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Things I don’t understand in books. #1

There are things that happen in books that I just don’t understand. Here’s the first one.

A character cries and doesn’t realize it until they feel their damp cheek.

Am I the only one who’s WELL AWARE when they start crying? Who are these people? Is this kind of like peeing your pants and not realizing it until someone looks at the wet spot on your pants? Or laughing hysterically but having no idea what you’re doing until someone asks what you’re laughing at? “Was I laughing? I didn’t even realize…”


37 Responses to “Things I don’t understand in books. #1”

  1. Anastasia ()

    Ha! I also get annoyed when someone cries a single lonely tear, actually. It’s unrealistic, and it’s really just saying “this person is really upset (but still attractive)” and that irritates me. Crying people aren’t beautiful (unless they’re actors, I guess).

    Crying without noticing it seems less irritating to me, if only because I assume that person was so upset their face went numb and they didn’t notice the tears starting. It’s sort of more powerful than the single lonely tear? Or maybe I just haven’t read enough books with people crying in them yet, and it hasn’t had time to pick away at me.


  2. Janssen ()

    Now I can’t wait to see what’s coming next 🙂


  3. Teresa ()

    Oh my, no kidding! Far more believable are the ones that graphically describe the tears along with the snot running down their face. That is something that a reader can identify with.


  4. Christi

    I so agree with you on this, and I’m starting to notice it more frequently in books. I don’t think I’ve ever cried and not realized it. Or maybe I did, but just NEVER realized it 🙂

    Can’t wait to hear the rest!


  5. Melissa

    This is hilarious. That’s bothered me everytime I’ve ever read it in a book. Really, you can’t tell that you’re crying? You must be one sweaty person to be used to liquid dripping down your face.


  6. Emily E ()

    Lol. What gets me is when the MC will not realize they are biting their lip/cheek until they taste blood. Yeah, right.


  7. Sandy

    I love it! I can’t wait for more of these…


  8. heidenkind ()

    Maybe they were so distracted by the contrived plot they didn’t realize they were crying? Haha. 😛


    Jen - Devourer of Books Reply:

    For the win!


  9. rhapsodyinbooks ()

    I see this all the time in books. I’ve wondered too, and yet, JUST TODAY, my husband asked me what was that blood all over my face, and it turned out my nose was bleeding and I didn’t know! (Actually, the REAL miracle is that HE noticed!) So apparently these facial emissions can happen without the person owning the face being aware of them.


  10. Chrisbookarama ()

    Perhaps they are so distracted by the awful event they don’t know they are reacting to it by crying….or they are robots. 🙂


  11. jenn ()

    You! Are hilarious. Can’t wait to see what the rest of the list holds in store.


  12. Trisha ()

    I’m with you on this one! Greatly funny post btw. 🙂


  13. Lisa Almeda Sumner ()

    I like the robot idea! “Gladys felt a single tear crawl down her cheek. She gently wiped it and realized she was an android….”
    Looking forward to #2 on the list!


  14. Emily

    I know! I am always WELL aware of crying. As is the rest of the world, thanks to my spontaneously runny nose and red eyes. I’m lovely, I’m telling you 🙂


  15. Staci

    I love your witty humor and insight! 😀


    Veens Reply:

    Me too! And well I can’t wait for more insights 🙂


  16. Gaby ()

    Hehe, I don’t understand that either….


  17. Michelle ()

    Ha! This is great. Please post more of these. Soon.


  18. Mary ()

    haha, I don’t get that either. I know when I’m crying and I know when I’m not!


  19. Beth Hoffman

    HAHA!!!! Love this post … it’s hilarious!


  20. Amused ()

    So true! I definitely know when I’m crying!


  21. Lisa

    I am so glad I’m not the only one who thinks that is weird!


  22. Shelley (Book Clutter)

    I have often thought the same thing! I always wonder if there are situations that I’ve never experienced where that would happen, but I doubt it.


  23. Michelle

    LOL! I’ve never really given any of those questions thought.


  24. zibilee ()

    I don’t get this either. When normal people cry, their eyes well up, making it difficult to see anything around them because of the tears filling up. So I don’t really believe this happens, ever. I am glad you brought this up!


  25. Scobberlotcher ()

    This is sublime!

    I don’t read romance novels, but my mother-in-law tells me that in some of them a strange man is in a woman’s bedroom and she is not afraid, freaked out, or running to call 911. Forget crying, but I would be a wee bit leery of a man standing behind the curtains, gazing seductively across the four-poster bed. Just sayin.’


  26. jennygirl

    YES! I thought I was the only one who noticed this a lot lately in books.
    They always cry but apparently they don’t notice it. Is that supposed to be more traumatic, so upset I can’t tell I’m crying. …or breathing probably too. Thanks for the smile this morning.


  27. Melissa Sarno ()

    This is hilarious! I will try not to make these mistakes in my writing. I hope there are more on this list! Frankly, I’m sick of people never having to go to the bathroom in books. They have unbelievable bladders.


  28. Jen - Devourer of Books ()

    I’ve got one for you that I was complaining about on Twitter yesterday: the extreme reaction to a half-heard and completely misunderstood conversation. Were it me I would over-analyze everything, but the characters always seem to jump to the worst possible conclusion and dig in as if no other possibilities exist.


  29. Jo-Jo

    That’s a good one Trish and I wholeheartedly agree!


  30. BJ Kenney ()

    LOL that’s a good one! I can’t handle the “I let out the breath I didn’t know I was holding” I swear it’s in 98% of the books I’ve read, drives me nuts.


  31. Beth F ()

    Too funny. I have several of these pet peeves.


  32. BOOKS AND MOVIES » Bookish links for Saturday, November 13, 2010

    […] ~ Trish at Hey Lady! Whatcha Readin’? gives us Things I don’t understand in books #1. […]

  33. Jenny ()

    Okay, I always know when I start crying, but I have cried single tears before. I don’t like crying in front of people! When I am trying not to cry, I am not always wholly successful, and in such cases, I have been known to cry one tear on each side of my face. The better to not mess up my mascara. :p


  34. Amanda

    Gah! I so feel you. Another thing that falls into this category for me is Love at First Sight. She turns her head and sees him and that’s it, for the rest of the book she just loooooves him and that’s simply all it took. Really, authors? Really? And I’m not even talking about romance novels here, I’m talking literary fiction: see Purge (Oksanen).


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