Tag Archives: reading hangover

A Reading Hangover: The Day After a Reading Binge


Have you ever gotten one of these? I call it a “reading hangover”, although, luckily, the symptoms aren’t anything at all like a regular hangover.

Early yesterday afternoon, I opened up Sujata Massey’s Girl in a Box, which I’d started reading the previous night.

Time passed, and before I knew it, I’d finished the book. And without thinking, I reached, almost automatically, for the next book in my stack: Kelley Armstrong’s Exit Strategy.

I took a break to eat dinner, and then another break to put my son Dylan to bed. As soon as we finished with our reading (three picture books and Otteline at Sea, by Chris Riddell – a lovely, fun read), my husband took over (they make plays with the stuffed animals and record them on his iPhone) and I went right back to Nadia Stafford’s adventures in Exit Strategy.

I couldn’t tear myself away from the book; I read until 2:00 in the morning.

So this morning, as usually happens after I indulge in a reading binge, I woke up with a reading hangover.

What happens when I’m in such a state?

The world feels very dreamlike. Nothing seems very real, or maybe it’s more that I feel unreal myself. I’m not sure which. Perhaps surreal is the word I’m looking for.

It’s a strange feeling, and it can last for a while.

When I’m coping with a reading hangover, I do things I don’t normally do. Today, for example, I spent more than FIVE HOURS on Twitter. When life feels surreal, yes, I go directly to Twitter. (I do like to spend time on Twitter, but not normally five hours straight – in case you were wondering.)

Nothing else gets done. I didn’t even feel like finishing Exit Strategy.

Luckily, the hangover does eventually fade.

Of course, as soon as it faded, I grabbed Exit Strategy (I was about halfway done last night). And yes, I just finished it.

And now I’m writing this post so I won’t grab the next in the series, Made to Be Broken; I could, very easily, since it’s just sitting in the next room, waiting for me.

But I’m exercising restraint. Surreal is okay every once in a while; I wouldn’t like a daily diet of it.

Since it’s always nice to be able to blame these things on other people, I will now lay the blame on Jill, at Rhapsody in Books, whose review of Made to Be Broken was the reason why I ended up with Exit Strategy and Made to be Broken in the first place.

And I was going to lay the blame for Girl in a Box at Bernadette’s feet (Reactions to Reading); I could have sworn I remembered the Rei Shimura series as a result of one of her excellent and comprehensive, themed blog posts, like J is for Justice, but it appears my memory’s a bit rusty these days. So, to whoever you are (and I commented on the post in question, so there’s a record!), you wrote an enticing blog post which made me look up the Rei Shimura mysteries, so yes, you too are to blame.

See? It wasn’t my fault I went on a reading binge and then suffered a reading hangover.

I feel much better about the whole thing already.

Do you ever go on reading binges? And do you ever get these reading hangovers after going on a reading binge?

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