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Have you ever needed to cure a book hangover? I need one right now, so I thought I’d write a blog post to help all you other book lovers out there. I figure if I’m going to work on a cure for myself, I might as well share the love.

Not So Easy Ways to Cure a book Hangover Pin Image

What Is a Book Hangover?

Book Riot says it best when they describe the effects of a book hangover. Basically, a book hangover occurs when we get swallowed into the fictional world of the book we last read. You can’t get the world, the characters, or the words in general out of your head as you contemplate what could have been.

Common symptoms of a book hangover are the inability to leave your bed or comfy spot as you think about what happens next, dreaming about the characters, and even raging against the world.

Why Do Book Hangovers Happen?

There is some serious psychology about why book hangovers occur. While my cure is a bit tongue in cheek, these tips follow some of the guidelines for coping with grief. For, a book hangover is a form of grieving.

Psychology tells us that readers become engrossed in the worlds they live in and the setting begins to feel real. This realness translates into loss if we can’t pull our heads out of the story. Thus, a book hangover occurs and could last a few hours to a few weeks, depending on how much we related to the book.

10 Steps to Get Over Your Book Hangover

Read on to find out how to cure your book hangover.

Image of a statue holding a rose to depict mourning which is the first step to cure a book hangover.

Step 1: Mourn

While grieving is an inward expression, mourning is what others see on the outside. Mourning can be a healthy release of extreme emotion. These emotions can show up as sadness, anger, and in some cases extreme glee when related to a book hangover.

The rest of these steps follow a subtle line of moving forward. In full transparency, these steps do help me, so if they feel a bit morbid and sad to you, please feel free to dance, sing, or contemplate the world through navel-gazing if you prefer.

Step 2: Drink a Large Cup of Tea

For some tea is the cure to all things including a book hangover. But, for others, a nice glass of chardonnay may make you feel better. Please, feel free to choose your drink of choice for this exercise. Though I must warn you, inebriation can extend the book hangover experience.

Step 3: Silently Curse the Author Into Oblivion

Now, I did just this last night after I finished Two More Lives by Kaitlyn Legaspi. Needless to say, I felt devastated to the bottom of my soul and cursed her outright in a private diatribe on Instagram. Not really, but I did tell her that I hated her for putting me in this position. Luckily, she was a good sport and agreed to try to write faster but with no promises.

Image of a woman crying while looking out the window.

Step 4: Cry

After I got all the angry feelings out of my system about wanting more from the book, I curled up in my bed and had a good cry. Crying is often a soothing way of getting your emotions out, but in my case, I tend to ugly cry, so it isn’t as much soothing as physically exhausting.

So, an optional step here is to take a nap after your cry. This often helps a lot.

Step 5: Journal Your Feelings

I’m a huge advocate for journaling. I find that getting my feelings out on paper helps me tremendously. I know people like to type these days, but a good session with paper, pen, and your thoughts make the process more real in a way.

You don’t need a fancy journal to get your feelings out. Last night I used an old library receipt and a highlighter to write things out. The point of the exercise is to excise those feelings, not make them pretty. These thoughts are not for public consumption.

Image of a tray of unbaked cookie dough. This image depicts the idea of baking cookies as a way to cure a book hangover.

Step 6: Bake Cookies

Baking has the great ability to calm your mind. Thinking about something else for a while helps your brain switch gears. Especially an exercise where you have to pay attention and do things in the proper order.

Of course, another benefit of baking cookies is getting to eat the cookies. I’m not saying you should eat them all, but hey, if it makes you feel better, I’m not going to judge.

Step 7: Write Depressing Fan Fic

Again, this is not for public consumption, so feel free to write as fast and hard as you like to get the thoughts of what should happen next in your story out of the way. You may write 10 pages or one paragraph, but get that story in your head down on paper or screen.

Woman in a bathtub wearing a robe and holding a glass of wine.

Step 8: Take a Hot Bath

I have found in my many years of experience with book hangovers, that a hot bath tends to cure most of what ails a person. Sitting in that warm soapy water takes all the stress out of your limbs and allows you to relax your mind. If you find that you still can’t let your mind go, try deep breathing while you soak.

Step 9: Drink More Tea

You can do this one in conjunction with Step 8. Drinking a nice cup of tea or wine in the bath hits the right spot every time. I also would advise having some beautiful candles surrounding you so you can have the most relaxing time possible.

Step 10: Retail Therapy

Hopefully, after your bath, you are feeling a bit better about life after the devastation of a good book. It is now time to get back on the horse and find that next good read. For me, I ordered Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky.

Wrapping Up

With hope, these steps do help you cure your book hangover. While they may seem silly and a bit of a joke, I stand by this remedy. I am still mourning my book, but I am ready to move on to the next book. I sincerely wish these tips help you as well.

>>>If you are ready to move on, I think you might enjoy The Homewreckers by Mary Kay Andrews. It’s a great summer read and perfect for grazing.


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