The almighty Book-hangover...anyone else?

Calling all who get extremely emotionally invested in fictional characters and pay the price.
Okay I figure this thread gives me the best chance of reaching other readers suffering from the same thing...Book hangovers. When you finish a book-or heaven forbid a series- and your entire soul feels almost empty. Happy ending or not, you're just LACKING something because you've been so attached to the characters for so long and now it's just over. No more adventures, or hilarious comments from the snarky sidekick you've grown to love. No more life or death stakes, or adorable, butterfly inducing romantic scenes. Now obviously you can experience the same thing (and if you're an avid reader there really is no other option,) but for the time being you're left with what I can only describe as a hangover. 
You want to move on and read some thing else, but you just can't push the old characters aside so swiftly, not after you've been through so much together.You experienced everything the characters did, and sure you'll cherish the memories one day, but for now you can't move on with your life without feeling like there is something missing. It's like you've lost real friends.
 In my opinion the memory of a story powerful enough to leave you with real emotions will certainly last you a lifetime (insert overused -but still loved- JK Rowling quote here,) and yet the feeling of finality can often times be so brutal that the resulting hangover feels closer to a mourning period. 
Has anyone else gone through this after reading a novel/series that you really cherished?


  • NeiroAtOpelCcNeiroAtOpelCc Denmark (Als)Posts: 5,530 ✭✭✭
    I'm not reading nearly as much as I'd like to pretend, but even I have had that experience. I'm not sure it'll truely last a lifetime though. My memory just isn't good enough to offer such deals.
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  • Morgan33Morgan33 Posts: 55
    It's good to know I'm not the only one. It probably won't last a lifetime, but I suppose it's still nice to hold out hope about such things.
  • EvanNEvanN Lockport, NYPosts: 14
    Happens to me on the regular, especially with long series. When I read a series like David and Leigh Eddings' The Belgariad and The Mallorean, which are 5 books a piece, I usually try and do all of them in a week or so (and I reread them every year). By the time I'm done, I feel like I just got steamrolled but then I still want more. How does Tolkein put it, I feel "like butter spread over too much bread", I end up exhausted. Totally worth it though, because that experience is way better than any movie marathon could ever be. Other great series to do it with are Chris Woodings' Broken Sky, Jim Butcher's Dresden Files, Laurence Dahner's Ell Dansaii, and John Flanagan's Ranger's Apprentice. I think it takes a really long series to burn me out through. 
  • Gara_the_engineerGara_the_engineer In a log house at the edge of the forestPosts: 633 ✭✭✭
    Another Eddings fan! :) I am however not that good at rereading them - usually about every second year.
    The meaning of life is to give life a meaning
  • RialVestroRialVestro Posts: 6,393 ✭✭✭
    Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. I've read all six books, the last one being decent enough but really not as good as the original five that Douglas Adams actually wrote himself. Being that he's dead now I really had no other option but to give "And Another Thing..." a chance. I actually would of preferred it if "Mostly Harmless" was the real ending but at the same time I really wanted to read more with those characters. And even now I'm still craving more. There is another series Douglas Adams wrote which I will eventually read if I can ever find it. But I'm always going to miss Arthur, Trillian, Ford, Zaphod, and Marvin. I'll even miss some of the more minor characters who I wish had bigger roles to play. Like what ever to happen to Fenchurch and Wanco the Sane? And I was only just getting to know Random Frequent Flyer Dent. I want more of them so much.
    Ni, peng, nee-wom! Ecky, ecky, ecky, pakang, zoom-ping! Baa weep grahna weep ninny bong!
  • LizardLizard Posts: 3
    I find that this happens to me quite often. There's this period of time right after I finish a good book where I spend 15 minutes to an hour doing nothing but thinking about what I have just read. And then, after the prospect of removing myself from the world of the characters is too much to handle, I begin rereading my favorite parts. The feeling does go away though, and I am always able to find something else to capture my attention. However, there's always that time when I find myself craving the characters again, and I have no choice but to reread the book/series from the beginning, just to be able to experience it's awesomeness once more.
  • BambukoBambuko Cracow, PolandPosts: 4
    edited August 2015
    Happens to me every time. Especially because reading books since childhood was for me a way of dealing with intelectual loneliness, so very often I grew very attached to the characters. Unfortunately over the time not much has changed and now I read the series by Karl Ove Knausgard "My Struggle". Only two of seven books were translated to my language so far, but Im already feeling uncomfortable with a thought of what will I do when I finish reading, cuz the book is just soooo good.
    by Bambuko
  • ElrondtheGreyElrondtheGrey Fort Collins, ColoradoPosts: 31
    After finishing Lord of the Rings I couldn't pick up another book for a whole year
  • runaruna Posts: 71 ✭✭
    This happened to me after I read Conjured by Sarah Beth Durst.  Such an immersive book with absurd plot twists, I had so much trouble yanking myself out of it.
  • Lavache_BeadsmanLavache_Beadsman New YorkPosts: 661 ✭✭✭
    edited August 2015
    I read Amy Hempel's Collected Stories, and for a while there, nothing else seemed to be as good. 

    Also, as a writer, the fact that she not only writes great stories, but has written them consistently, over the span of three decades, is intimidating.
    by Lavache_Beadsman
  • The-Artist-IncognitoThe-Artist-Incognito Hogwarts...always hogwarts Posts: 12
    I swear to god, every time I read a really good book, after I'm done with it I just bask in the awesomeness of the world that I have been venturing to for the past couple of days. The fiction characters have become my friends and the scene in which the book has been set, my home. 
    "The Universe is under no obligation to make sense to you." - Neil Degrasse Tyson
  • NeiroAtOpelCcNeiroAtOpelCc Denmark (Als)Posts: 5,530 ✭✭✭
    It would depend on the book you're reading I hope. I'm currently reading 'a higher calling' which is about pilots in the second world war. It's a good read, but I don't want to live in their world. Nor would I want to live in the world described in 'behind the beautiful forevers', but then I didn't like that book overly much.
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  • Morgan33Morgan33 Posts: 55
    It's nice to know I'm far from the only book addict dealing with this. I do agree with you @NeiroAtOpelCc , there are some stories I'd rather not live in. Although sometimes I think even with books we're not particularly fond of, pieces of the stories stick with us- whether we intend for them to or not. Maybe it's just me, but I have the unfortunate tendency to get thoroughly wrapped up in fictitious worlds. I find it incredibly difficult to force myself to endure a book I flat out don't like, but there are occasions when I'll read a story that at the time I deem mediocre at best. Then, later on bits of it seem to find there way into my mind. Almost like the story itself is growing on me. Not sure if I'm making any sense here.
  • Morgan33Morgan33 Posts: 55
    I swear to god, every time I read a really good book, after I'm done with it I just bask in the awesomeness of the world that I have been venturing to for the past couple of days. The fiction characters have become my friends and the scene in which the book has been set, my home. 
    Someone who gets it!  :)  I've just finished "I'll Give You the Sun" By Jandy Nelson (sidenote: totally recommend it), and on this particular occasion some of the trials and tribulations the characters go through are similar to things I've dealt with in my life semi-recently. So, I think if you can relate to the characters/their situation it makes the book and the resulting hangover full of even more bitter-sweet awesomeness. 
  • NeiroAtOpelCcNeiroAtOpelCc Denmark (Als)Posts: 5,530 ✭✭✭
    Morgan33 said:
     Not sure if I'm making any sense here.
    Makes perfect sense. Even if the story isn't appealing, it might still leave an impression. 
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  • I don't know if anyone is active in this thread, but here goes. I currently have a specific type of book hangover. It has been almost three months since I read a book in a series, and although the next book has been out for more than a month, I have not been able to get my hands on it. Besides the horrible fact that the book ended in a cliffhanger ( D:), the world the author created is simply one of those worlds that are really hard to escape. I have not been able to read another book since I put that one down, and as this has been the longest I have gone without reading in more than 5 years I am going insane. I fear the only cure is to get the next book and read it because since I live outside of the US I'll probably have to wait a couple more months to be able to get it. Social media has also been a bit of a minefield since everyone wants to talk about the book and I don't want any spoilers.
  • ReticentAmatiReticentAmati Colorado Posts: 2
    I totally feel you triskaid. I've been obsessed with the A Darker Shade of Magic series and the last book is out but I don't have the money for it yet and I'm rapidly dying inside. Also I'm new and just kind of looking around at forums so who really knows if this is still has activity much or not.
  • Morgan33Morgan33 Posts: 55
    Wow, seeing that I posted this 2 years ago and am still a bit hung up on the series I was originally referring to is a rude awakening! I Guess some stories are just hard to shake. But, fear not Triskaid. As a survivor of the aforementioned book hangover, I can assure you that you will live to read again.

    Good luck getting the next book quickly, and best wishes for recovering from the hangover that it too shall leave you with. ;)
  • NeiroAtOpelCcNeiroAtOpelCc Denmark (Als)Posts: 5,530 ✭✭✭
    I have a magic card with your name on it!
    As for books - just get it on the us amazon page if available. They ship internationally and my last purchase only took two days to get to Denmark.
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