The point of no return

Before I get down to this week’s entry in my 26-Week Book Challenge I would like to pay tribute to Rik Mayall, who sadly passed away earlier today. He was a pioneer of British comedy, and while the slapstick, often puerile humour of The Young Ones and Bottom may be a bit of an acquired taste, there were several gems of absolute comedy genius in both shows. He definitely was a prominent presence in my youth, and I was deeply shocked to hear the news.

It feels a bit callous to follow that with a simple blog post, but life goes on for the rest of us. This week is an interlude, because I will not give you a book I couldn’t put down.

Well, the truth would be that I could give you too many books that I couldn’t put down, because as far as I’m concerned every good book has a point where it’s virtually impossible to put it down. I call it the point of no return.

Have you ever (as a child maybe) spent time in bed reading, and found yourself thinking that you really ought to go to sleep? Tomorrow is a work (school) day, and you really need your rest, but you’ve got to a really exciting part of the book. Everything is starting to come together, or it starts ramping up to the climax, and you keep thinking ‘just one more page’. But that ‘one more page’ turns into one more chapter, or two more chapters, and before you know it it’s 3am and you’ve finished the book. And then you’ve got after-book depression, because even though you really wanted to get to the end, now that you’ve reached it you’re gutted, because there isn’t anything more to read.

I’ve had so many books like that, and many of them I have discussed in previous posts on this blog. Some books don’t reach the point of no return until the last chapter, some drop you into it virtually from the word go. My poor, long-suffering husband knows that if he gets little more than a vague ‘uh-huh’ out of me, I’ve reached the point of no return and there’s nothing to do but wait until I resurface and acknowledge his existence again. Truly good books do that to you, and I’ve been lucky enough to read many of those books in my life.

I’ll close this post with the most frustrating experience of a point of no return I’ve ever had, which was very recent. Frequent readers of this blog know that I have a long-standing friendship and work-relationship with H Anthe Davis from the War of Memory Project, and she always sends her fresh chapters over to me as soon as she finishes writing them so I can give my initial thoughts and impressions. So too with the third book in her current series, which works its way up to a truly nail-biting climax. This inevitably meant that I reached the point of no return, but could not read any further, simply because she hadn’t written the next part yet.

The ensuing conversations went a little like this:

Me: Hi, finished your chapter. Gimme more.

Hillary: So, what did you think? Did it work?

Me: Gimme more.

Hillary: I can’t, I haven’t written it yet! What did you think? Tell me!

Me: No! Go write. Gimme more.

Hillary: But… but…


I should say that the end result was totally worth it. The first two books were awesome, but this one’s going to blow them out of the water.

So, am I alone in having a point of no return, or have you also lost sleep when you couldn’t afford to? Let me know in the comments!

5 thoughts on “The point of no return

  1. Green Embers

    Oh yes definitely. I like my point of no returns on page 1, those are the best, lol. Hehehe, sounds like it is going to be an awesome book. 😀

  2. H. Anthe Davis

    Alas, I have become fairly point-of-no-return resistant, if only because I do most of my reading during my breaks at my day job, so I can’t actually continue reading…and by the time I get home, the urgency has usually ebbed. That being said, there are always those books that have me lurking in the breakroom trying to squeeze out another page or two, or walking back to the staff area with my nose between the pages…


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