Book Hangovers: The Road to Recovery


book hangover grief
Photos courtesy of Bumbershoot Photography.

Book hangovers: a very real problem for readers. You’ve just finished that amazing book and you’re feeling… well, empty. Reality has faded and who wants to return to that?  How can you be expected to function right now? Ah, cruel world! The story is gone, gone I tell you! What now can  possibly fill the void?

One Chapter at a Time

Usually I see it coming- miles away- before  it strikes. That has yet to stop me though. “D— the torpedos! Full speed ahead!” is my reading philosophy.

Devouring my latest addictive book, the remaining pages thin. The rational (tiny) part of me argues that I should slow down. Savouring what is left before the inevitable hits sounds wise- but do I listen? No!  Reckless, giddy with words I race on, on to the very last page.

There’s always a euphoric high first because… wow! That was one amazing book, right? Moments later- that’s when I’m hit, struck with explosive force. Devastation left in its wake.


Happily, recovery is possible. After years of fieldwork into the world of book hangovers I’ve learned a trick or two. Noble of me?  Yes, I know- but when it comes to books I’m willing to make the sacrifice!

book hangover debris
Hangover aftermath.

Hangover Cure

So, how do you recover from so much binge reading? Here’s my process.

1. Grief

Embrace your nerdery and take time to mourn. Just a little.

2. Reality Reentry

You’ve just experienced emotional trauma from a paperback. Take it slow.

3. Distraction

Practical doesn’t count. A new project is ideal.

4. Find Your People

Fellow bookworms unite! Ignore non-readers who just don’t get it. .

4. Evangelicalism

Pester everyone you know to read the book. You need someone to obsess over nuances, right?

5. Reread

That book or an old favourite. Any new book after a hangover just pales in comparison.

dazed confused bookaneer
Must I return to reality?

Back with Guns Blazing

Back with Guns Blazing

Confusion, brooding over the fate of fictional characters, an unwillingness to face reality- never fear my friends, the symptoms will fade. Recovery begins, and before long you’re raring to go, ready for more.

Let the hunt for your next great reading fix begin!

My worst hangover has got to be Harry Potter. Series can be a vicious cycle: devour the new book, hangover, recovery, anticipation, and repeat. What’s one title that left you hungover? How do you pick up the pieces once it’s all over? Comment below.

May life never be so crazy that we all can’t get lost in a really good book. Book hangovers are well worth the risk.





5 thoughts on “Book Hangovers: The Road to Recovery

  1. Have you read the “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” that came out recently? It might help your Harry Potter hankering. 😉

    Ending a series is hard, for sure!

  2. Hmm… I really felt sad when I finished all the new Ms Marvel comics and the Rutabaga the Adventure Chief comics. If I’m talking comics I have to mention the 2 Rapunzel’s Revenge books. So good, so sad to get the end. Must reread and reread. Others I get lost in: The Secret Garden, Frankenstein, and Sherlock Holmes.

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