The Frame of Mind of Reading a Good Book

You pick up a new book (or series). You scan the cover and the description of the book, wonder what all the fuss was about, or what awaits you inside. You turn to the first page and begin to read.

A few pages in.  “This is pretty good. I don’t see the crazy interest in it though. Why was everyone raving about it so much?”

The action starts. “Okay, I like this, I can get into this….WHAT? HOW could THAT happen?!”  You shove your face as close to the words as possible.

The action continues to climb in intensity. You’re curled up in a tight ball, with whatever format you happen to be reading on tightly tucked between your hands and your intent eyeballs. There is no such thing as reading too fast! You wonder if you can get away with not going to work tomorrow because this book is so good. Inevitably, you will fall asleep, because of course it’s 2:00 in the morning, and you really do need to get up and work at 7:30 (you know, in 5 1/2 hours).

You’re at work. You can’t stop thinking about your book. You try to immerse yourself in work, but can’t concentrate. You’re daydreaming about the story, about your favorite characters. You might even start unknowingly speaking in the same dialect that the characters speak in, wondering why your coworkers and friends are looking at you funny.

You’re on your lunch break. You hungrily devour as many words as possible, and when the time ticks over to the last minute of your lunch break, you tear yourself away from the book, feeling as if strands of your psyche are left tucked in the pages. Now comes the hours ticking down until you can go home and read again.

You get home and sail into your bed to continue reading. Your eyes move back and forth like a pendulum, that speeds faster and faster in pace with the action in the book. You forget completely about eating, your position while reading continues to change, the view of your room: windows, doors, floor, melt away until you’re basically sitting in the story, watching all that’s going on. You can see each character clearly, as if they were standing right in front of you.

You finish the book. You read the last line, lingering on the conclusion. You can’t believe you just got through this book so fast. You can’t believe you didn’t trust the raving your book-loving friends you trust had done. And ultimately, you feel exhausted. Like you’ve just run a marathon, climbed a flight of stairs, then did thirty push ups all in a row. Your mind literally hurts.

All of the scenery of the book drains out of your view, like it was made of wax and is melting away slowly. You lay flat on your back, still immersed in the world, but with nothing to keep it from drifting away.

For the next couple of days, you can’t seem to start another book. You feel drained and mope-y, still recovering from the book hangover that you just suffered. You’re not sure you can ever find another book you’ll love just as much.

But of course you will. You’ll find another book – whether you find it in a bookstore, or online for your Kindle, or a friend pushes it in your face, or you become curious about one you’ve heard a lot about. You’ll dive in…and the cycle will start all over again.

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4 thoughts on “The Frame of Mind of Reading a Good Book

  1. Katie says:

    Book hangover–yes!!! This is SO true. I always experience this when I get invested in a book. And, just like with alcohol, after my latest book hangover I have to wait a little while before doing it all over again, or I’ll throw up.

    Or maybe I confused the two.

    Like

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