by Kaley Ingenito, @ATamedFox
Book hangovers, man. We’ve all had them. You finish reading a book and, for one reason or another, You. Just. Can’t. Pick up another one.
Maybe the book was just really, really, vastly long. I’m not a particularly slow reader and it took me over three months to finish The Lord of the Rings. So. Many. Battles.
Now don’t get me wrong, I loved it. It’s arguably one of the best epics of all time (yeah, we can fight about it!) but after I finished it I just needed a break, for my eyes if nothing else.
Then there are the books that you can’t stop thinking about. I would put Donna Tartt’s The Secret History in this category. I know what you’re thinking- Donna Tartt? The one who wrote The Gold Finch? That book wasn’t even that good. – I know but The Secret History fucking haunted me. For months I couldn’t read anything else. I tried but I just couldn’t stop thinking about the ending. WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?
Or maybe you fell in love with a character and you’re having a hard time letting go. It’s totally unpredictable and nothing to be ashamed of. You find someone who becomes so dear to you over the course of the book that hopping right over to someone else seems somehow unfair or unfaithful.
When I read The Girl Who Drank The Moon By Kelly Barnhill I fell in love with Xan, the witch, and everything I tried to read after that seemed shallow or empty.
But never fear my friend, there is a cure! Book hangovers can be brutal but this three-fold strategy will help you bounce back to your cozy armchair in no time.
Relax. Eat carbs. And cheese. Lots of cheese. Watch a movie. Pet your cat. Sing in the shower. Book hangovers, like real hangovers, take time to dissipate so don’t rush things. You can’t force yourself to feel better so just take it easy for awhile.
Start small. Pick something short- I suggest The Little Prince or a book of that nature. Definitely less than 100 pages, maybe aim for 50. You can ease yourself back into the world of literature with a small dose of the hair of the dog that bit you, so to speak.
When you do commit to your next literary venture, make it a good one. Maybe there is something you have been meaning to read since high school and just never got around to it. Maybe you have a particularly well-versed friend who makes great recommendations. Or maybe you happen upon a website (*cough* Literati Pulp *cough*) with writers who would be more than happy to help you with your selection.
Whatever you need to do to cope is ok. I support you. Rest assured, friend, you will eventually feel better, you will want to read again. And until you do the multitude of literary worlds will be just over there on the shelf patiently await your return.