Weekly Geeks: P.A.B.D

May 17, 2010 at 12:10 am 7 comments

Have you ever had P. A. B. D. (Post-Amazing Book Depression)? What book caused it? How did you deal with it?

Normally, I leap from book to book so fast that I don’t have time to be depressed when a book ends. No  matter how much I have enjoyed my time in that specific author-created world, it’s time to move on to the next one. The Song of the Lark may have ended, for example, but it’s time to start On Beauty, which is just as interesting and will suck me in just as fast.

Despite this, I am not a stranger to P. A. B. D. Especially with a long book, you spend so much time with the characters that you begin to feel as though you are actually a part of their lives. This proves to be false when the book ends and you find yourself rudely thrust back into your own comparatively mundane life.

A similar phenomena has been observed in movie viewers (see this article on Avatar fans), but I would imagine it’s more rare. The world of a book is user-modifiable to a certain extent, in that one can imagine the settings and characters looking however they choose (with certain exceptions).

What books have prompted my own P. A. B. D.? Not Twilight, but other fantasy books such as Neverwhere, The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms and even (to my eternal shame) The Farseer Trilogy have caused feelings of loss once I’d finished them. Other P. A. B. D.-inducing books include The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova, The Crimson Petal and the White by Michel Faber, Fingersmith by Sarah Waters, and Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke.

How do I deal with P. A. B. D.? Start another book, A. S. A. P. Sometimes this new book will be by the same author, sometimes it will be something entirely different — but recovery must always involve another fantastic book. I might revisit the other books, I might read sequels and companion novels, but generally only after a few months have passed.

What about you? Have you ever suffered P. A. B. D.? How did you deal? Do you agree that the Avatar sufferers are a little nuts? Tell us all about it in the comments!

KT

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7 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Corey  |  May 17, 2010 at 10:01 am

    I can’t say I’d ever heard of this or suffered too acutely from it. More often post-amazing book I just sit there, struck dumb by the awesomeness, reread a few of my favorite bits, and then move on to my next read. I guess going back over the particularly good parts helps me deal?

    Avatar fans in general can, I believe, be classified as a little nuts. Let it go people. James Cameron is not god.

    Reply
  • 2. Kim  |  May 18, 2010 at 1:15 pm

    The Harry Potter series. Haha.

    Reply
  • 3. Shannon  |  May 18, 2010 at 1:31 pm

    I must also confess to post-Potter depression. But it was quite brief. There have been other awesome books that made me feel the same way you describe – The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay springs immediately to mind. If it was really extra awesome, I’ll just immediately go back to the first page and start re-reading it right away. Otherwise, I usually just start reading something new.

    Reply
  • 4. neuroticmom  |  May 18, 2010 at 9:02 pm

    I know it sounds lame but for me it was the Mitford series. The first time I had read them I felt like I was moving away when I got to the last book. As you know every summer it is my ritual to read them over again from the first book to the end of the series :p

    Reply
  • 5. melissapilakowski  |  May 19, 2010 at 4:25 pm

    I’m about the same. I need to start another book immediately…but often I’ll go for the sequel/companion book if there is one. If not, I tend to jump to another genre, something completely different.

    Reply
  • […] of all the Harry Potter books last week (*weep!*). This means I’m suffering a little bit from PABD. Since I never experienced the whole series in order, I never really felt a loss reading-wise after […]

    Reply
  • […] Trilogy and then Ian Frazier’s excellent Travels in Siberia. I’ve never been struck by Post-Amazing Book Disorder so strongly, so I suspect dashing about preparing for a rather lengthy stretch of travel probably […]

    Reply

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