The simple answer is that you don’t. Well, not fully anyway. Book hangovers aren’t like regular hangovers, they’re not simply cured by a full English breakfast, a heck of a lot of caffeine and an afternoon nap. No, instead, you are left feeling emotionally empty, endlessly awestruck and completely and utterly lost. For those of you who are lucky enough to have never experienced a book hangover or have no idea what I’m talking about, a book hangover is a condition in which attachment to a book or series that has ended causes the reader emotional distress and longing.
Now you may be thinking, poor Amy, who did this to you? Who hurt you like this? The answer is simply the masterpiece that was A Court of Silver Flames by Sarah J Maas. Once again, Sarah has crafted an emotionally intense and beautifully perfect book that has gifted me with a reading experience like no other. These characters mean the world to me, so being able to join them again on another adventure was the ideal escape and one which I wish would never end. If you’re interested, I’ll leave a link to my review here, and I’d love to hear your thoughts too!
Only one other book has ever made me feel this way, and that was The Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson. That ending left me broken, and I remember sitting in silence for five minutes whilst I processed everything that had just happened. For days that ending stuck with me, and I can’t help but feel that familiar pang in my chest whenever I think about it. My problem is that I get too emotionally attached and invested with these characters and the worlds in which they exist, so when I finish that final page, I can’t help but feel lost and empty. I become apart of the story as it’s an easy and comforting escape from reality.
I’m probably not the only one who struggles with this attachment, and if you do, then here are some of the tips that have helped me overcome my emotions!
Fan-fiction – If you’re not ready to leave a fictional world or craving more character interactions then fan-fiction is the way to go! There are so many different stories that will help fill that void. But if fan fiction isn’t your thing, then trying looking up fan-art, graphics or playlists, the book community is so creative, and I guarantee you’ll find something! There’s always been this stigma around fan fiction and is a platform that is constantly looked down upon. But believe it or not, a lot of our favourite books have started as fan-fiction! I’ve got a whole Wattpad library filled with some of my favourite fan-fics, and I’m constantly blown away by how incredible the writing is.
Watch something light-hearted – When I experience a book hangover, it shatters my emotions, and usually, I need something fun and light-hearted to take my mind off things! Whether it be an episode of Schitt’s Creek or New Girl, I just need something that’s going to make me smile and forget.
Take a break – I’ve been on such a reading rush recently, and I think I’ve burnt myself out. Sometimes it’s healthy to take a step back and focus on other hobbies and let your mind rest. I feel like sometimes there’s this pressure to always be reading something, but there’s nothing wrong with taking time off and enjoying other things.
Channel that emotion into a review – When I finished A Court of Silver Flames, I had no one to talk to, but I needed to get all of my thoughts out of my head and onto paper, so I stayed up late and channelled all that emotion into my review. After a couple of days, after the hangover had settled, I went back to it and put my thoughts into full sentences rather than leaving it as an emotional rant. This is hands down my favourite way to express my feelings, and it really does help.
Talk to someone – One of my favourite things to do is fangirl with another reader! Fellow readers are the only people who will understand your emotions when it comes to fictional characters and will happily discuss anything that involves their favourite fandoms and authors. But make sure they’ve finished the book before you go blurt out spoilers!
Find an Old Favourite/Comfort Read – Many of us have that list of books that you can re-read a hundred times and still fall in love with, they’re like a warm hug, and that’s exactly what you need when suffering from a book hangover. These books fill you with love and remind you of the joy reading brings us!
Put on some good music and have a dance! – Now, this one may sound silly, but sometimes we need some feel-good endorphins and one of the best ways to do that is to have a dance. So turn on that playlist and get moving!