Usually experienced when you realise that nope, you can’t live in the book you’ve spent the last three days, two hours and thirteen minutes reading and yep, the sequel is still coming out two years from now. This stage of the hangover is often accompanied by a sense of loss, apathy and a lack of focus on anything that isn’t your finished book.
Do authors get their writing powers from the potent tears of heartbroken readers or something? WHAT IS THIS CRUEL WORLD.
Drinking wine in bed with your finished book clutched in your claw-like hand is a lifestyle choice, thank you very much.
You find yourself forcing information about your new favourite OTP onto innocent bystanders who have the misfortune to be stood too close to you. The lady on the checkout in Tesco, your dog, the man at the bus stop: NO ONE IS SAFE. What’s that? No you can’t actually borrow it, you might break the spine.
5. Desperate Obsession
You’ve furiously ordered the other books in the series PLUS anything else that the author has ever written (this probably includes unrelated short stories and even that novella that has a 2.5 rating on Goodreads), before you find yourself scanning Etsy in the middle of the night for merchandise that you don’t need and definitely can’t afford the shipping for. Yep, that is a Lady Midnight badge. Stylin’.
In extreme cases, you might even find yourself awake at 3am scouring Fanfiction with glazed eyes and three half finished cups of coffee. This is a bad sign. I repeat: A BAD SIGN.
The final stage of the book hangover is acceptance. One day, you wake up and find that you’ve come to terms with the book being over: it’s finally time to move on. You can now reach for your TBR pile without feeling like you’re having a sordid literary affair. The birds are signing and the sun is shining and you find that despite the emotional roller coaster, you can now look upon your old book with fondness. It was a good book and after all, it would want you to be happy.
Important note for friends and family of bookworms worldwide:
Book hangovers are serious and victims should be treated with care and compassion (and pizza, pizza helps). Although the symptoms vary from reader to reader, its important to remember that they will eventually return to normal and continue their reading career. No, they’re not dying, no matter how much they tell you that they are.
If the patient has not improved after a couple of weeks, it is essential that you help them before they enter into the dreaded book slump. You can do this by dusting down their bookmarks, making them a cup of tea and placing another book of above average feels into their hands.