Book hangover: 5 stages of grief you may be feeling
Ever read a book so good you find yourself thinking about it days – no weeks – after? Same! It’s been 45 days since I finished Legendborn. That’s almost 64800 minutes, but who’s really counting? The only thing worse than finishing a good read is dealing with the devasting book hangover that follows its wake. Are we really going to act like we’re not invested in the story? How will we move on when we still have questions? If you’re anything like me, you’re probably going through what I like to call 5 stages of grief during a book hangover.
It isn’t over until the fat lady sings or in this case, the last line is read. During grief, denial is traditionally described as a refusal to come to terms with the reality of the situation. I don’t know about you but this sounds like a pretty bang-on description of what I feel when I finish a good book. My thoughts range jump from “Is that it?” to “No, that can’t be it!” for minutes if not hours.
Is it really living if you’ve never thrown a book in frustration that it ended? Inquiring minds want to know. Inquiring minds being me. During this stage of book hangover grief you go from hating the characters for “abandoning” you, to hating the author who created such a captivating world to hating whooever bought you the book in the first place and turned your life upside down.
So this book is getting a sequel right? What if it releases this year? Better yet, what if it gets picked up as a Netflix series? This is the stage of grief where you try to find a way to get more of what you’re craving. If there’s a petition to sign or an email to be written to get a publisher or studio to fast track your beloved series, you’re going to do it.
Guess what? Chances are, that petition doesn’t exist. The thought you have of your favourite book series becoming a TV show? Dashed. Moreover, as the realisation dawns on you that this is it you start to experience waves of sadness. Maybe you think “Do I really have to wait an entire year for the next book?” and in the cases on stand-alones “Is this the END end?”
That’s right. You’ve fought a good fight and now it’s time to finish the race. You can’t change the fact that this book has ended. You can’t change that you will have to wait to see what happens next. And in some cases, you can’t change that the fact you will never get another chapter. This is where you fully accept that the experience has ended and chances are you’ll move on to another captivating story and start this process all over again.
Are you having a book hangover?
Which stage are you at?