Who said endings are always happy? Even though the story has ended on a happy note, the reader is left with a sense of loss and sadness that can never be measured in words. Feeling empty or hung-over after finishing a book is quite obvious to book lovers. It’s almost like losing a friend or a loved one or saying goodbye knowing you’ll never meet again. You are left in the dark, isolated, wanting for more. If you’ve read a book that’s stirred every little part of your body, mind and soul, then these are a few post-reading blues that you’ll be able to relate to:
- Book-hangover: It’s like you’ve been drunk on that last story and even though you tried sleeping on it, you can’t seem to get over the heartache. There’s a strong need to keep reading the book even though you have completed the entire series. To re-read the series again or to read something quite similar? The struggle is real. No matter how hard you try you’re left with a void that can’t be filled. You’re stuck in the story and you can’t find your way out.
- The look: We’re all familiar with being asked questions by non-readers that only make us cringe even more. It goes something like this: “So you finished reading the book in a day?” Seriously, I can’t roll my eyes any further. Of course, I did. It is not rocket science.
- Inability to start afresh: They say you need closure to leave behind what can’t be and focus on what can be. As true as it might sound, it’s not the case with book lovers. You just can’t seem to let go because you’re so emotionally involved in the magical world of the last book.
- Empty head syndrome: You have finished the book and you have no idea what you’re going to do with your life. You feel empty, your stomach churns but there’s nothing you can do except maybe get lost in another book.
- Obsessing over fictional characters: Do you ever have those days where you start comparing fictional characters to real life people? You’re so in love with the characters that you can’t help but bring them into life through your imagination. You’ve laughed at their idiosyncrasies, cried your heart out at their death and empathized with them at their endeavours. Curiosity takes the best of you as you want to know what happens to the characters after the book ends; do they live happily? Do they even survive? Do they continue being as fearless and brave till the end? The possibilities are incalculable. Hallucinating about a particular character is part and parcel of being a reader and if you’re lucky you might find your favourite fictional character in real life.
- Desire to meet the author in person:
It’s amazing how when you read a book, it makes you question about the world in general and you wished the author was a dear friend of yours so that you could meet him/her in person or call them up to let them know what their book meant to you or hound them into writing another sequel. Sigh, the world isn’t a wish granting factory after all.
- Urging other people to read:
Nothing satisfies the soul better than discussing a book over a cup of coffee. Having someone describe or narrate their experiences of reading the same book as you and getting to know their version of how the book could have or should have ended is like a step towards recovery. You’re introduced to novel concepts, different perspectives and point of views that you might have missed.
ALSO, YOU’RE GOING TO SUFFER AS MUCH AS I DID.
Some losses are irreplaceable and it’s only natural to feel this way. What matters is that you’ll live with the story and characters all your life and you can always go back to re-reading your favourite book and re-living everything you seemed to have lost.
Do you ever feel hollow from within after having read a book? Which book has made you feel this way and why?