reader's advisory

Have You Ever Suffered From a Book Hangover?


According to, a book hangover is “when you’ve finished a book and you suddenly return to the real world, but the real world feels incomplete or surreal because you’re still living in the world of the book.”

You know that feeling, right?  As you finish those last few words of a book that has held you in thrall all day, all week for that matter, you hold your hand reverently on the cover, close your eyes and think “Yeah.  Oh, yeah.  Wow!”  Because I don’t know about you, but when a book manages to snag my attention that completely I lose all ability to find suitable interjections.

And I shudder at the mere thought of even starting a new book.  That would be like cheating on the one that just made my life so complete.  It would be the ultimate betrayal to find that level of commitment so soon after finishing the last one.

Heck, I’ve gone so far as stopping about ten pages before the ending because I’m just not ready for it to be over.  I have found that I oftentimes accomplish the most house work when I’m avoiding the inevitable end of the story.  If I don’t turn to the last page, it’s not over.

It’s like the last day on your absolutely the best vacation EVER.  You’ve spent a week in paradise, warm sand, ocean breezes, fruity drinks, no meetings, no pressure, no deadlines.  But today you need to pack up and leave it all behind, fit in all those must-have souvenirs, wonder if you really need that pair of flip flops that no longer fit in your luggage, catch the shuttle to the airport, and return to the real world.  The misery hangs around you in an almost palpable cloud.

So what’s the best way to survive a book hangover?

TELL SOMEONE ABOUT THE BOOK.  Tell your spouse.  Tell your best friend.  Tweet it.  Post it on Facebook.  Tell your favorite librarian.  I know we love to hear about good books.  You don’t have to write a scholarly review.  Just share your excitement, your esteem, your enthusiasm about the book.  That, to me, is the best way to get over that book hangover and move on.

After all, there is another new world out there, just waiting for you to open the cover.


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