I responded to her initial post with this comment:
Hmmm--the tables are turned. I almost always cry when I read fiction, especially now in my "old age."
Wait--maybe you aren't crying because your books end with the murderer being taken off to jail in cuffs, whereas what I'm reading may involve someone making a life-altering change or a long slow arduous death or something.
But seriously, even if everything ends up well, I just feel that surge of emotion at the end of a great book as it's wrapped up, and there are often tears, or at the very least, a large lump in my throat.
Amanda is figuring out her thoughts on "those kinds" of books as well. She was reading Bridge to Terabithia, then saw the movie at a friend's house, so she didn't finish it because it was "sad."
So now each time I read a book and get all choked up, I think back on her words. And when I said that I almost always have a surge of emotion at the end of the book, I mean it.
When Frindle went and talked with Mrs. Granger at the end of the book, I couldn't read it without my throat catching. "Mo-om," Amanda objected as she gave me a weird look, complete with eye-roll.
Let's not even talk about The Host, where I literally cried through the entire last chapter. I wasn't just choked up -- I was sobbing. These characters and this story had gotten into me, and the end was just too much to handle. Fortunately, I was on vacation and not under the judgmental glare of my tween (and I was in the hammock while my husband was down on the beach, so I avoided the puzzled glances from him that I receive if I suddenly have to wipe my eyes or take deep breaths as I'm finishing a book).
Certain Girls, which I also read on vacation, also made me sob. A tween daughter. A mother. Need I say more?
So, really, it's not the book. It's not like I'm reading these tragic stories. It's just, as Katrina said, that I've come to care about the characters and my involvement with them has come to an end. I cry tears of joy when there's a happy resolution like in Frindle, and a dramatic resolution, such as in the Host, brings all sorts of havoc on my emotions.
I guess it's a good thing that I haven't become more stoic as I've aged (because I've always been pretty level-headed). I guess a little emotional expression at a book or Hallmark commercial will just have to be par for the course for this mom of two in her late 30's. I'll just make sure that when I'm finishing a book -- I'm alone.