Do You Need a Breather Between Books?

Let me set the scene for you.

You’re on the last page of your book. As you finish you might sigh in happiness, or maybe you roll your eyes, but either way you close the book. And … then what?

Used to be I would take my book over to the bookshelf, put it in, and immediately pull out a new one and dive right in. Time permitting, of course. But lately I find that I need a bit of time to digest a book. Usually I won’t start reading a new one until the next day. Sleeping on it just feels … necessary. I don’t really know why, it’s not like I’m usually hung up on it, unable to stop thinking about it, or something like that. And I’m perfectly capable of writing a review after starting a new book. I just don’t feel like reading something new until I’ve slept.

This digestion time would be the perfect time to discuss the book, too. But there’s never anyone on hand who has read it. I don’t know about you guys, but I always feel like I understand a book better when I’ve had a chance to discuss it with someone. I guess I’m a verbal processor. We need some kind of bookish chat room that’s always open for this sort of thing…

But I’m getting off topic here.

What about you? Do you like to dive right into the next book, or do you need time to recuperate? If you need time, how long do you need?

31 thoughts on “Do You Need a Breather Between Books?

  1. This is really interesting and something I think might make me a bit weird! So, my reading sort of goes through phases of reading fast and slow so there are times when I take weeks to finish a book and times when I go through like three a week and the space I need between books really depends on which phase I’m in, if I’m in a slow phase I normally take a couple of days out after finishing a book but if I’m in a fast phase the moment the last page of the book is read the next one is in my hands!

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  2. I do most of my reading/listening through audible so it tends to be that I just dive into the next book, although if it is a series (The Dresden Files etc.) then I will listen to at least one other book in between books (if that makes sense). Any downtime I get I tend to listen to books (I realise some people consider that cheat-reading haha) so get through about a book every three days that way.

    Dividing it with sleep does make sense though πŸ™‚

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      1. A mixture of reasons. Yes, it makes it last longer, and yes it keeps it fresh. However, there are a couple of other benefits. Firstly, it means I don’t get sick of the series. As I mentioned before, I love the Dresden Files but I know some people who said that after reading a few back to back they noticed patterns in how they were written which removed some of the enjoyment. If you spread out a series, any patterns from the author can easily be overlooked. Secondly, it’s nice to have some variety. For instance, mixing a drama series with comedy is a good shout. Thirdly, yeah, to make it last longer – good series, like really good series that make you keep wanting to read/listen on are few and far between, so it’s best to try and make them last.

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        1. Variety is big for me too. I used to have an every other thing going with classics and new so that I was reading my classics, but not getting bored of them. Now I’ve read them all a million times, so I’m not really reading them at all, lol.

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  3. Very interesting thoughts! I think it depends much on my mood and on which book is awaiting me next. If it’s something that I’m very looking forward to, I will jump at it straight away and process my thoughts on the book I just finished while I read something else. If I’m still hesitant about what to read next it can take me some days before I begin reading something else.

    Something else I have noticed, however, is that when I’m enjoying a book a lot I actually read at a slower pace to savour every page and word of it before it’s over. Like when I was reading the Harry Potter series (which I did only recently, *blush*) and in spite of knowing what was happening next I kept my reading pace slow because I never wanted the HP saga to come to an end. So perhaps, unconsciously, I was giving myself some breathing time before I started reading something else …

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    1. That’s interesting! When I’m super into a book I DEVOUR it, and nothing can slow me down, even if I want to. I always come back to reading at red lights. It’s not something I do because I’m bored, I do it because I literally can’t help it, I’m so desperate to get more.


  4. YESSSSSSS I agree about the chat room. I also have been thinking about this a lot lately and find that if I immediately start a new book, without giving myself time to think, that I have a harder time reviewing it later (if at all).

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  5. I totally relate to what you’re saying, as I also need some time to digest a book after reading it … And I also like to talk about the book after I finish it! For example, when my brother recommends me a book I usually call him right after finishing the book and we chat a bit about it πŸ™‚

    Since I started blogging I set myself a “rule” to write the review of the book I finished before starting a new book. This way I motivate myself to write the review as soon as possible and not postpone it too much.


    1. I used to have that rule, but working full-time with two kids that it’s always possible. I get to them whenever there’s a free hour, usually on Sunday afternoon or Saturday morning. So hopefully I don’t finish a book on Monday, lol.


  6. I’m strange in this respect I guess. I usually have a book to read at work, a book to listen to in the car, and a book at home. I can’t handle more than 3 at a time though. It takes me a long time to get through them unless there is a lot of downtime at work or I’m sent somewhere with a long commute. In any case as soon as one is done I start another. No rest for the wicked.

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    1. See, I couldn’t even handle 3 at a time. Last summer I was reading 2, because I had an ongoing one that I was reading while I was waiting for library holds in the series I was reading. I would lose track of the ongoing one.


  7. I think it makes sense to need time to recuperate- I think for me personally it just depends on my mood. Sometimes I’m in the mood to read and absolutely nothing can stop me, but sometimes a book might demand that I just give it pause, so I might wait to digest it.

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  8. So interesting to hear from book reviewers’ perspectives. Reviewing has changed the way I read books. Now I really savor them. As far as taking a break goes, I feel antsy if I don’t have a book lined up but my life right now forces me to take breaks. Darned life. πŸ˜‰

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  9. When i was young I would put down one book and immediately pick up another one. Most of the time I can’t do that anymore. I need a night to absorb what I read, and somehow it feels wrong to immediately flush the story from my mind. Like jumping right into a new relationship after a breakup. There are exceptions, like readathon days.

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  10. Great post!! When I finish a book, I won’t pick up the next book until I finish writing a review on the one I’ve just finished. It might take hours to sort my thoughts out, but as you said, it gives me time to process, digest, and reflect on the book. My thoughts can change from negative to positive in the process and visa versa. Either way, i sometimes have a serious book daze/hangover, so it does work πŸ™‚

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    1. See, I can’t do that because these days it sometimes takes a few days before I have the time to sit down and write a review. If I waited that long to start reading something else I’d go nuts! Haha. But I totally understand, sometimes in the digestion process I find I feel differently about a book,

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ah, I totally understand, you are mom, so it’s not like you can immediately sit down and write a review! In my case, I’ll forget everything if I don’t write a review right away lol
        As I mentioned, it does take time, and I sometimes do sleep on it, but I tend to pick up the next book next day πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

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