Weekly Weekend Post-Amazing Library Books…huh?

When Worlds Collide: Since the current Weekend Assignment topic is book-related, I’m combining it with this week’s Weekly Geeks response.

Weekend Assignment #318: Library Books: Recently, it was discovered that George Washington had forgotten to return some books he had checked out of his local library. They were only 221 years late, mind you, but late all the same. How about you? Have you ever checked out a library book and forgot to return it? Tell us about your experiences with checking out, returning, or forgetting to return, books to the library.

Extra Credit: Tell us about the last book you checked out of the library.

I would tell you about the last book I checked out of the library, but I honestly can’t remember what it was or when I did it! I can tell you it’s been at least six years since I had a valid library card, though – I’ve never gotten one for the library in Simi Valley, and I’ve lived here for almost five years now.

Yes, I am hanging my head in shame, why do you ask?

I grew up as a regular library user – I lived for weekly library outings nearly all the way through high school. During college, my library usage became more required than recreational, and it dropped off significantly once I graduated. But until now, wherever I lived, I always got a library card so I’d have the option of checking out books, even if it happened infrequently.

I think two things changed my habits – less time and more money. As work and family and the general demands of adult life grew, it became more appealing to read books when I felt like it, and not on someone else’s schedule – the pressure of yet another deadline! It was easier to read on a whim when the books were in my own home, ready and waiting, and so I began buying books…and more books…and more books.

The irony is that one reason the library lost some of its allure for me was that the new books were always checked out (and I didn’t know enough to put them on reserve!), so I couldn’t read them right away – and I still don’t, since once I buy them, they hang around TBR Purgatory so long they’re no longer new when I get to them!

But I certainly read some amazing library books back in the day, which brings me to…

Weekly Geeks 2010-17: P.A.B.D. (Post Amazing Book Depression), a condition defined as “the over-whelming sad feeling one gets after finishing a great book.”

Symptoms include:
  • missing characters
* often includes talking about characters in day to day life
——- ex. I wonder what Katsa and Po are doing.
——- ex. Do you think Cat and Bones will get married?
——- ex. If she doesn’t choose Eric, I don’t know how I’ll survive.
* hearing songs that remind you of certain characters/scenes
  • constant rereading of the same book (extreme cases can lead to the reading of fan-fiction)
  • stalking of the author
* constantly checking their blog for updates
* Googling interviews in which the book (or series) are mentioned
* joining multiple fansites
  • lack of interest in other books
* finding yourself staring at your bookshelf and seeing nothing worth reading
* wandering around the bookstore/library picking up and putting back books

Some suggested treatments:

  • Find other books by the same author.
  • Search for books with similar themes.
  • Have a rebound book, perhaps a familiar favorite or comfort read.
  • Force Coerce a friend to read the book.

The Hunger Games books have been known to trigger PABD. I can attest to the conversations about the characters that my stepdaughter and I have had, and she’s told me about the discussions she’s had with her friends (she’s 15, and her case may be slightly more acute than mine). Her friends read the books after she coerced them, and she read them after I told her she had to…so yes, definitely a textbook case of Post-Amazing Book Depression (pun sort of intended). Should I be worried for when Mockingjay comes out this summer?

The Harry Potter series can also cause PABD, and I experienced it most strongly after Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. My only exploration of fan fiction (reading, not writing it) came after that book – did anyone else ever check out The Sugar Quill? – and I re-read just a few weeks later, which I almost never do. I didn’t feel PABD quite the same way after …Deathly Hallows; that was ordinary sadness, because I knew it was all over.

My feelings after my recent re-read of The Sparrow were probably a form of PABD – I was simply drained. I think I felt the same way after I read it the first time as well, but then I jumped straight into the sequel, Children of God, and I didn’t do that this time; I needed a breather, and something less intense.

My bouts of PABD have rarely been too serious or long-lasting. though. After a little break and some distraction, another book will usually call my name pretty quickly, and I’ll move on to the next (possibly amazing) book.

Have you had PABD?
What book caused it? How did you deal with it?

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