Early Warning Signs: Obsessive reading. Thinking about the book at times whilst driving, sleeping and showering. Staying up in to the night to finish the last three chapters.
Stage 1: Euphoria and satisfaction at finishing such a good book. Feeling proud of how far the characters had come and what they learned along the way. Remembering the little details that foreshadowed what was to follow that make perfect sense now you know the ending. (This stage lasts for about five minutes)
Stage 2: Sadness that you realise there is no more book to read. You hold the book limply in your hand and blink weakly at the world around you.
Stage 3: Existential crisis. What are you going to do with your life now? You try to remember what your days were about before you started the book but it all seems foggy and distant.
Stage 4: Disillusionment with every other book you could possibly read. You run your eyes over your bookcase but nothing leaps out. You pick up an old favourite but give up after a couple of chapters. The books in your “To Read” pile have never looked so unappealing.
Stage 5: Acceptance. You realise that you are not ready to read right now. There is nothing for it but to feel the grief of finishing the last book and give it time. You enter back into the real world reluctantly and wait for your mind to stop returning to the last book.
Stage 6: The cycle begins again. Then one day without thinking too much about it you pick up a new book and start reading. Down the rabbit hole you leap once more without a single thought of how you will feel when it’s over. After all, there are always more books to read!