I’ve noticed an odd phenomenon lately. Usually, when I finish a book, I’ll feel the immediate need to fill that book-shaped void in my life—I’m sure you’re all familiar with this feeling—and in a lot of cases, I start a new book almost immediately. Recently, though, this hasn’t been the case.
Part of it is due to blogging guilt. I know that if I don’t write a review within a few days of finishing a book, the review is either not going to get written (likely) or it’s just going to be a shitty review (more likely). It’s even harder to write a review of one book when I’ve already started reading another, because by then I’ll be caught up in the world of the new book and my brain will only reluctantly return to the world of the old one.
The other part, though, is something else with which I’m sure you’re all familiar: the book hangover.
I’ve been experiencing this a lot more lately. I’ll finish a book, have that I need to start a new book RIGHT NOW thought…and then not start another book for a day or two (or three). For example, I finished Ready Player One (so good!) on Friday, and I’ve been meaning to start Silver Sparrow by Tayari Jones since then, but just haven’t quite made myself do it yet. And I’m not really sure why, other than the fact that I only just finished my review of Ready Player One. So maybe now my brain will stop guilting me into NOT reading.
But while this most recent time has been a more extreme version of the book hangover, I’ve begun to notice that I need at least a day between books. This is in sharp contrast to most of the rest of my life, wherein I’ve pretty much always finished a book and immediately started another. This doesn’t mean I don’t want to start a new book; I almost always want to start a new book. But there’s this mental block that prevents me from doing it.
I’m curious about how our readers read! Do any of you have this book hangover issue? I know everyone has different reading timelines and preferences—some people can read on a schedule, some are mood readers; some read slow, others read fast; some drink it all in, some skim. (For what it’s worth, I’m halfway between a schedule and a mood reader, and I generally read pretty quickly because I tend to skim.) I’ve also noticed that my reading habits have definitely changed over the years. Did blogging influence your reading habits? It has definitely changed mine, in the ways I mentioned above as well as in things like making me think a lot more critically about what I’m reading.
I want to hear from you! How do you read?
It really depends on my mood, if it's a series (a really great one at that) and I have the next book then I almost always transition into the next installment immediatly.ReplyDelete
If I've spent the whole day with one book from start to finish then I usually feel the need to give my family some mommy time (they're so needy sometimes!).
There's also the case of Netflixitis in which all I want to do is veg in front of a tv series so once I get a book finished I feel like I've earned some down time with my roku, which usually leads to a few days away from my bookshelf.
I need two brains and four eyes!
S.Huston @ Head In The Clouds
Good point about series! I didn't think of that. I would agree, though—I'll definitely be starting that next book if I have it available!Delete
I too need two brains and four eyes. How much better would life be if you could *always* be reading and also, you know, be productive at the same time?!
I have the worst book hangovers. Sometimes I won't start another book for at least a week. Sometimes, I have to reread something I know I love to get past it.ReplyDelete
I am a very fast reader most of the time, but I cannot skim. I have to read every word or I don't feel like I've read the while book. (Yes, I'm crazy!)
My biggest issue is that sometimes my brain will stutter on a word or phrase and even though I've read it six times, it feels like I haven't. So I have to read every. single. word. very. slowly. until I get past it. It's really weird.Delete
Book hangover! I love it - that is exactly the right term. Sometimes I've just been reading too much and I need to watch some TV or go for a walk or be with people. Sometimes all my library holds become available at once and I feel too overwhelmed to start reading, which is like an anticipatory hangover.ReplyDelete
Ah yes, the classic "I have too many things to read so I won't read ANY of them" conundrum. My husband took me to a bookstore for Valentine's Day (bless him) so now I have like 7 new books and it was SO HARD to decide which one to read first!Delete
In those cases, I sometimes put the books into competition with each other--I'll read a few pages of each and whichever one interests me most wins.Delete
Ooh, reading a few pages of each book is a good idea in theory but I just don't think I'd be able to do it—at least, if a book didn't grab me in the first few pages I probably wouldn't go back to it at all. I think reading a few pages of several books would just confuse me!Delete
Since the beginning of the year, I haven't been able to stop reading. Normally I read a book and wait a few days before picking up a new one. Recently though, I've been reading constantly! As much as I like doing reviews, I've been enjoying this reading frenzy and neglecting by blogging duties. I think I'll get back in the read, review, post mentality eventually, but right now I'm just enjoying reading so much I can't think about stopping.ReplyDelete
That's so great! I love getting in a frenzy like that. It means you're reading some really good stuff, so definitely don't stop! :DDelete
I takes notes while I'm reading the book, especially anything funny or dramatic that I'll want to mention, any quotes etc, so as soon as I finish a book I get straight into the next one. If I don't, I might lose the urge to read at all and end up in the dreaded reading slump. I write the notes up into actual reviews as soon as I get the time. That keeps me ticking over!ReplyDelete
I've always wanted to be a note-taking reader, but I've never been able to make myself do it consistently. That's so great that you do that! I'm sure it helps a lot with the reviewing process, too. :)Delete
It depends on the book. If I loved the book and it rocked my world it takes me a day or two to start a new one because I want to hold to that feeling of being a new person. But if the book was ok or bad I need to start a new book ASAP to forget about the previous one.ReplyDelete
Blogging has definitely change my reading habits, I read more now and I have the urge to write reviews as soon as I finish with a book.
Oh, good point about needing to forget about bad books! I think I probably do that too—I've just read a lot of good books lately, I guess!!Delete
What a fun and all-too-true post! I can completely relate about the reviews- if I don't write the review right away it ends up being pretty crappy when I do write one! Lately I have been trying really, really hard to write the review basically right away. It hasn't been easy to fit that into my schedule but so far I'm happy with the results. My reviews are just better, instead of me sitting down and drawing a blank!ReplyDelete
I definitely get "bookovers". I either read something in a completely different genre and start it right away or I read through one of the magazines that I subscribe to and get over it that way!
Thank you! The review thing is something that I've struggled with since I started blogging four years ago, and I've discovered that I really do just need to write the damn thing as soon I finish the book or else it just gets harder and harder to get it done.Delete
Changing genres is a good idea too! I know some people who can't read two books in a row of the same genre. I've never been that strict about it (in fact, I often get in quite a roll within a genre and will read several books in a row from the same genre or even author) but I can see how it helps, especially if the book you just finished wasn't so good!
+1 to all of these!ReplyDelete
I get book hangovers all the time. Sometimes it's just easier to sit with my phone and hit "refresh" on Twitter than it is to start a new book, or write a review! If a book is amazing, my brain needs time to properly process it.
Yeah, sometimes I just have to do something mindless for a little while to give my brain a rest after an amazing book!Delete
I seem to have the opposite problem--I'll find myself so amped and ready to read the next book that I want that I'll want to start it before I've finished the book I'm reading. If it's a book I'm absolutely loving--the last 100 pages always seems to take a long time. lolReplyDelete
Hahaha, I've been there as well, which is why my goodreads says I'm currently reading five books...mostly I'm just too guilty to take them off "currently reading" even though I've sort of abandoned them in favor of others...Delete
I experienced some book fatigue after reading a lot of books in one genre, so that I didn't feel up to reading anything for a few days. I'm finally amped to get back into reading and enjoying myself again. I've gotten into a habit of writing my review for the books I've read before starting up a new book though. Otherwise I feel like something is left undone.ReplyDelete
Definitely a good habit to be in, and one I struggle with myself. I've definitely felt the same way after reading a lot of books of the same genre as well—but usually while I'm doing that, I'll read book after book without coming up for air until I get tired of it!Delete
Let's see. I'm a mood reader. And being in the middle of a good series also effects this. So, if I'm in the middle of a good series, I almost always pick up the next book immediately, if it's available. But if that's not the case, I can go days and sometimes weeks without picking up a new book because my mood isn't right.ReplyDelete
For me, I think being a writer can severely effect this as well. If I'm in writing mode, I might now read a book for a few weeks, but then when I need a mental writing break, the first place I go is into a new book. Sometimes I feel a bit schizophrenic with all of my changing moods, but it is what it is =).
I hate not having the next book of a series available! It takes me a long time to start a new book in that situation too—it just feels wrong to start something else when I'm still basically in the middle of a story, even if I've technically finished a book.Delete
I am pretty much a read and review type person..going from one book to the next. I hardly ever have a book hangover and if i do I might not read another for a few hours but normally I am itching to read something..never without a book.ReplyDelete
I feel you! I used to be like this, but not so much anymore. It's good in a way (I remember more about a book if I let it marinate before a few days before starting another) but it also bums me out because I *want* to start a new book, but can't get myself to do it. It's weird!Delete
I thought my mum was the only person who used the term "book hangover"!ReplyDelete
I don't really get book hangovers, in that I can usually start something new within the same day or, if I finish a book late at night, the next day, but I do find I need a bit of time to "digest" the book, so to speak, especially if it's one I really loved. I can't just put one book aside and immediately pick up another one, unless it's a sequel.
I agree about sequels—why *wouldn't* you want to immediately pick up the next book in a series? I used to be able to start something new sooner, but maybe I've been reading so many good books lately that I've just needed to give my brain a break after finishing them.Delete
I'm always in the mood to read and if there are books available, I will read book after book after book. I like to sit and read books in one sitting.ReplyDelete
I love this post! I agree with everyone who has said that going from book to book in a series is almost a necessity. I actually have a really hard time even starting a series if I know that not all of the books are published yet. In fact, there are so many books that I know I will LOVE, but I won't read them until the series is finished. This is actually something I wish I could get over...ReplyDelete
Generally speaking though, I can't read more than one book in a day. Even if I'm just finishing up the last fifty pages of a book, I won't start a new one until the following day. I think this sounds pretty weird as I'm writing it, but somehow I feel like I need a clean brain slate to get into a new book.
Lauren @ Lauren Hearts Books
I wasn't allowed to read Harry Potter when I was younger, so I read them all in a row last year. I'm thankful I didn't have to wait a year between releases like everyone else! But I also wish that I had gotten to read them when I was young.Delete
I'm a mood reader, unless I'm getting close to the end of the book and I want to feel that great feeling that comes with finishing it! But you're right about how needing to blog a review puts a damper on starting a new book. I'm trying to figure that one out too. There are books that I read that I didn't get as ARCs, and usually, unless I have a good idea of what I'm going to post about, a review never happens. :/ReplyDelete
I usually jump right into the next book in order to get over the book hangover. Blogging has definitely influenced this. While I felt the book hangover before blogging, I feel an increased pressure to read more, faster so that I can review more.ReplyDelete
I stopped trying to do serious book reviews when I realised I am no good at it and it was detracting from reading. Now I just talk about the book as though I was sharing it with a friend over coffee. This works better for me and takes the pressure off. I generally start a book right away after a day or two. Always so sad to finish a really good one.ReplyDelete
I do feel like my reviews are better if I write them just after finishing the book - I forget stuff so easily! (Actually just wrote a post about that)ReplyDelete
Sometimes if I'm really into a rhythm I'm able to read a handful of books back to back - but they have to be really good books and I have to have lots of free time. I haven't finished a book in what feels like forever, but I know it's just because I'm busy with school and research. I still want to read though it's so frustrating!
I go by mood also. I can start a book as soon as a close the cover of the previous one, but it depends on how eager I was to start the next one. Like now I finished LOTR and I got Fairest yesterday by mail, so as soon as i finished LOTR I started it. If a book is very long and emotionally heavy, then i do need to process a bit for a day or two before the next one.ReplyDelete
As for reading habits, blogging has made me read at least one book a week. A self imposed goal for 2 years now, though I don't always manage it if I don't feel well or have other things at hand.
I usually start a new book the day after finishing the last one. I like having the rest of the day to bask in the world I just left behind.ReplyDelete
This is my first time commenting here, and am relatively new to blogging. However, I can totally relate to what you are saying. Ever since I started blogging and actually documenting book reviews, I have noticed that I find it harder to move on to another book before I complete the review on the earlier one, as I feel I will get them both mixed up. This however, was limiting the quantity of books I could read. So, I tried something new this past week. I jotted down some basic thoughts about the book I finished reading, and moved on to the next. However, I was careful to pick a totally different theme/genre so that chances of mix up are less- if that makes any sense :P This has been working so far for me. Happy Reading!
I tend to get really emotionally invested in books (well, good books), so I have kind of an emotional-exhaustion-hangover afterward. I try to stave this off by always reading 2-3 books simultaneously and staggering the timing for finishing each :).ReplyDelete
I think blogging has helped me to organize my thoughts on each book, and encouraged me to read a lot more! The worst time for me in getting reviews out right away is right after transatlantic flights. That's like 15 hours or so of solid reading (which is fun!), and then I'm exhausted from jet lag afterward so it's really hard to get my mind together for a review.
I usually get a book hangover when I read a lot of books I didn't particularly like in a row. Usually I can turn it around by reading a new book by my favorite authors ;)ReplyDelete
I'm actually struggling to pick up books to read. I'm trying to get through some review books, but since I'm a mood reader it's been hard.ReplyDelete
I've had book hangovers before but none that have lasted that long. Maybe you just need time between books so that you can absorb what you've read and reflect?
Great post! I think I'm also halfway between a schedule and a mood reader. But I also think life outside books/reading sadly impacts how I read. If I've got a lot going on at work or with my social life, I just don't have the time or am too tired to read at my normal pace.ReplyDelete
I read too many books at once and then end up completely overwhelmed. I'm reading Libba Bray's The Diviners now and I'm only about 100 or so pages into it, but I already know it's going to leave me with a book hangover.ReplyDelete
I do get book hangovers, but it's mostly from books that make me angry for one reason or another and that I have finished. Either because I was reading it in a group, or it was a love parts/hate parts kind of book. (Moby Dick is a book I love and hate and had to use between one week and two to digest after reading).ReplyDelete
As for my blog I don't really care about starting a new book before the review is done, as I usually jot down a few notes right after. The problem is that since my blog is kind of a niché (classical books that is not very known and is over 60 year old, so yes niché :P), I often feel a little guilty when I want to read the very known stuff that I haven't read yet and have to spend some time getting rid of my totally arbitrary guilt. Oddly, not a problem when reading a modern book. Then of course there is school stuff. But yeah, know that book hangover well.
I usually start a new book as soon as I finish one. It just feels weird to me not to have a book in progress! And how quickly I read generally depends on the book - I read YA books pretty fast, but adult books often take me longer because I've noticed they move so much slower than YA (and since most of what I read is YA, this frustrates me).ReplyDelete
I've definitely been experiencing book hangover lately. Even with the series I'm on. I'll finish one book & can't start the next for at least a few days. I finished The Fiery Heart on Friday & here it is almost Wednesday & I haven't picked up Silver Shadows yet. I need to get through this series, but I just feel like I need to get myself re-rooted in reality before I travel to a fantasy world again.ReplyDelete
I have never had a book hangover yet, which makes me very happy! I have never had a reading slump either. When I am done with a book I am almost always already reading another one anyway because I multiread books. Or I just start another one immediately so I am pretty much always reading one. If the book I finish was amazing as in AHMAZING then I will probably think about it all day and then be ready for the next book by the time evening has rolled around.ReplyDelete