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Bookish Hangover

Hi Virtually Readers! Remember when I diagnosed Just Another Chapter Syndrome? This is a another illness that many of you may recognise (and no, it has nothing to do with alcohol). It’s serious and awful, so do try to be sensitive to those who suffer from it in the comment section.

About the disease

It’s defined as ‘an inability to get over a book’. This disease has been around as long as good books, i.e, forever.

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I finished  The Half Blood Prince when I should have been sleeping.

The symptoms:

Those afflicted may exhibit some of the following:

  • Excessive emotional expression, usually crying or shouting.
  • An inability to meet anybody without recommending the book to them.
  • Insomnia brought on by thinking about the characters
  • Deafness caused by loud yelling of ‘I can’t believe it’s over!’ or something of the sort.
  • A refusal of reality; this may manifest in the patient calling their siblings by the names of the characters, muttering about swords and knives rather than vegetables, or strange statements like ‘I don’t need to do my homework! I’m the chosen one!’
  • Loss of interest in activities such as homework, chores, and socialisation.
  • High pitched squealing with other fangirls.
  • Mental fixation on the book’s plot of characters
  • A desire to hold, stroke, or cry on the book.

As you can see, these symptoms are serious and can last for anything between an hour and several weeks. It’s an illness that comes in bouts, like a cold: it can be caught (the most common method is recommendations.), lasts for a while, then the patient will recover, only to catch the disease again.

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Treatment

Unfortunately, the only way to permanently cure book hangovers is by stopping reading entirely. This is risky and not recommended. However, with patience and wisdom, it can be treated.

  • As already mentioned, avoiding recommendations will prevent relapse. This may require the patient to block their ears to avoid wanting to read more.
  • Conversely, getting new recommendations and reading another book will cure book hangover, but only temporarily, so beware.
  • Joint fangirling can dispel the patient’s hangover blue and help them move on; this is one activity they will always show interest in.
  • Make the patient panic about homework/dirty dishes/work so they stop obsessing over their book.
  • Distract the patient with smol animals/children.
  • Counseling the patient through the stages of grief:

Denial: ‘I can’t believe it’s over.’

Anger: ‘How could the author do this to me?’

Bargaining: ‘I’ll be over this book if there’s another five book series in this world and my favourite character is resurrected.’

Depression ‘I’m going to sit here and think about death a while. The death of my book, that is.’

Acceptance: ‘I finished this book, but at least there are more out there!’

  • Patience. In time, new books will come. Get ready for the next hangover. Until then, things will be okay.

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Do you get bookish hangovers? What are some symptoms/treatments that I missed? Which books have given you bad hangovers? Do you go through stages of book grief?

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10 thoughts on “Bookish Hangover

  1. The worst hang over is an author creating a wondrous character and then, right at the end, switching focus to the plot, simply trying to tie it all up, finish the action and end the book. A classic of this for me is “Miss Smilla’s Feeling for Snow ” by Peter Hoeg. That Hoeg felt he had to tie it all up and resolve the action was a disservice and disrespect to the extraordinary woman he created, as if the plot was more important than her. It would have been as wondrous (and it is wondrous) a book had he left both the plot and Smilla hanging- waving in the breeze, tantalisingly unresolved, unfinished, unpackaged….

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  2. Hahaha, great post! Personally, I kind of like being book hungover…in a twisted way haha. It means that I’ve truly read and loved a book, and made a connection with some aspects of it. It’s so rare, that I honestly appreciate book hangovers when they happen haha. Not to say that they don’t hurt, and don’t send me into book slumps majority of the time oops.
    Notably, ‘The Mistborn’ series by Brandon Sanderson made the biggest impact on me book hangover wise. It’s been five months since I finished the series….and here I am, still wishing I was in that world, with all my favorite characters…Trying to drown my sorrows in other fantasy worlds and novels…but nothing has really compared since haha.
    Great post, keep up the good work!
    -Sam.

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    1. Hi Sam! Can you leave me a link to your blog because I wasn’t able to open it somehow? It’s probably my technological incompetence 😄 . Book hangovers do have their plus points. I only get them for really good books (I just finished the Harry Potter series and I’m kind of hungover from that, haha)
      I hope you find a book to help you recover from The MIstborn series! I haven’t read them myself, but my little sister read the Spirit Animals book he wrote, I think.

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    1. Cinder is so great! Have you read the rest of the series? At the same time, it’s super annoying when you get into a slump and can’t enjoy any reading because of that one good book. URGH *shar makes weird troll sounds*

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  3. THIS IS TOO RELATABLE.😂 I had such a hangover after reading A Conjuring of Light. The worst part is how all other books seem BLAH when like maybe they’re not even blah??? Maybe your expectations are just suddenly too high?? 😭 #ExistentialBookCrisisIntensifies I mostly skip the “acceptance” stage and just stay in denial that it’s over. Because that’s healthy I’m sure. :’)

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    1. OMG I got ACOL out from the library but I haven’t read it yet because poor life choices (or maybe I just don’t want it to be over?) . And when that one amazing book ruins all the other books for you, it’s kind of like… I liked that amazing book, but now I want to like other books but I can’t? Help? Denial is the best phase, honestly.

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