also, I loved Anna Karenina, but I can't see the movie. If I see even one more ad of Keira Knightley looking vacant while trying to look like she's in the throes of passion, I will vomit on the spot. O_O

    I get bookish stress when I start feeling like I don't know what to read next. Not that I don't want to read, but there are SO MANY to choose from. Also, when I get another notification from the library that a book is on hold for me, because then I feel like I'm abandoning the ones on my shelves that I promised I would read this year.

    • I'm SO NERVOUS about Boundless! I just finished Unearthly and Hallowed and I think I need to wait just a little bit before Boundless because Hallowed left me feeling like I needed HELP!!! I am excited to read it though, even though I've read some mixed reviews, which is nerve-wrecking about the ending of such a great series. I want it to finish strong!

      I haven't seen the movie trailer for Anna Karenina! I don't know anything at all about the book except for what I've read so far, so I have no idea what to expect. That has made this read so much fun for me (and terribly stressful) because I'm so emotionally involved with some of these characters, but I'm starting to worry about some of the predictions I'm making. I won't see the movie without reading the book first, and most of the time, I won't allow myself to even see the trailers if it is something I'm anticipating highly. So I don't know what's coming up. I'm about halfway thru!!

      YES – the I don't know what to read next stress is awful! Since I normally have more than one going at a time, I don't feel this too often, but occasionally I'll finish everything up at once, and it FREAKS ME OUT COMPLETELY. I just stare around at everything everything everything. It's awful. I'm glad you mentioned that because it is so true!!!

  6. I can totally understand where you're coming from when you talk about bookish stress in this post! Honestly, I get that way too, though my reaction is often to slam the book shut, toss it to the side, and start bawling or punching pillows…

    (I know, it's a *bit* extreme.)

    Anyway, I have NOT read any of the books you mentioned in this post, though Anna Karenina and Unearthly are on the list of books I need to read this year. I'm so glad you're enjoying them though!

    • Haha, that *bit* extreme part is what is so much fun. I think bookish stress, although a very real thing, is the best kind of stress to have.

      I am enjoying Anna Karenina very much, and it is taking a long time to get thru. I didn't realize it would take me more than one month, although it wouldn't take me that long if I didn't read so many books at one time. I'm ok with that though – it is a VERY long book and I get bored easily with just one book. And the Unearthly series is INCREDIBLE but very stressful. I read Unearthly and Hallowed, but haven't brought myself to pick up Boundless yet. I just am not ready for end finale-type of stress!!!

  7. Ooooh, yes! I do know bookish stress quite well. You have no idea what a wreck I was in my course of reading the first two Jessica Darling books…I still haven't gone further in that series partially because of the stress (we're talking literally cannot sleep because I'm so concerned about Marcus Fluties type stress). I'm also totally stressed about Boundless because I don't even know what I want to happen or have an inkling about what will happen, but I also can't afford to buy it atm so I need to wait for it at the library, and I'm worried someone will spoil it for me and I will MURDER THEM. Also my current audiobook I really like, but it's one of those where bad things keep happening, and they're setting up for more bad things, and I'm too stressed to listen to it even though I really want to know what happens. Hello book neurosis.

    • YES the Jessica Darling books are stressful. Before I go any further with #3 (EEEKKKK) I need to reread one and two. But I'm scared of the third one! Marcus Flutie stress is very real.

      I am not even ready to read Boundless yet because that stress is also very real. I'm totally waiting for it to come out at the library, which is very convenient to my stress, because it is an excuse and also I'm saving my money for BEA.

      I totally understand everything you've said here. Totally.

  8. I cannot tell you how much I love this post, Asheley. And I also cannot begin to tell you how much I love reading books with you because you feel things so deeply and get so invested and I think you're making me feel things more when I read. I don't usually get super stressed when I'm reading. I think I have bookish angst, which is why I finish a book or series I loved and feel all sad and mopey about things being over. And then I start imagining what their lives would be like if the book continued and then must remember that they aren't real. But yeah, love this about you because it makes it so fun to see how you react!

    I'm legit LOVING getting to be your Anna K sounding board. I cannot even tell you! And knowing what all is coming, I also cannot wait to see how you react!

    And this Southern sister says it's totally okay to admit to sweating a little every now and then 🙂

  9. Bookish Angst – that's what we felt at the end of Boundless, no? The sad and mopey feelings you feel – that's why I NEVER END SERIES. Except I did finish Boundless. I have a horrible track record for having these series that I just have sitting there, and I only need to read the last book. But I get SO SAD when the series is completed! What you're describing is EXACTLY how I'm feeling about the Unearthly series. We read similarly.

    I am getting SO NERVOUS about Anna K. I need to sound off some more. I will probably cry for days when I'm finished with it because it's so long it feels like a series in one volume. I have no idea what is coming and I just FEAR for all of these characters so much. FEAR.

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