“Well, I’m Back”: How to Cope With Real Life After Finishing a Great Book

Lately, I’ve been putting my novel on hold for two reasons:

One: I’ve got a different  writing project coming up this week that will take up a whole lot of time and give me more experience in the long run, which is totally awesome,

and Two: I’ve been reading Lord of the Rings.

I’ve been saying that last sentence for the past month now, and at ten after eleven this evening my eyes passed over the final sentence of Return of the King. I think those who have taken on the task of diving into these babies understand me when I say, much like Samwise Gamgee’s feelings of sorrow after parting with Frodo, I too feel empty. A little bit lost, even. (I’d have warned you about spoilers but at this point if you haven’t at least seen one of the movies, you’ve been living under a fairly large rock. Everybody likes Lord of the Rings; you need help.)

It never takes me this long to get through three novels, especially if I pace myself, but work and post university summer fun got in the way. Instead of doing chapter sprints I was going to movies and bonfires and other things that dorky kids like me find themselves getting into. And so the book just kept getting pushed deeper and deeper into the endless pit known as my handbag, and I shuffled through it, a couple pages at a time. (I’d have said purse, but I didn’t want uppity, proper people wondering why I shove books in the same spot I keep my pennies.)

At one point, getting through the trilogy was taking so long that didn’t think I’d ever see the end. BUT, today I had a few hours of free time, so I fired through the last two hundred pages of that sucker and I did it. I’m done.

Except, I don’t really know what to make of myself right now. I’ve been spending too much time in Middle-Earth and now that I’m back home in my plain old bedroom, a place that noticeably lacks hobbits, elves, or orcs of any sort, I’m feeling a little bit hazy. They really need to start slapping warning labels on the spines: Do not drive while in the process of absorbing Tolkien’s brainchild; you will hit things. It’s like I’m walking through dreamland; I hate it.It’s as if, with the closing of every book, the back cover whispers to you, “Morning, Sunshine. Welcome home; enjoy trying to get over this one, dollface, muahahahahahahaha.”

It’s safe to say I’m having trouble moving on.

But, as most of us with literature addictions know, the only way to cure a lit-hangover is to never stop reading in the first place. Good thing the stack of books I’ve got ready to go is taller than my desk.

On to the next adventure.

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