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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Recovery Period

When I finish reading a book, I have what I call a "recovery period." This is a time when I'm still mulling over the book, raving about it if it was good, trying to figure out why I didn't like it if it was bad.

Sometimes I have what I call the "honeymoon period" which is when I run around raving about a book until I've had enough time to let it settle in my mind and all the things I didn't like about it start to float forward in my brain.

Note: This only applies to books that I'm reading for pleasure. I don't have recovery periods for beta reads or class-assigned reading. 

Factors affecting my recovery period:

  • Stand-alone or part of a series. Books that are part of a series generally have longer recovery periods than books that are stand-alones. This is especially true of the second book in a series. This is probably due to the fact that the second book rackets up the tension and makes me want the third book next.
  • How emotionally taxing. The more emotionally taxing a book is, the longer it takes me to recover. Lighter books generally have very short recovery periods. 
  • Level of satisfaction. The less satisfied I am with the way a book ended, the shorter my recovery period. 
  • Thought required. The more thought a book requires for me to absorb what happened, the longer the recovery period. 
  • Amount of free time. The more free time I have, the more likely I am to want to start a book right away just so I have something to do. 
  • What I expect from the next book. If the next book in my stack is one that I expect to be very emotionally taxing and the one I just finished was also emotionally taxing, this can lengthen my recovery period. It can also shorten my recovery if the next book on my list is one I'm very eager to get my hands on. 
  • Reread or first read. Rereads generally don't have recovery periods because I already knew everything that was going to happen so I don't need to let it mull over in my head.
  • How fast I read the book. A book that I read all in one sitting is going to take longer to recover from than one that I read over the course of a few days or weeks.
Some examples of book recovery periods:

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak -- One week
This book had the longest recovery period of any in my memory. It's an incredible book and I wanted to let it simmer for awhile before my brain turned to something else. It was also very emotionally taxing to read.

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins -- One hour
I started reading another book about an hour after I finished this one. Part of it was I just needed something light, partly was because I really wanted to read the next book on my stack, and partly because I was left feeling confused and a little unsatisfied.

Sold by Patricia McCormick -- Several days
This was another long recovery period as the result of an emotionally taxing book.

Insurgent by Veronica Roth -- Three days
I read the entire thing in one sitting -- nine hours -- and it was very emotionally taxing. The next book I intended to read I expected to be even worse, which is part of the reason why the recovery is so long. It's also the second book the series so all I could think about was how much I want D3.

Do you have recovery periods or can you start books right away after finishing one?

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