Sunday Coffee – Book Hangovers

I know of two kinds of book hangovers. One of them – when you finish a book but your mind stays trapped in that world and you’re not quite ready to let it go – is one I actually enjoy. This is when I get to multi-read. I love when books affect me so much that I begin to read them several times in a row. I’m highly anticipating this happening this coming Tuesday when Oathbringer finally makes its appearance on store shelves and in Audible queues!

The other kind of book hangover is not so pleasant, for me at least. It happened to me earlier this week, when I read Truly Madly Guilty. I got sucked into the book and essentially didn’t move all day long. I read and read and read, long past when my body and eyes were comfortable, long past when I normally go to bed. While it wasn’t 24 hours, this was essentially Readathon-style reading, except that during Readathon, I make preparations to prevent book hangovers. I take planned breaks. I get up and walk for 10-15 min chunks every hour. I space out my reading with blog updates and such. There was none of that when I read the other day. No breaks, no intermissions, no movement. And the next day, I felt like hell.

I’ve never had an actual hangover. I’ve been drunk, drunk enough to get a hangover, but I’ve never had one. My only guess is that my tendency to over-hydrate on a daily basis helps me to not get too dehydrated when I drink. (I’m the sort of person who regularly drinks 15-20 cups of water a day.) But I definitely get book hangovers when I get sucked into a book and don’t adequately prepare for it. And it’s no fun the day after that kind of reading!

About Amanda

Agender empty-nester filling my time with cats, books, fitness, and photography. She/they.
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6 Responses to Sunday Coffee – Book Hangovers

  1. Michelle says:

    I can’t say that I have ever had this type of book hangover. Perhaps because that is so similar to my work life sitting at a desk all day?


    • Amanda says:

      Even on those days that I sit at my desk all day (either writing, or when I used to be a claims processor at Blue Cross), I still got up every hour to move around. And honestly I think it’s just reading, because I’ve had those moments with writing when I dont’ stop for hours and I’m fine afterwards. Maybe it’s because I hardly move at all while reading. At least when writing, I’m using my hands/fingers/wrists…


  2. Karen K. says:

    I don’t know if I’d call it a book hangover, but I’ve definitely needed to take a break from reading after I’ve finished something very long or intense. I think I just need to absorb it before I move into another fictional place (real or imaginary).

    And I did read Big Little Lies in about 24 hours. Not great literature, but pretty gripping story. The HBO adaptation is also good.


    • Amanda says:

      That absorption is when I fine myself rereading books multiple times in a row. That’s the kind of hangover I enjoy! šŸ˜€ I wasn’t sure about the HBO adaptation after reading the book. I wondered if maybe it would be too violent for me. I’m tempted though.


  3. Kristen M. says:

    Yep, I get the bad kind. It usually is connected to my neck — being in an unbalanced position for too long — so that the next day I’m headachy and sore in my neck and shoulders and it’s not pleasant.


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