Friday, 7 October 2016

That Post-Book Feeling

From Artodyssey

Speak to any devout reader and they will be able to identify with the idea of a Post-Book Feeling. Non-readers might find it a harder concept to get their heads around, especially as there are several options for PBF depending on the book, your experience of it and what brought it into your hands in the first place.

The best PBF is the one you get after you have just finished a book that you found AMAZING. It transported you, elevated you, swept you away, took you out of yourself and maybe even blew your mind. It is not a common feeling, and I think as you get older and read more the chances of getting it are decreased. When it happens it is a precious thing. I often need to have a walk afterwards, feeling the book lingering around me, not wanting to get back in to my normal life for a little while. Alternatively, if the conclusion has been particularly exhausting, lying down on the bed or on the sofa is required as the aftershocks of the story play through you.

Image from Pinterest

The second best PBF is when you re-read a book that gave you the experience above and you find it just as satisfying as the first time, maybe even more so as you didn't have the urgent rush to read, read, read and could savour the journey more as you know what the destination is.

There are other types of PBF, and not all of them are great.

There's the PBF you get after re-reading a book you loved only to find that the years have not been kind and the story no longer connects with you as it once did. It's disappointment and sadness and the nostalgia of that first time all mingled together, leaving you feeling flat and dulled.

Picture taken from Manor Books

Finishing a book that was a duty read carries it's own specific PBF. Maybe it was a set text from school or work, or a gift from a relative or friend who keeps prompting you on what you thought of it, or a text from a book group that you are finding particularly tedious - whatever, you didn't actively choose it and the book is not your cup of tea and it takes you away from other precious time you could be spending on reading something else. When the book is finished you can mentally tick a box and turn to your to-read pile with relish.

The cosy PBF is one of my favourites. You get this from re-reading a beloved book, often one from childhood (my top childhood choice is Matilda by Roald Dahl) where you have read the story so many times you know what's coming but you still read it anyway. 

You can also get that cosy PBF from reading a new book by an author you enjoy who always writes in the same predictable way and can be guaranteed to give you a similar kind of ride as the last 4 books he or she wrote. I confess I don't tend to have this one much as there are so many authors out there to be tried in the years I have left to sample them.

Each Reading is like a Little Ark - From Teaching Literacy

A rare PBF is the shared PBF. You and a friend were reading the same book at the same time and loved it equally and so can spend a rapturous hour over food/chocolate/coffee/cocktails (delete as applicable to you) reliving the book and sharing your favourite bits of the story. Book groups facilitate this to a degree though its very rare to get a number of people together who all adored the same book. Yes, you can get people together who liked and enjoyed the same book but I can't think of a single reading group I've been to where everyone felt the same level of delight over one book.

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