It's a weird feeling you get when you finish a book. It's hard to describe, but it depends a lot on the type of book.
A few hours ago I just finished the 700 page novel "Echoes of Honor" by David Weber. This book took me literally months to read. I started it back in the school year, brought it along with me to Colorado, where I was about 200 pages into it, and then read about 300-400 pages just the last weekend.
It's tough when a book doesn't grab you. You want to read it, especially cause there is so much else you need to read too, so you just want to get this first book done with. But if the book doesn't grab you, you won't choose to read it over doing pretty much anything else.
But when things get moving past whatever slow dialogue or bad pacing exists (a good example is the Council of Elrond scene in "Fellowship of the Ring"), you get hooked. The small problem I had with "Echoes of Honor" was that they'd focus on the hero, Honor Harrington, for a few chapters, then jump around to another group of people, The Peeps (bad guys), and focus on them, then jump to the other good guys (RMN), and then finally back to Honor. I had a tough time reading through the Peep stuff because I wanted more Honor! And yet when you get hooked, you plow through and realize just how important each part of the book is.
David Weber's Honor Harrington series has been a mainstay for me for a while, although they are getting steadily tougher to read. I discovered the series I believe during the summer before my senior year of high school (first book, "Honor Harrington at Basilisk Station"); some of my classmates might remember me bringing one of the books on senior trip. I remember getting some weird looks from people because I was reading a book with a woman on the cover who was holding a pistol.
Essentially, the series is Tom Clancy in outer space. Basically, it follows the military career of the young woman Honor Harrington, dealing with her trials and tests as well as ongoing political issues and war between the Manticoran Star nation and the People's Republic (bad guys). And this is no heroine who escapes unscathed at the end of the book! So far in the series, she's been nearly raped (although chronologically, it took place before the first book), had her boyfriend/fiance brutally murdered, has been shot multiple times, got her arm blown off, lost half of her face when she got shot at close range, been the pawn of a politican and set up for a fall, and most recently been captured and beaten by her enemies and sent to the worse prison camp in the universe.
It's nice to have a hero who gets abused as well as gives abuse. Makes it more realistic.
I've finished seven books in the series (out of I believe 10 published so far), and while I need to take a break before reading another book that is just so long, the way the "Echoes of Honor" ended, I need to read at least the first few chapters of the next book, "Ashes of Victory." But no more! I need a break from long war novels.
Last week in one sitting I read through "Blue Like Jazz." I found it amusing that it had been waiting for me in my room when I got back from Colorado, because a number of people had been reading and commenting on it. It's a great book I discovered. Lots of little bits of wisdom (and fluff) for a Christian.
I'm in a little bit of debate as to what book I should read through next. Before the last Star Wars movie came out, I was trying to read all the books that bridged the gap, The Clone Wars, between Episodes 2 and 3. Well, school got in the way. I have the next book I need to read, but it doesn't even deal directly with Anakin or Obi-Wan or anyone else of any importance. I know I need to read it, but part of me doesn't want to.
There are a few other Star Wars novels I've been putting off reading. I could always pick up one of those, especially if it's a single book and not part of a series or trilogy. Or I could read something that's not sci-fi at all. Maybe another Anne Rice novel or an Enders novel; could also read the next Anita Blake book. I have options.
Reading is good and helps me, but it's hard to focus solely on reading when video games, dvds, tv, movies, and literally any other form of entertainment calls to you also. Discipline I guess.
And on a side note- until I read it in The Message, I had no clue what the book of Acts was really about, besides that it was boring and full of history. Thank God for Eugene Petterson and The Message; without it, most of the Bible would still remain boring dry literature to me. Now, I actually a clue what the early church and Paul went through.
Yet am I really reading the Bible, or is it just Peterson's understanding of the Bible?