Service of Dreading the End of a Beloved Book or Series

October 8th, 2020

Categories: Books, E-books, Entertainment, Pandemic, Television

Belgian Neuhaus chocolates

As I reach the end of a much-loved book or Netflix series I dread the anticipated feeling of loss. I’ll miss the characters I’ve befriended, fiction or non. With options to mingle and in-person entertainment cut off–especially for the covid-cautious–it helps to have something to look forward to if there isn’t a good movie on Turner Classic, a scheduled live online concert or event or reruns of a favorite series like “Blue Bloods” or “Law & Order.” [I miss Jerry Orbach.]

The only reason I dislike e-books is because I can’t gauge when the end will happen–how many pages or chapters I have left. So how can I slow down so the book lasts longer? I want to pace my reading as I do consumption of fancy chocolates. I try to eat only one a day.

I borrowed Erik Larson’s “The Splendid and the Vile” from the New York Public Library at a busy time and hardly started it when the library took it back. I’m now #195 in line for 255 copies. I haven’t mastered the pace and timing of borrowing. When I select a few books they all seem to arrive in my virtual book box at once.

I try not to binge watch episodes on Netflix of “West Wing,” “Call My Agent,” “Broadchurch,” and “The Crown” that I save for late night. I even split into two nights a good flick “The Half of It.”

E-books at the NY Public Library

I was disappointed by the first episodes of Darren Star’s new series, “Emily in Paris.” Maybe I’ll become fonder of the characters as I continue to watch.  He also created the iconic and fun “Sex and the City” among others. While the City of Lights never looked better and the fashions are terrific, so far the dialogue is predictable and characterization of the Americans and French clichéd, the former optimistic, friendly and creative, the latter luddite, unsociable and grumpy. Paris is also a highlight of  the “Call My Agent” series but the characters and situations are quirky and funny. [One of the actors called her agent because the director insisted she lie nude in a casket. The nude part was OK but being depicted dead in the altogether not so much.]

What entertainments do you look forward to during the pandemic? If you borrow e-books from a library how do you time your reservations so you don’t end up with either none for days or too many at once? Can you recommend some books–e, audio or traditional–TV series, movie or programs on a subscription-based streaming service? How many services like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, HBO Max, or Disney do you subscribe to? Which is the best? How do you find time for more than one?

Emily in Paris. Photo: netflixlife.com

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9 Responses to “Service of Dreading the End of a Beloved Book or Series”

  1. Lucrezia Said:

    One trick is to have multiple “real” friends, so as not to feel a loss when it occurs. Some, such as Amenhotep III, Richard III and Lorenzo the Great, among others, never go away, since there are so many opportunities to meet them again, in various sources, from books, internet, or even knowledgeable folk.

    If seeking fictitious pals, Stephen King’s Tower Series await. There’s no reason to feel abandoned by loss — there are just too many new people, of every variety waiting to be recognized and cherished.

  2. Hank Goldman Said:

    Never could I have imagined that what you are discussing would apply to me… That is to say missing a Netflix series because I binge watched and the season is over!

    I love the series with Hilary Swank, a space exploration to the planet mars, called “Away”. Not to mention Schitts Creek, which I find hilarious.

    All good things must come to an end, and I guess these series eventually will also end. But they are so intriguing, and the characters get you so involved…

    I guess a few years back, Downton Abbey did it for many people… Even though that was pre-pandemic!

  3. Jeanne Byington Said:

    Lucrezia,

    Excellent suggestion and strategy. I never asked Homer if his interest in Churchill and in characters who populated early American history, for example, didn’t have something to do with remaining close to favorites. He also loved the Dick Francis crime novels and Donna Leon detective stories.

    I watch a few TV series at once so each lasts a little longer. Trouble with doing that with borrowed library books is that they get whisked away before you’ve finished them. Had to give away or toss literally thousands of books over the last four moves so until the pandemic got me over the hurdle of resisting to read e-books I mostly read library printed books. However, because his favorite gift was a book, I made an exception for Homer and you gave him wonderful books over the years.

  4. Jeanne Byington Said:

    Hank,

    I’m not familiar with “Away.” I saw Schitts Creek and missed that nutty family once I’d finished the series!

    I am almost finished watching “Broadchurch.” I put on Closed Captioning otherwise I miss half of what David Tennant, who plays the main character, says because of his Scottish accent! [Friends tell me he is in other things with no accent.]

    You are SO RIGHT to mention Downton Abbey. I was bereft when it ended, saw an exhibit of clothing and furniture from the show when it was in NYC and saw the movie that came a few years after the series’ end.

    100 years before that “Upstairs Downstairs” made me no longer dread Sunday night, when it ran.

  5. DB Said:

    Based on the circumstances you present, a TV series or book you are enjoying, I am reminded of advice I received from a very sage uncle, a minister, many years ago: “don’t postpone happiness!”

  6. Jeanne Byington Said:

    DB,

    I love your uncle’s advice. Why do I keep forgetting we are in the middle of a pandemic and that I might not be around to enjoy any of these treats? And as Lucrezia pointed out above, there are so many other options, new book and film friends to meet.

  7. JBS Said:

    I devour books from the library.. Regularly read three a week, all fiction. My favorite authors are all mystery writers. I rarely read nonfiction.

  8. Amanda Ripanykhazova Said:

    Yeah, I DEFINITELY thought that way about “Yes Minister”, but one can always buy the DVDs. And curiously, I hated Downton Abbey while loving the spin-off Belgravia.

    And who didn’t cry when “Dixon of Dock Green” ended? (Somehow, Z-Cars was always a bit high-tech for me. Don’t get me started on “Emergency Ward 10”) Talk about binge-watch!! One can almost become nostalgic for that water-bubble which we used to have to put in front of our TV!

    Luckily most of all that is available on youtube, including episodes of The Avengers which even I had forgotten! And “Picture Page” along with “Theatre Parade” which can be seen at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YOQCA0r1PZk (admittedly it is not quite as good without the water bubble)

  9. Jeanne Byington Said:

    Amanda,

    You’ve given me leads on more shows to check out! I Googled “Yes Minister” and saw it is available streaming [though I didn’t check where….] I missed “Belgravia” and don’t get Epix where it appears to be streaming. Will keep an eye out. I don’t see a fraction of what is in re-runs on TV and the huge choice on Netflix so I’m not about to add more services for the moment.

    “Dixon of Dark Green” looks like something I’d LOVE.”Picture Page” and “Theatre Parade” too. WOW.

    Just got “The Splendid and the Vile” in my E-book in-box from the NY Public Library and must dig in to it before I lose it again. I suspect you’d like it. It is well written.

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