Monday, May 9, 2022

Post-book blues

The other day I found my friend a bit lost and sort of disoriented. He looked ponderous, and his gaze seemed to be fixed at some faraway object.

I asked him, "What happened? All okay?"

With a smile that conveyed that all is well, he said, "I just finished reading The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins."

I too have read that psychological thriller by the popular British author, who is one of my favourite writers. 

I quickly realised that my friend was going through what's called post-book blues also called book hangover. 

It's a strange feeling that we get when we have completed reading a book, or nowadays after listening to an audiobook.

When I am immersed in a book for many days (I am a slow reader), I get virtually transported to a different world, in the midst of the characters of the story. The book becomes a lot more engaging and unputdownable towards the end.

Finally, when the last page and the back cover have been turned, there is this inevitable feeling of emptiness and loss, that combines with thoughts of various characters and scenes in the book.

It's all the more intense if the book has gripping plots and subplots that wind through many twists and turns.

If the end is tragic, I get a lump in my throat and my eyes well up.

Of course, it's a temporary phase that passes when I get drawn into my daily routine.

There is a similar feeling that comes over after I watch a movie too. It's much more in a movie theatre than at home in front of a television.  

However, there is a difference - films are at the most three hours long, but the association with a book is much longer.

How about you? Do you feel depressed after reading a book, or watching a film?

(Image by Kranich17 from Pixabay)

20 comments:

  1. I do get that feeling sometimes.

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  2. Hari OM
    Depressed? Not exactly that... but if the book has been truly absorbing to that extent one has lost oneself in it (and I have to say few books really do that for me these days), it can be difficult to 'ground' again, wishing to remain in that space. The majority of my casual reading/listening is stuff that fills a space while I ponder other things at a different level. The books that hold me now tend not to be fiction, but more likely autobiographies, science or sociological accounts - for example, I am lingering over Braiding Sweetgrass (Robin Wall Kimmerer) at the moment, which has deep ecological roots combined with cultural heritage. Emersive reading indeed! YAM xx

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    1. Hi Yamini - I alternate between non-fiction and fiction. I have more liking for non-fiction like autobiographies and travelogues.

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  3. Then you reread your favorite bits until you're ready to move on ;)

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    1. Hi Liz - Yes, that's one way of moving on ...

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  4. Hi Pradeep - I think I get post-book-series blues. I love it when I find a good series of books I haven't read before. I dive in and there's another one and another one and then another one. I'm kept happy for weeks! Then I realize I'm reading the last book in the series and that means I have to hunt for a new favourite author - that's always a tough one!

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    1. Hi Leanne - Happens to me as well. Luckily it doesn't last too long.

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  5. I see I am not the only one! I get that way all the time with extremely engaging books. For the same reason you so well pointed out.

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  6. I don't generally feel depressed after reading a book or watching something, but maybe that's because I just go start something else!

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  7. I do have post book blues... and you know even though I haven't read a book in awhile, I think I am suffering from post A2Z blues. I miss it muchly. I am trying to blog more and interact with those I've met more so hopefully that will help.

    Cheers,
    Barbie

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    1. Hi Crackerberries - Thank you. I am also trying to catch up with posts that I missed during the Challenge.

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  8. A very interesting post. Yes, used to happen more often in the earlier times when books were the major source of engagement.

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  9. Yesss! A book has the power to keep my mind 'trapped' so to say in its pages and its story. Same with. Movie but the effect of the story is stronger.

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  10. The cure for book blues is to have a new one lined up to read.

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  11. Hi Pradeep - a good title for your post today ... I feel it, and can feel it after a movie too ... thankfully I come across others soon after. I'm hooked on titles of books - and really wish I could get on and read them - so much needs to stop for that to happen!! Take care and enjoy your reading - whatever type ... I know I'm better with non-fiction ... cheers Hilary

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  12. I've experienced post-book blues but never knew that there was a term for it. Thanks for sharing.

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  13. We get so personally involved while reading books and watching movies.
    Book and movie hangover is pretty common. Even after binge-watching a TV-series!

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