The book hangover.

Book Hangover

(n.) 

  1. the inability to start a new book because you are still living in the last book’s world
  2. experiencing withdrawal symptoms upon finishing a book or series of books
  3. failure to reintegrate with society, preferring a literary world instead

In a sentence:

Amy recently finished the Cicero trilogy by Robert Harris and has been experiencing a book hangover ever since, we are very worried about her.

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Picture a 20 year old woman, lying in bed staring at the roof with tears steaming up her glasses and cradling an Amazon Kindle to her chest. You got that image? Do you feel bad for her? Do you feel embarrassed for her? Are you confused? Well, I can tell you…that was me this week, as I experienced a very brutal book hangover.

This past week I was both thrilled and devastated to finish a trilogy by Robert Harris following the Roman orator Cicero from the perspective of his slave Tiro. The series started with Imperium, which I read and reviewed a little while ago, and ended with Dictator. I stayed up until three in the morning to finish the third and final book, and upon closing my kindle at the last sentence of the book, I felt the hangover creeping in. As I sobered up and Ancient Rome faded around me and was replaced with reality I felt a surge of emotion. This is what I love about books.

Books, and in particular, fiction, have such a power and can really effect a person. While the time in your life that you may spend with one individual book is fleeting, they still have so much of an impact on your life. They can expand your knowledge, change your perspectives and really add something to your life. I often measure times of my life based on the books I have read, as I live my life between the pages of the books I pick up. Therefore, when a book comes along that grips me and excites me and causes me to become so addicted…I find it hard not to be effected by that.

Ah, the book hangover can be brutal. If you are a reader and claim you have never felt this…you may have just not found the right book. If you are not sure as to what a book hangover is or how it manifests itself, here are some of the stages that you experiencing during a book hangover:

  1. You go through a period of mourning for loss of a fictional world/character
  2. Crying
  3. Inability to move from the foetal position
  4. Reluctance to start a new book
  5. An inability to sleep
  6. A failure to reintegrate with society
  7. Anger
  8. Denial
  9. The urge to reread the book/series causing you such pain
  10. Comfort eating
  11. Researching the relevant author and subsequently buying every book they have ever published
  12. Sadness
  13. Uncertainty
  14. Desire to do nothing but stare at the wall thinking
  15. A feeling of emptiness that only a book can fill

Horrible, eh? Not to fret! I have the single, most important and most successful piece of advice for you to help cure your hangover. It is extremely easy…

Start a new book.

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