Have you ever read such a great book that you find yourself thinking about it night and day and unable to read anything else? You can’t get back to the real world and you’d rather just jump into the pages and live there instead?
Welcome to a different kind of hangover. A book one.
The past several months have been one long book hangover for me (thanks a lot Sarah J. Maas). And while reading that first novel of hers – and every other morsel of writing she’s published since – was a great ride, I am left feeling as though my life may never be the same again.
So what do you do? Besides just continuing your drunkenness by sitting down and immediately rereading forever and ever…
Stalk the author
Yes, it sounds creepy, but trust me, they won’t mind. Especially if it leads to you purchasing another of their books. That’s obviously the best case scenario because once you find an author to love, you never let them go. But you can also get a little of their magic through their website, blog or social media profiles.
Explore some fanfiction
This is a tricky one because ultimately no one is going to write the characters and describe the world like the original author. But you would be surprised how close some people can get. Check out sites like Archive of Our Own or FanFiction.Net. Maybe you’ll even feel inspired enough to write your own!
Commiserate with a friend
The best kinds of friends are the ones who read the same books as you. Start a book club or set a coffee date in which you can discuss, fan-girl, dissect and mourn with. Friends and family don’t read or don’t enjoy that particular genre? Join Goodreads and interact with other fans (or rage internally at the crazy people who didn’t love it as much as you did).
Seek out Tumblr or Pinterest communities
Beyond writing, there are some really talented people out there creating, musing and designing companion items to your favorite books. Both of these sites have hundreds of thousands of fan-created tidbits of fabulousness.
Buy book-related products
So be very careful with this one because you may look up and have put a serious dent in your bank account. And obviously you have to save that money for actual books! But a book-themed scented candle from Wick and Fable or a pillow embroidered with your favorite quote are the equivalents of a greasy burger and Bloody Mary to assuage your hangover.
Experiment with other mediums
If there’s a movie or TV show based on your current book of choice, prepare to binge watch. But if not, entertainment in a medium other than books might help when you feel you aren’t ready to start reading something else.
Transition back into the real world
Get out of your library, bedroom or favorite chair!
Go out to remind yourself what you love about the world you actually live in. Take a walk, go to your favorite restaurant, hang out with your real-life friends (not the ones that only exist in novels).
Get a little hair of the dog – or your next book adventure!
Eventually you will feel like reading again, but I’d caution you against reading something similar to the book that caused your hangover. It will only pale in comparison, and the disappointment will set you back. Instead, read something completely different! Kira Walton calls it a genre palate cleanser.
If you’ve just read a stellar epic fantasy like me, switch it up with a modern murder mystery set in the real world. If you have just read a thrilling murder mystery, maybe try a historical romance. And nonfiction books will always serve as the perfect palate cleanser!
Don’t expect the effects of your book hangover to disappear immediately. They will linger for a while especially as your liver — I mean, your brain gets older and more inundated with stories. But your next favorite book is out there, so you must keep reading!