I want a book hangover!

02/03/2020 Discussions, Reading 8

Recently, I seem to have been reading a lot of really great books. In fact, of the twelve books I’ve read so far this year, eight of them have been four star reads, which is a pretty high percentage!

But at the same time, I still feel like there’s something missing… I’ve loved books like Heartless by Marissa Meyer and A Tapestry of Treason by Anne O’Brien, but neither of them left me bereft at the end of it. That might seem like a good thing, but I just feel like it’s been way too long since I loved a book so much, it gave me a major book hangover.

Now what do I mean by a book hangover? Well here are the symptoms as I generally experience them:

  • A hollow, empty feeling following the end of an amazing book…I will never get to experience it for the first time ever again!
  • The overwhelming feeling that no book will ever compare, so what’s the point of even starting another one?
  • Thinking about the book and the characters constantly, and grieving for the end of their story, even if it was a happy ending.
  • A sense that reality sucks, and you just want to be living in that story again.
  • Oh, and times all these symptoms by about a million if the book was the end of a beloved series!

A lot of these symptoms may seem negative, and to be honest, they kind of are. But they only come about through having an incredible experience, and reading a book that will stick with you forever. Books that have made me feel like this in the past include the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling, Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo, The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson, Kings of the Wyld by Nicholas Eames and Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier.

It seems like ages since I’ve read a book that gave me a book hangover though, and I really miss it! I want to read a book that just makes me fall utterly in love with the world and the characters, to the extent where I just don’t want it to end!

But at the same time, the beauty of reading is that you generally go into your future favourite books having no idea that you’re about to have such a life changing experience. Part of the magic is going into every book not knowing if it’ll disappoint you, be OK, be great, or absolutely blow you away and dissolve you into a crying mess when it’s over. If every book was a favourite, it would feel less special!

Anyway, even though its been a while, I know it’ll happen again. Maybe the next book I read will be a new favourite, and leave me feeling hollow and like the world is a little less bright in comparison…which seems like a strange thing to wish for, but us bookworms are a little odd I guess!

So what was the last book that really blew you away? How often does this happen for you?

8 Responses to “I want a book hangover!”

  1. Malka @ Paper Procrastinators

    This was such a fantastic post! I think this summed up my 2019 reading experience. I read quite a few books that I enjoyed but there were only one or two that I emotionally connected to, and fell head over heals in love with. It was such a frustrating experience because there was nothing *bad* about the books I was reading! I was reading some great, highly recommended books! But nothing was standing out as INCREDIBLE! That’s why it was so difficult for me to come up with favorites at the end of the year. I could only find a few books that I had any sort of emotional attachment to, which for me is a requirement for a book to become a new favorite.

    I think part of what I found interesting is that many times a book hangover can lead to a book slump because you feel as though you can’t read another book until you’ve processed how amazing the book you finished was, even though that can take a while. But for me, I’d so much rather get a slump from finishing an amazing book than I would from reading a slew of bad books. If I’m going to have a slump, I’d so much prefer it be tied to a positive experience, than a negative one.

    • Laura

      I’m sorry there were so few books you felt you truly connected with in 2019! I feel the same in that most of the books I read I enjoyed, and I really loved a lot of them, but there was only a couple that really stood out.
      And I’m the same in that book hangovers often lead to slumps, but I’d much rather have that kind of slump, and have found a new favourite book. It feels like it’s worth it when you’ve had such an incredible experience with a book πŸ™‚

  2. Jessi @ Novel Heartbeat

    Love this! “If every book was a favourite, it would feel less special!”
    I think I really needed this today. I’ve been feeling a bit slumpy lately – between finishing Night of the Dragon (and LOVING it, it did give me a bit of a hangover) and also trying to push myself to keep a grueling pace of reading so much, I’ve been feeling pretty meh about everything I’ve been picking up. I’ve had two DNFs (100+ pages in), two books under 3 stars, and I even re-read a book I rated 5 stars years ago that barely made it to 4 stars the second time through.

    Sometimes I feel like I enjoy books a lot less than I used to. My 5 star reads are few and far between, and I rarely ever find a book that truly blows me away anymore. But like you said, that’s what makes them special! I WANT a book that like you said, makes me feel hollow after finishing because I loved it so much and it made THAT much of an impact on me! I absolutely love this post!

    • Laura

      I’m sorry you’ve been feeling slumpy lately! I hope it picks back up for you again soon. That especially sucks that you didn’t love the book you reread as much the second time round. That’s what I’m always scared of with rereading!
      And I feel the exactly the same: I don’t seem to rate books 5 stars as much as I used to. I don’t know if it’s partly because I read a lot more books now than I used to, so I have more experience with books, and so a lot of things I’d probably have loved years ago seem more mediocre now? That’s my theory anyway!
      I hope you come across an amazing book soon, and I’m glad you enjoyed this post! πŸ™‚

  3. Veronika @ Wordy and Whimsical

    My book hangovers look a bit different from yours – and most of what other people have described – but I definitely experience them too. Although it’s more “I love this SO MUCH, why isn’t there MORE? okay, let’s reread it/at least my favorite parts RIGHT AFTER FINISHING” then feeling sad it’s over.

    I think book hangovers are great, because not wanting to read something immediately after allows you to truly savor a novel? At least that’s how I feel. I do hope you’ll find a new favorite novel, and one that you can have a hangover after, soon. πŸ™‚

    • Laura

      I’ve never actually done that where I’ve finished an amazing book and then gone back and reread my favourite parts, but I love the idea! I may have to do that next time!
      And I love the idea of not wanting to read something else straight away means you can savour the novel! That’s a very positive way of looking at it, whereas I’m usually just there mourning the end of the book and wondering if I’ll ever love another book as much again!
      I hope you find a new favourite soon too! πŸ™‚

    • Laura

      That’s probably a good thing that you can move onto the next book OK. I like reading books that give me a hangover, but an inability to move on is definitely a downside!

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