I have been stuck in another universe for the past few months. I escape there at the very end of draining days, or sometimes when I take a dip in the tub to soothe my aching muscles. Since around October I’ve been inhabiting a world that doesn’t exist, and I am starting to question my hold on reality…

…that’s right, l am knee-deep in book four of the Game of Thrones series. I don’t even know how it started, all I remember is picking up the first book at Target a few months back after hearing much internet fuss over the series, and the next thing I knew I hadn’t read anything else in months. This is not like me.

No, wait, it’s exactly like me – it’s just been a long time since I’ve stumbled upon an engaging series. I think the last time was about ten years ago when I read The Lord of the Rings, another of the fantasy genre, coincidentally.

Here’s the thing; these books are super long (each one clocks in at well over 1,000 pages) and there are so many of them, it’s been like a vendetta to finish the whole thing. Plus, just about every chapter ends with an invitation, nay, a demand to read more and find out what happens next. I am defenseless against its gravitational mind-suck.

Now, l don’t want to get into a discussion on the literary merits or level of perceived suckiness other individuals may believe regarding this series. I know historical/fantasy/drama/action/epic isn’t everyone’s cup of tea (I didn’t even know it was my cup of tea), and the whole series can be kind of dark and unladylike (the author, George R. R. Martin, has no qualms about killing off beloved characters), so I understand any hesitation when approaching it or distaste after finishing it. I am neutral in this regard, and will respect all opinions. All I know is that when I open these paperbacks, I am guaranteed to get pulled into an exciting world that is appealingly different from my own.

I also experienced a similar panic after I first finished all of Austen’s novels:

“What do you mean there’s no more?!”

The only way I got over it was to settle for something less amazing to read, and move on. It was hard adapting, but I got through it.

There is only one more book after I finish this one, and I’m beginning to feel like an alcoholic who’s reached the last pint of bourbon in the back of the cupboard; relief mixed with anxiety. My supply of smack is dwindling, guys.

Also, now I think I want a direwolf for Christmas. For those who don’t know about direwolves, they’re just like regular wolves, except like the 2.0 version – smarter, faster, more deadly, and adorable.

I would sick him on anyone who gets all up in my face.

And look at them when they’re puppies!

“I will be best friends with your kitty.”

Since I probably *won’t* be getting a cuddly mythical beast for Christmas, I’ll settle for this kind:

Someone made these! I want to give them a hug.

You used to be able to get them on Etsy. I’ll bet I could make them…with a lot of trial, error, and swearing. Then at least when I finish the series and commence with my usual novel-finishing grief, I’ll at least have an adorable little best friend to remind me of better days.

Have you ever experienced post-book grief?

Have you ever met such a drama queen?


Now I Want a Direwolf for Christmas — 21 Comments

  1. Greg read the first two books a while back, and he said they were good, but he didn’t persuade me the way you did! It really makes a difference to have a writer, such as yourself, explain why I should read a book. I’m currently in a book void where none of my to-read books sound appealing at the moment, and I think I found my filler, so thank you!

    Also, Mike should totally find you a direwolf and take advantage of the fact that you’re actually asking for a dog. 😉

    Oh, and I grieved at the end of Harry Potter. Each turn of the page was a wrench to my heart.

    • Oh yea, I forgot about good old Mr. Potter – that was another series I cried over when I got to the end. That was about two years ago? How could I forget? I’m disappointed in myself.
      Yes, the LEAST Mike could do is get me an imaginary animal for Christmas. It’s not asking too much.

  2. I read all of Anne Rice’s vampire chronicles. They aren’t everybody’s cup of tea, but after that many books you really feel like you know the characters personally, so I get the panic you feel at reaching the end. Also, Etsy is bad ass.

  3. Post-book grief? Absolutely. After a really good read, I can’t pick up anything new for a while, like it would be disrespectful to the book to move on too quickly and hurt its book feelings. Plus, the longer I put off diving into something new, the longer I get to dwell in that lovely world believing the characters are people I really know.

    Sigh. I miss so many fictional people.

    • Me too, Lindsey, me too. But I am a book whore, in that I have to jump into the next book right away before the other one is even a memory. I know, I’m a slut. If a day goes by where I don’t have something I’m reading, I get all panicky and my OCD comes out. There’s always something in my queue…I haven’t NOT had a book to read ever. In my life. And this is not an exaggeration, either.

  4. I’m on the last book of The Hunger Games. I INHALED the first two harder than a hooker sucks down a pack of Virgina Slims. Now I can’t bring myself to open the cover because I know I’ll inhale this one, too, and then it’ll be over forever. This makes me sad.
    However, I now have a glimmer of hope reading this post, as you’re the third person that has said something awesome about Game of Thrones this week. I’m taking that as a sign from my beloved Alternate Reality Gods that I’ll have a new place to escape to once The Hunger Games are over. This pleases me.

    • Yes, and you’ll be reading these books forever because they’re so. freaking. long. I’m starting to confuse them with reality, and talk in a Westerosi accent about the dragon eggs across the narrow sea. It’s sad when that’s more real to you than your real life of PCs and TPS reports and all that other awful work crap.
      I forgot about The Hunger Games because I read on vacation in a three day orgy of books and Pop Tarts. When that was over I was planning out my apocalypse survival strategy.

  5. Oh happy day, I can’t wait to start these books! Unlike watching the HBO series, I can decide whether or not to picture all the boobies and cooties!! (which I will decide NOT to because I’m prudish like that)

  6. Pingback: In Which I Make Up Stuff to Alleviate Boredom - The Cat Lady Sings

  7. Oh yeah. I know this post-book grief thing very well. When I finished the Honor Harrington series by David Weber, it was a struggle. After the Deed of Paksinarrion series by Elizabeth Moon and her Command and [several novels] I was equally left listless and lost. *sigh* Better to have loved and lost…
    E.A. Wicklund recently posted…The Santa Code – The Moonshine GridMy Profile

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