When the book breaks you

Warning, I’m going to be dramatic as hell in this post. If that’s not your vibe, click off now. I promise you I won’t be offended, or maybe I will. *Dramatic sigh*

For the past two weeks I have been walking around my house like a zombie. Not because I’m exhausted or because Game of Thrones is over (I never watched the show) but because I have been in what I am calling The Post Pachinko Slump, the first book hangover I’ve had in awhile. The last time this happened to me was around this same time last year after the birthday trip fiasco. Why does this always happen near my birthday? This can’t be legal.

I finally read Min Jin Lee’s, Pachinko and like I knew it would be, it was amazing. It lived up to all the hype. That being said, it broke me. It cracked me in part 2, it applied the pressure in part 3 and by the end I was shattered.

Same but maybe less violent

I am not lying when I tell you that as I was reading the book, I had to keep taking breaks not only to absorb what I just read, but to vent to people around me about what I had just read. I was getting overwhelmed, I was crying and I just could not compete with all of the emotions. I was Kristin Bell telling her sloth tale on Ellen (classic).

When the book was over I felt like the book didn’t just pull on my heart strings, my heart strings were yanked out of my body. These past two weeks have felt like I’ve been in mourning. I obviously was not emotionally or mentally prepared for the journey that is Pachinko. Also, I was PMSing when I read it so that didn’t help I’m sure. Let that be a warning ladies, watch your cycles.

Like I said, It’s been awhile since a book sent me into a slump like this. I really haven’t felt like picking up another book since and the times that I have, I felt like I was reading out of necessity and not because I really wanted to. Now, as fun as it is to wallow sometimes, I realise that I have to snap out of it and it’s time to enter survival mode.

My Coping Mechanisms

  • Ice cream or other desserts – This could be the PMS talking but I have to treat myself to something nice. I earned it.
  • Ignore the books – Sometimes trying to follow up the offending book with another may not be helpful. It doesn’t hurt to take a break from books for awhile and just fully process everything. I may not be giving that new book a fair chance because I really haven’t moved on from the last one (gysoh, this sounds like a romantic relationship lol).
  • Talk to people – Eventually I had to stop wallowing, get out of bed and go talk to people. I ignored my bookshelf and just hung out with my family, watched some TV and caught up on the news of the world (I had to be careful with that last one, the news is depressing and may not help my mood. I try to go for the fun human interest pieces).
  • Vent – I had deliberately put friends of mine who had already read Pachinko on notice that I would be in their dm’s etc. ready to chat their ears off about my feelings and I’m grateful to those who obliged. I love a good vent session. I also joined a book buddy reading group on Instagram with other people who were reading the book so I already had a forum I could turn to to vent and not feel so isolated.
  • Wash my hair – Random I know but I find when I wash and deep condition my hair it really helps put me in a better mood. Also, I have one of those in shower scalp massage comb things which was such a good investment. Get you one of those.
  • Try something light – When I felt ready to try another book again I tried to go for something light and sweet like YA or romance. I hesitated this time because I had a set TBR for this month and I was feeling bad that I wasn’t going to finish it but the last couple books I had selected are also quite heavy. One of them, the author herself told me that I would need to invest in a fair amount of Kleenex. I put that one down and picked up a YA instead and then followed it up with a romance. They  kinda helped but not 100%.
  • Read/Watch other people’s views on book slumps. Readwithcindy’s video on this was a fave.
  • Don’t force it – I am now at the stage where I’ve kind of accepted that I just don’t feel like reading anything right now and while that’s odd, it’s okay. It’s not like I’m starved for entertainment. I am also a few books ahead on my Goodreads reading challenge so no pressure there. Why does that pressure even exit in the first place? If reading is starting to feel more like an obligation and less like a hobby, I’m probably doing it wrong.
  • Find something to do – At one point I had to ask myself, you nuh hav nuttin fi do? I have blog posts to write, podcasts to catch up on, a reading and photo challenge to prepare for, online Spanish classes to catch up on etc. I could almost hear my grandmother’s voice telling me to stop the foolishness. Nothing like some good ol’ fashioned ancestral guilt.
  • Treat myself – Yes, I know I said this but this time I’m not referring to food. I am going to treat myself to a book or two (or ten knowing me). I think seeing and buying a new book helps build up the excitement again. It doesn’t even have to be a book, just something nice for myself.

I’m not totally out of this slump as yet and I still feel kinda low but that’s okay. Thankfully, this doesn’t happen very often. I do have a fun trip planned for this weekend that should help liven up my spirits even more (by the time this post goes up I would have already gone on the trip and hopefully it would have been a success).

What are some of your reading slump coping mechanisms? What was the last book to send you into one if ever? Let me know so I can have advanced warning in case I decide to read it.

Til next time 🙂

9 thoughts on “When the book breaks you

  1. Lol! You made me laugh, but I totally understand what you’re going through. Whenever I have a slump, I usually either go with the flow of it or read summin light, like a comic book or something.
    “in shower scalp massage comb things” << I NEED to get one of those. I just went natural and cut my cream ends and I heard those massage combs are good for natural hair…summin like that.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yesss I loved this! I’ve had this feeling twice in life: The Diary of Anne Frank and The Other Boleyn Girl. For Anne Frank I reread the book and read a follow up book and for Boleyn I reread the last few pages for DAYS. I wish I’d had your wise advice back then.

    Liked by 1 person

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