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how to cope with a book hangover

you know the feeling: you read the last sentence of the book, slam it shut, and promptly explode with a plethora of FEELINGS and EMOTIONS. how are you expected to continue living after reading that? how does one carry on????? CONGRATULATIONS! you’re officially suffering from a chronic illness* often known as THE BOOK HANGOVER. okay, maybe i shouldn’t be congratulating you, but be happy that you’ve had the pleasure of reading a book as emotional and fantastic as the one you just finished! luckily, i have a few tips & tricks for dealing with book hangovers.

*the book hangover is not an official-official illness……… yet

reread parts of the book, or simply reread the entire book (or series)

one common mistake of dealing with book hangovers is that people often try to push it away, read something else, or forget about it. but little do they know that this does the exact opposite of what you desire. you need to feed into the hangover. have the urge to reread that memorable section? READ IT. sections build up and you just want to reread the entire book/series? nothing’s stopping you! pick it up and relive the words.

make or find internet things related to said book – playlists, fan edits, aesthetic posts, fan fiction, etc.

people on tumblr are (usually) fantastic. you will find music playlists that will make you feel all the feels all over again; you will see graphics, edits, and/or aesthetics that make you feel like you’re reliving the story; you will find fan fiction based on the characters and settings, making you reimagine the world. it will be terrible; it will be fantastic; it will be terribly fantastic. and after finding all those things, you may be inspired the create your own version of these things. GO. INSPIRE. CREATE.

scream talk to someone about the book

the book community is here for a reason. ~expel all the feels~ there will probably be someone out there who has read the book (even if it hasn’t been released yet). talk to them! scream together; cry together; reread together. do your thing. and if you can’t find anyone who’s read the book and feels the same way you do about the book, be a book pusher. talk about how fantastic and magical this book is; shove it in their faces; tell people to READ IT READ IT READ IT. and of course, don’t forget to remain spoiler-free, so those who do read it will suffer experience all that you’ve experienced.

write a review and/or discussion post

this is probably the most effective way for me to get over my book hangover. i type out (or talk out, if you’re a booktuber) all my thoughts: what loved about the book, what i didn’t love, what surprised me, which characters i wanted to hug, which parts i cried, and every. little. detail. include gifs and quotes and EVERYTHING. you don’t even need to publish this review/discussion (if you’re not a book blogger or just don’t want to). for me, writing the review itself is enough to cope with the book hangover.

when you’re ready, pick up another book

CONGRATS! (for real this time) you’ve gotten over your book hangover and should be ready to move on. this book will always have a special place in your heart, but you should be emotionally and mentally stable enough to continue. pick up another book – maybe in the same genre, maybe in a completely different genre – and hopefully, or not so hopefully, go through the experience all over again.

(if you still have not full recovered, i recommend continuing to reread and make/find bookish things related to the book. if the hangover persists, contact your local bibliophile and hopefully they will be able to offer some physical assistance – ie. indulging on all your ice cream, watching sad movies, etc.)

i hope this guide was helpful to your book hangover! i was inspired to write it after my own hangover from THE UNEXPECTED EVERYTHING; have you ever experienced a book hangover? how do you generally cope? let me know in the comments!

Alexandra Ling

alexandra is a nineteen-year-old content creator and avid reader. when she's not on the internet or hiding behind pages, you can find her training to be a professional ballet dancer. she finds writing about herself in third-person strange.

  • Andie G.

    Oh man! I really needed those tips! I recently finished ‘I’ll Meet You There’ by Heather Demetrios (just reviewed it) and I really suffer from a book hangover right now. So thank you so much for sharing!

    Andie

    http://www.andiereads.wordpress.com

  • Jordan Roe

    thanks for these tips! Also, any tips on how to get the hello bar on a wordpress blog?

  • I’m a victim of book hangovers ALL THE TIME! It’s actually quite painful. Like eating a terrible ice cream that you don’t want to eat because it tastes like trash but it’s ICE CREAM so you still want to eat it. (I believe this is a valid comparison.)

    I don’t think there’s anything that could make me easily get over hangovers, but I do like to search for anything about the book when I do – fan arts, mostly – and just… indulge myself. BECAUSE FAN ARTS. And they’re beautiful. Also, I have a few friends at school that I can talk to when I’m having a book hangover, so I just *calmly* shriek at them and tell them to read the glorious book themselves so I can fangirl with them all week.

    Awesome post, Alexandra! I’ll keep these tips in mind the next time I experience another hangover.❤️ (Because I’m pretty sure I wil.)

  • shootingstarsmag

    I don’t really know the last time I had a book hangover. I like these tips, especially the one about rereading certain sections or even reading the book over again. That really would be a good idea if you just LOVED the book and don’t want/can’t move on yet.

    -Lauren
    http://www.shootingstarsmag.blogspot.com

  • I agree with all of this, sometimes you just need to get the book out of your system and move on with life but it’s so hard. I especially like the fan-edit or fan-graphics solution myself, since they usually take me freaking ages to do and when I am done – I am ready to say bye to the book for another year or so. It’s only with HP that my hangover will last for THE REST OF MY LIFE XD

  • Natalie

    Ah, Book Hangovers. The absolute worst. Funnily enough, what I usually do is talk to someone who isn’t in the book community and who will probably never read the book. They just let me scream and cry and rant and send tumblr text posts and gifs and all that good stuff to get it out of my system. And then I take a few (or hours, or weeks – since a book hangover usually ends up in a reading slump for me) to watch youtube videos, start up a new tv show, actually do some school work until I’m ready to get my heart broken again.

  • This is such a good post! Really great tips. I also thinking reading a new/old book from an author or series you really love can help… Though in my own experience that can result in a (nearly) endless cycle of book hangovers. I often get book hangovers from my favorite author’s books (*cough* Sanderson) so then to cure it I pick up another one… It’s not always smart.

  • KHAIRUNNISA PUTRI

    I recently got book hangover after reading Me Before You by Jojo Moyes. It was sooo emotional and I can’t concentrate on reading other books. So I decided to re-read all my favorite parts (to the point that I memorize the quotes) and over played the soundtrack of the movie (Photograph by Ed Sheeran). I got it out of my system now (even though I still play the song every chance I get) 😛

  • Ugh but the worst is when a book hangover turns into a reading slump. That’s what happened to me after finishing Illuminae. It was a while before I got back into my groove. Anyway, loved this post! Even though I’m currently in a happy reading mind set, I’m sure it won’t be long before I finish a book that leaves me feeling like I’ll never read another good book again. Great post! 😀