Thanksgiving Hangover vs. Book Hangover - They're Not So Different!

Hangovers. Most people associate the word with alcohol, but there are actually several types. Readers everywhere use the term book hangover. A book hangover is defined as a condition in which attachment to a book or series that has ended causes the reader traumatic emotional distress (urbandictionary.com). On Thanksgiving Day, people around the US gather together and eat until they burst. This can cause emotional distress as well.  

As I joined America in eating until the button on my pants pops, I couldn’t help but think about how Thanksgiving Hangovers and Book Hangovers have so much in common.

  1. You don’t want to even think about having more.

    Let’s face it, by the time we’ve reached nighttime on Thanksgiving Day, we don’t even want to hear the word turkey anymore. In fact, we don’t even want to see food at all. It can be that way with book hangovers too. When you finish a book that still holds your undivided attention, you do not even want to think about starting another book. That TBR stack on your desk? Yeah, you just kind of close your eyes as you walk by.

  2. You find yourself wanting more.

    Some people are just the opposite, and find themselves wanting more. Maybe it’s a midnight turkey sandwich or a before bedtime extra piece of pie. The food was just so good they don’t want the yumminess to end. In the book world, sometimes you just enjoy reading a book so much that you don’t want that feeling to go away. It can make you dive right into the next book, especially if it’s a series. You just hope that you like the next book as much as you enjoyed the first one!

  3. You need to switch things up.

    There is so much work that goes into Thanksgiving dinner that, the next day, it seems easier to just get takeout. Chinese, pizza, or whatever your hometown has to offer. The main thing is that it does not consist of typical Thanksgiving food. Same goes for the book world. If you’re suffering from a book hangover from a contemporary read, maybe you’ll switch to a suspense or historical novel. Something that will take your mind in a totally different direction.

  4. You feel groggy.

    Ever heard someone say they wanted to take a nap after eating a big Thanksgiving meal? It’s because their minds are groggy and they can’t concentrate. Books can have that effect as well. Once when I suffered from a book hangover, I was so invested in the characters and storyline that my mind couldn’t let them go. My family tried to engage in a conversation with me, but I just kind of stared off into space, my mind too groggy to understand what they were saying. I had to wait for the hangover to subside before I could enter into a regular conversation again.

  5. You might just need to detox.

    In the food world this could be eating extra healthy the following day, or increasing your water intake. How can we detox in the book world? Read a no-nonsense book. It could be a novella, a book I’ve read in the past, or a book that I know isn’t going to totally take over my mind. Maybe even a kid’s book. Hey, they’re fun to read too!

Hangovers are hard to deal with - be they Thanksgiving or book hangovers - and everyone handles them differently. But let’s be totally honest, don’t you love reading a book that causes a book hangover? It typically means the book was so good that everyone needs to read it!

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What book have you read recently that gave you a book hangover? How do you cope with a book hangover? Share in the comments below or share the discussion on social media (don’t forget to tag us @hopebythebook)