A Bookworm’s Dilemma

I love reading manga. Reading them brings me so much joy. They are Japanese comics that have really interesting story lines and have really good artwork. These comics are not just limited to children but are typically aimed at an older audience. The way of reading them could be compared to an online novel. Manga consists of several chapters, akin to a novel, and a new chapter is released weekly/bimonthly/monthly. A manga is generally in Japanese. Independent translation groups translate and share them in English or any other language online for free. Generally, only one chapter is uploaded as per schedule but sometimes you might get lucky and get more. The wait is fun, but sometimes, I discover a new manga with a lot of chapters and end up binge reading it. Follow along as I recall an experience I had last week, when I discovered a very interesting manga late at night. 

It’s 2 am. Revenge bedtime procrastination is at its finest. I have a class at 9 am tomorrow and so I need to wake up early. I am on my final browse of social media. I go through Instagram, Facebook, Reddit, and finally, I decide to check out my favorite manga site for one last time. Perhaps a new chapter of the ongoing manga I’ve been reading might’ve been uploaded. There were no new uploads. At the back of my mind I knew I had to close the browser, set my alarm and then finally sleep. If I sleep now, I’ll get 6 hours of sleep. Perfect.

 But then, my attention went on to the search button. Perhaps I’ll do an advanced search just to make sure that I didn’t miss any update. I select my favorite genres and click on the go button. I promised myself that I won’t go beyond the first page. Scrolling down, I couldn’t find anything. I was about to give up when my mind suddenly went to that one update at the end. Wait a minute, I haven’t seen this manga before. The cover art looks interesting. And why do I get the feeling I’ve seen this artwork before. Turns out I’ve read their work before. Awesome. I’ll check this out for a bit then I’ll go off to sleep. It’s 2:05 am right now, I’ll sleep around 2:15. But then, I check out the number of chapters it has. 100 Chapters. Oh no. Maybe I’ll just read 10 chapters, no wait, 5 chapters and then sleep. I can surely do that. 

WRONG. As soon as I reached chapter 5, I realized the characters look fun and the setting is good. I guess I’ll read till chapter 10 and then sleep. WRONG AGAIN. Chapter 10 was just before the climax of the first arc and I had to know what happened next. It was 2:40 am. Dang it, how is it 2:40 already? Whatever, I can still survive in 5 hours of sleep. Wait, Did I say 5 hours? I guess that means I can read till 3 am. I’ll finish this arc and then go to sleep. Turns out, chapter 10 was not near the climax of the arc at all and I had at least 10 more chapters to go. But at this point, it’s too late to back out now. I pick up the pace now. I toss and turn again and again thinking it would somehow make me read faster. It did not, obviously. It’s 2:50 am now. I still have 10 minutes before I sleep. But now the problem is, the old arc has a cliffhanger and I have a feeling that the new arc will solve it in the starting chapters. Should I read or should I sleep? I chose the former. 

I think to myself, why am I like this? Or Why the heck do I come across the best content just before I need to sleep, especially on the night before an important class the next day. But then I think again, I’m having so much fun right now and I don’t want to stop reading this manga. It’s been a while since a manga has made me so excited. And so, I start reading again. 

It’s 4:20 am right now. I’m now on chapter 80. Extremely tired but still resolute,  I think to myself, I only have 20 chapters left, I might as well finish it. And so I did. 

It’s 4:50 am now. I click on the next chapter button, only to realize that the manga is still ongoing and I have read all the 100 chapters already. A new chapter will now come every week. I now have to wait 6 more days for the new chapter. Maybe that’s a good thing that it’s weekly now. I set the alarm for 8:30 am. Since we are doing online classes I guess I can sleep a bit more. With my eyes hurting and my mind dreading the tired state I will be in a few hours, I finally go to sleep. My mind is in pain now but my heart is full.  

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