How to Cope with Reality after Living in a Book

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Nothing beats the depression of reading the last paragraph of a captivating novel, only to turn the page and snap back into the reality that none of it was real. The events were pretend. You are not a Geisha. “A” is no longer for Alibi. And you do not, under any circumstances, want your slimy boss to tie you up and ravage you.

Yet, somehow you need to muster up the stamina to leave the fantasy world behind, go to work, and interact with the three-dimensional people. Even as you secretly harbor anger for a world that didn’t continue into an eighth book. Even though, while you were saddened by the death of Dumbledore, the real tragedy was that the closest you’ll get to living at Hogwarts is going to Disney World and yelling Expelliarmus! at the pretzel vendor.

So how do we leave the fantasy behind? How do we begin coping with the symptoms of Post-Traumatic Novel Disorder so we can function in the real world?

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Step 1: Recognize the symptoms and admit that you have a problem. Within an hour after putting down your book, do you have to stop yourself from speaking with an accent that is not your own? Do you begin online shopping for old-timey fashion accessories, such as bloomers or Yankee Militia Jackets? Do you start paying particular attention to your co-workers’ eating happens in case they are, in fact, vampires? And most importantly, are you about to throw your squeaky-clean corporate image down the drain so you can get a tattoo and start solving mysteries?

Step 2: If you answered “yes” to any of the above questions, put the book down right away and schedule a lunch-date with a friend. If your friend begins to recount details of her weekend bar crawl, and you respond with “Frankly, I don’t give a damn” while twirling your parasol, you will quickly realize that you must decide between a relationship with your friends and one with your books. Try to muster up the courage to choose the former.

Step 3: If you do choose the latter and storm away from the table demanding, from the pages of Eleanor Roosevelt’s autobiography, that “no one can make me feel inferior without my consent!” then attend a Reader’s Anonymous Meeting (a.k.a. book club). Discussing your obsession with other addicts will at least make you feel like you’re not the only lunatic in the world.
There are many others, and we are all here to support you.

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About OneWeekToCrazy

Writer in my real life, Milton in my work life. Damn it feels good to be a gangsta.

Posted on June 17, 2013, in Lifestyle, Lists of Lists, Social Cues and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. I know a few people in this category. Not me since I usually fall a sleep when I try to read a book.

  2. Great to finally see someone address a real problem. I don’t think it won’t happen again when I finish the next book but reading your article has made me feel that there are others who suffer in the same way. 😀

  3. I hate it when a story ends and I’m like…. where am I? LOL!

  4. Jessica Slavin

    Yeah, it’s such a sadness, too. When I was a kid, I remember, whenever the annual showing of Willy Wonka or Wizard of Oz ended, I would cry my eyes out, not because it was sad but because I was so sad it was over. This continues with books now.

    Crap, just realized it may also be my problem getting over my exes. I don’t want to read, er, meet a new one, I just want that one to go on and on! Is that so wrong?

    Anyway, nice post. And thanks so much for participating in Poem Club!

    • Haha, I think exes are def. best let go, like books! But hey, there’s not reason not to have a little ice-cream therapy when getting over either one 😉

      Thanks for stopping in!

      • Jessica Slavin

        Yes. It seems possible, fingers crossed, that I have finally bored even myself with my pitiful whining about the end of the relationship. And yes, ice cream (well, frozen yogurt) did help!

  5. LOL I totally laughed out loud when you had the Harry Potter in on this. I have to say I am obsessed with Harry Potter. I so badly want this world to be real and I’d love to be a witch. However I am not obsessed with books because I no longer have time to read them ;(. Great post.

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