Do You Like to Cry While Reading?

Woman in tears

I’ll have to admit, I don’t like to cry. I don’t even like depressing songs. Instead I prefer things that are upbeat. For example, here are some of the lyrics to a song that helped me get through my teen years:


Red Light.

Neon Light.


Most of all you can funk. Help me find the funk….


I think I found the funk!

["Flash Light" was written by Ronald R. Brooks, Gregory E. Jacobs, David R. Elliot, Bernard Worrell, William Earl Collins, and George Clinton Jr..]

Not that I can’t get serious. But I still like that fun song even today.

So now it’s your turn, if you like to cry while reading. What have been your favorite tearjerker books? I’ll give you a clue. Steve Laube told me that the marketing people at Bethany Publishing House wanted to mail a box of tissues with every copy of Deborah Raney’s A Vow to Cherish when it was first published.

So, what is your favorite tearjerker novel? 

Oh, and if you want to cheer up, here’s the link to that song “Flash Light” by Parliament:

18 Responses to Do You Like to Cry While Reading?

  1. Jackie Layton February 20, 2014 at 5:29 am #

    I don’t mind a tearful scene or two, but some books exhaust me with the amount of crying they cause.

    Life is hard enough without books and movies that rip my heart out. This week at work, a woman was so mean to her son and we all worked hard to take care of her as quickly as possible. One of the clerks gave the boy four suckers instead of one. An older man came in, and it didn’t take long for him to assess the situation. He sat in a chair by the little boy and started talking to him about building snowmen. After the mother and child left, the man approached the counter and told us that no child should be treated that way. His kindness still brings tears to my eyes. By the time he left, we all had tears in our eyes.

    So in fiction, I prefer a mix of crying and laughing.

    Thanks for sharing!

  2. Susie Finkbeiner February 20, 2014 at 6:01 am #

    I do. Often, I have complex emotions that I can only process while reading. After a friend of mine died, I struggled with mourning her until I read Club Sandwich by Lisa Samson. One scene in that book touched me so deeply that I was able to approach the pain I felt from losing my friend.

    Any day of the week, I’d rather read a real to life, emotional (but not manipulative) novel rather than one that is fluffy and feel good. I guess, for me, it’s a matter of substance.

  3. Cindy Mikowski February 20, 2014 at 6:22 am #

    I like to be surprised. I like a good book that takes me to a place of deep emotion whether that be great sorrow and grief or extreme happiness. A very good book will do both and often on the same page. I love to laugh through my tears.

  4. Laura Kirk February 20, 2014 at 6:37 am #

    A favorite song of my teens, as well! Thanks for the boogie down memory lane!

  5. Susan Karsten February 20, 2014 at 6:57 am #

    I am a big fan of crying while reading books, and while watching movies. In fact, I just cried during my last read, “A Heart’s Rebellion” by Ruth Axtell.

  6. Dina Sleiman February 20, 2014 at 6:58 am #

    I like a good tearjerker. To me, they are cathartic. I want a book to move me in some way, not just entertain. On the other hand, I also like humor and a happy ending. If an author can blend all of those, I’ll be a fan for life.

  7. Jeanne Takenaka February 20, 2014 at 8:21 am #

    I don’t mind crying during scenes of books, but I don’t want to cry the entire time. :) I get headaches when I cry too much. But, to have a story move me to tears . . . a sure sign I love the story and the writing.

    I LOVED A Vow to Cherish. Another one that made me cry (perhaps in part because of the circumstances I was escaping from when I read) was Atonement Child, by Francine Rivers. Loved that book!

  8. Patricia Zell February 20, 2014 at 8:29 am #

    As a writer, I think the question is do I cry when I write? Currently, I’m working on a series of four romantic comedy screenplays and I’ve shed a lot of tears. If I can’t feel the emotion while I’m creating stories, how can I expect an audience to connect to the films? The same holds true for books. Good stories build emotional connections–without those connections, what’s the point?

  9. Jenny Leo February 20, 2014 at 9:19 am #

    I agree that tears while reading are cathartic.

    Also, thank you for posting Flashlight, which flashed me back to the much-loved roller rink of my youth, in all its disco-ball glory. All skate!

  10. Judy B February 20, 2014 at 9:38 am #

    I love a good tear jerker. I think a book that makes me cry through sadness is a great release for me. Tears are cleansing. Numerous books have done that for me. The latest one was Rachael by Jill Eileen Smith.

    I do cry while reading happy books too!

    Judy B

  11. Effie-Alean Gross February 20, 2014 at 10:21 am #

    I don’t normally get to tears when I’m reading a novel or short story. However, when I write emotion-producing scenes, I cry as though I was experiencing the drama of my characters. “No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader.”

  12. Cecelia Dowdy February 20, 2014 at 11:20 am #

    Wow! I love that song, too! I was just listening to it this morning! :-)

    No, I don’t necessarily enjoy crying while I read books. I don’t think I read many tearjerkers. I prefer more upbeat novels.

  13. J.D. Maloy February 20, 2014 at 12:37 pm #

    I do not like to cry while reading. In this season of my life reading is my break from reality,(two small children), therefore, sweep me away into fantasy land where it’s all happy endings. One of the first books that caused teary eyes… The Book Thief.

    Jeanne, I am so sorry you get headaches when you cry. That is horrible! I can’t breath through my nose. Ugh.

    Patricia and Effie, I’m learning to see your point about the writer/emotion relationship. Have you seen the clip of Diane Keaton balling her eyes out at the keyboard in Something’s Gotta Give? Apparently, it’s an example of a typical writer.
    I’ll post it here:

  14. Brandi Daniels February 20, 2014 at 3:54 pm #

    I love books that make me cry or laugh or mad or actually I love books that make me feel something in general. The biggest tear jerker I read recently was “The Fault in Our Stars” by John Greene. If you haven’t read this book yet, you really should.

  15. Pegg Thomas February 20, 2014 at 7:22 pm #

    Where the Red Fern Grows
    That book kills me every time I read it. I bawl all the way through the ending. But I’ll read it again. Yeah. It’s that good.

  16. Angela Mills February 20, 2014 at 9:16 pm #

    I think the first book to make me cry was probably “Litte Women.” My family has always made fun of me because I love sad books and movies. I also cry when someone says or does something touching for someone. I can’t ever make it through an entire episode of Little House without crying. I’m just a big baby :)

  17. Rose McCauley February 21, 2014 at 12:46 pm #

    I definitely want my books to have a happy ending, but I do enjoy books and movies that make me cry for a good reason.

  18. Pamela Peters February 21, 2014 at 12:50 pm #

    I believe that if it is a good book and has a mix of emotions then I can appreciate the journey through the story line. Just like real life. :)

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