Book Hangovers…I Has Them (Often)


Like all addictions, even soft ones like reading, I deal with hangovers. Book hangovers can be just as devastating and painful as the ones you get from alcohol. I don’t find myself hungover from every book I read, but when I do get hungover, it presents itself in the following manner. Perhaps you can relate.


Generally it all starts with finished said book around 1:37 a.m. I intended to put the book away at 11 p.m. so I could sleep like a respectable person, but I couldn’t help myself. I’m a glutton. Now I’ve finished my book, I’m a disaster of wild, swinging emotions, I have nobody to share them with, and it’s REALLY time to go to bed.

2:00 a.m. – the self-admonishment begins

2:23 a.m. – the self-loathing begins

2:33 a.m. – the panic about the time my children will wake up begins

Sometimes I fall asleep. Most of the time I don’t, so round one goes to the book.


Whenever the next day starts and I am already at a deficit from the lack of sleep, my mind is still very much on the book. Now, hair of the dog can help. In a reading hangover, this can only mean that the sequel is readily available because you are a LATE ADOPTER to the series. There are a LOT of benefits to waiting until an entire series is available before you read it. Yes, you arrive late to the party, but your fun is guaranteed to extend into last call. If the next book isn’t available (or it’s the rare standalone), you have to make do. You consider re-reading the book you just finished to experience it again, but the magic is largely gone. You find yourself skimming over whole paragraphs and just getting to the “good parts”. The butterflies aren’t there. It’s largely unsatisfying.


You may get to work and wonder why everyone doesn’t want to talk about your latest obsession. I work with a lot of men who definitely don’t read the same books I do. Thank goodness for the Internet so I can seek out fellow Stage THREE people. You can argue with fans or write a nice message to the author or go on Facebook fan pages and win some swag. I prefer the kind author message. It’s nice to make connect with authors. Some of them like to keep their fans at arm’s length. Some like to drag fans on into their bat cave. Regardless, I sent the love out into the universe and it’s always best that way. This helps cobwebs to clear and helps me move forward.


By Stage Four the pain has usually subsided. You’ve had meaningful conversations with adults about non-book subjects. You’ve paid your bills. You’ve eaten a few meals. The itch returns. You check your TBR’s (To Be Read list) and decide to start a new relationship. It’s hard…what if it doesn’t work out?  So many questions and no answers. However, you’ve been here before…trolling Amazon, looking at stars and review counts. The only way out is through (another book), so you vow to start again. Alternately, this is when I check back in with my television. Sometimes I blow through a few episodes of a show I’ve been wanting to watch or maybe rent a movie on On Demand. Regardless, I move forward.


Reminiscing. Also known as THE AUDIOBOOK. If you’re not up on your Amazon lingo, the words WHISPERSYNC FOR VOICE are possibly the best things EVER. If you’re a Kindle user, the audio version of MANY titles is reduced DRASTICALLY if you’ve already purchased the Kindle version of the book. You can even hook them up if you have a Kindle Fire, so wherever the text leaves off, the audio will magically pick up if you have to switch formats. The Audible App will allow you to play them through your phone, too. Seriously, you can always have a book with you now, which is a miracle to me. Sometimes my favorite day EVER with a book is long after I’ve read it and suddenly the audiobook appears. This was the case recently with Alice Clayton’s Wallbanger since I was an early adopter of that book and it took a while for the audiobook to catch up (a standalone book without audio…than hangover hurt!). I’m now in a audiobook holding pattern for Liz Crowe’s series, “Stewart Realty”, but it’s coming later this year and I get to fall in love with the books ALL OVER AGAIN. Yesiree, it’s a beautiful rebirth.

So, if this is your pattern, you’re not alone. What was the last book you suffered a hangover with?  I’m always looking to add to my TBR’s. Read on, my friends.

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