book hangover n, colloquial Being unable to start a new book because you are still living in the last book’s world; when the real world feels incomplete or surreal because you can’t stop thinking about the last book you read.
I read a lot. And to be honest, I’m pretty easy to please as a reader. I enjoy most genres, and it takes a lot to ruin a book for me. But the opposite is also true. I don’t love every book I read; it takes a lot to blow me away. There are a certain definable set of qualities that must be present in a book for me to love it, but even those qualities are necessary but not sufficient to win my adoration. In short, I never know whether or not I’ll love a book until I crack open that first page.
But when I find a book I love…ho boy. I fall hard. We’re talking my nose crammed in that book for hours and hours on end. I stay up way past my bedtime. I forget about unimportant things like showers and meals. When a book grabs me, it grabs me body, mind, and soul, hauling me so deep into the fictional world that I feel like I am part of the story. I know the characters; their pain is my pain, their joy is my joy. I can see the landscape; smell the air and touch the buildings.
But when the book ends…GUH. I don’t want it to be over! I want to crawl inside it and live forever with my
new best friends the characters! I wander around in a daze, not quite sure what I’m supposed to do in the so-called “real world.” I get bad book hangovers. So if you’re like me, and you can’t quite get that book out of your head, here are some tips to cure that hangover.
1. Hair of the dog. Yeah, I’m talking about rereading. Sometimes you just need to revel in that wonderful world a little longer. You don’t have to reread the entire book (unless you want to, of course). Personally, I like to reread my favorite descriptions, relive the climactic action scenes, and re-suffer through the angsty romantic scenes. My motto is: you can’t dog-ear enough! (The highlight function on Kindle is pretty handy, too).
2. Spread the love. If you haven’t already, force your friends, your relatives, your acquaintances, and possibly even that nice lady at the bank to read the book. Then you can all obsess together, which nine out of ten bibliophiles agree is much healthier than obsessing alone, in your room, under the covers with a flashlight.
3. Rebound. Find a book. Any old book. Give that book the old college try. Chances are, you’ll hate it, because compared to your gilded Book o’ Wonderfullness it won’t hold the tiniest candle. Your unresolved feelings for the old book will make it impossible to form a new relationship with another book, and it will all end in tears. But emotional catharsis is good. It means you’re moving on!
Eventually, time cures all ills, and you will fall in love with another book again. And then it begins all over again…
Do you get bad book hangovers? How do you cure a book hangover? Share you thoughts in the comment section below!