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Let's Procrastinate With Books! Post Seven

For liadtbunny, from this list.

11. The worst book hangover you’ve ever had

What is a book hangover? I think the last time I had a hangover-like experience with a book, it was Possession. I had a great time reading Possession, but once I had finished, every subsequent attempt to talk about Possession led to me dredging up more things about it I was annoyed or dissatisfied by. But I didn't regret having read Possession or have a bad time nitpicking it - the fun wasn't transformed overnight into misery - so I don't know if the hangover metaphor holds very well here.

A true book hangover would be something I enjoyed at the time but felt sick about later, right? I'm having a hard time thinking of good examples. Usually if I'm going to regret something that much, I notice at the time - though I guess that's also true of real hangovers, which you can usually see coming? I don't know; being drunk on a book is different in several ways from being drunk on alcohol.

For books that I read all the way through and enjoyed, but didn't feel that great about afterward, Career of Evil might qualify as a recent example. But that's a mild hangover at worst. Like an innocent freshman tossing back his first tequila shot, I thought I was going to enjoy The Fashion in Shrouds, but ended up with a hammering headache instead. But that was while I was reading it; after it was over I felt fine.

About a hundred years ago when I was an obsessive pre-teen Phantom fan, I read Susan Kay's Phantom in a haze like the haze of dizzy-stage drunkenness, skimming and reading with one hand over the facing page because I was embarrassed to be reading it at all, and when I'd finished I remembered almost nothing except that it was wrong and I hated it. Why? I don't know; I've blocked it out. So maybe that? I saw it in the library the other day and got the biggest nostalgia shock wave. I've been thinking about reading it again, now that my Phantom of the Opera days are safely behind me. For all I know, it was a work of melodramatic genius like The Count of Monte Cristo. I don't think I'll ever be capable of such embarrassment again, at least not where books are concerned.

The short answer is, I don't know what a book hangover is! Depending on the definition, I may have had a lot of them and I may not have had any. Please comment if you have a good working definition of "book hangover" to contribute.


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 30th, 2016 07:40 pm (UTC)
Yes, what is a book hangover??? I sort of assumed it was a book you couldn't quite shake off or start something new after for a while because you had a 'hangover' from it, but from people talking, I'm beginning to suspect that it's much more simple than that - that it's when you wind up with a book you can't put down and read it into the small hours (hence a literal book hangover the next day).

I'm not sure, though. I bet the internet knows, but it's probably more fun to wonder.
Oct. 1st, 2016 12:32 am (UTC)
Both these definitions make more sense than what I was thinking! All my hangovers this week are book hangovers because I have insomnia. :(

Huh, maybe one of the drawbacks of the Wednesday Reading Meme is that I bask in books less than I used to? Now I'm more likely to go, "that was good, what's next on the list?" One of the books that I couldn't quite shake off, totally unexpectedly, was The Razor's Edge by W. Somerset Maugham. It was unexpected because I spent the entire book thinking I didn't like it, but fond myself completely unable to shut up about it for weeks on end.

Edited at 2016-10-01 12:37 am (UTC)
Sep. 30th, 2016 08:57 pm (UTC)
I think a book hangover is when a book is so all-absorbing that you have a hard time pulling yourself out of it at the end and reconnecting to the real world. So, the "hangover" is referencing feeling foggy and disconnected, but not actually sick or in pain. It's usually a description of a good book, one you enjoyed to the exclusion of all us, though it doesn't have to be.

But I'm not 100% sure that's right. I never thought about what a weird phrase "book hangover" is until just now!
Oct. 1st, 2016 12:36 am (UTC)
That makes perfect sense. I don't know why I got so caught up in trying to map book hangovers onto real hangovers.

I wonder if THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO will be my worst book hangover. I take it to work with me and I have called home twice to report new developments. Not to mention showing it to everyone who comes in, like that Twilight Zone guy who lost his glasses.
Oct. 1st, 2016 02:57 pm (UTC)
You managed a good answer without knowing what a 'book hangover' is!
Oct. 5th, 2016 12:22 am (UTC)
It sounds like it should be easy to figure out from context, right? But I don't think I've heard it before this.
Oct. 1st, 2016 06:40 pm (UTC)
Hee!! That question always stumped me...so if you find out, please let ME know, lol!

Oct. 5th, 2016 12:23 am (UTC)
There are some good suggestions in the comments! I think it's probably a fairly flexible term.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )


blase ev

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