Weekly Geeks: P.A.B.D
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!