February 18, 2015

Book Hangover? Try a Palate Cleanser

After I read a really amazing book or a really intense book I get what you call a book hangover.  If you don't know the term, a book hangover is the term we bibliophiles use to describe the inability to move on to another book (or move on with life in general) after reading one of these amazing, life-changing books.

You know the books I'm referring to - the books after which you finish you need to binge-watch Netflix because no way can you even think of beginning another book after all the trauma you just experienced; the books after which you fitfully begin one, two, three books but nothing captures your interest (I mean what could after the amazing book?); the book whose pages you wanted to climb inside of so you could live there or save the people there or slap everyone silly.

The books that make you lose your sweet, sweet reading mojo.

Ugh.  I feel you.

So here's what I do.  That's right, I have a plan.  After finishing one of these earth-shattering, game-changing books, I take a beat to let the goodness of such amazingness wash over me.

Then I reach for a palate cleanser.

Now in the foodie world, palate cleansers are neutrally flavored elements used between tastings of strong flavors.

In the book world (at least in my book world), palate cleansers are books that allow you to take a break from your usual book selections and allow you to reset yourself.

I'm not good at the "if you loved this, than read this as a counterpart" thing, but here are some examples as best I could come up with:

If you just read a heavy book like An Ordinary Man: An Autobiography or The Boy in the Striped Pajamas or I Am Malala, then try lighter fare like chick-lit to cleanse your reading palate.

If you just read a breathtaking romance and there's no way you can go on without the leading man, try a book about politics, true crime, or mystery novels like Beat the Reaper, Columbine, or Dear Abigail to cleanse your palate before your next boudoir adventure.

If you're tired of living in the past with historical fiction, try reading a sci-fi or dystopian like The Martian or The Aftermath.  If you're tired of Orwellian tropes, try reading some of those classic novels you pretend to have paid attention to in high school like Cyrano de Bergerac or Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl.

I truly believe that if you're in a reading slump/book hangover, that a palate cleanser is the way to go. So don't fret.  You'll be in the middle of more amazing books before you know it.

What do you think of the idea of book palate cleansers for restoring reading mojo?
Do you ever use palate cleansing books?
What kind of books would you recommend as palate cleansers?

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