Friday, May 4, 2012

Book Binges

Ohhhhhh my gosh. Oh, my poor aching head. My dry throat. My stiff back. My droopy, red eyes.

I binged last night. It was awful, yet soooo very nice. I just couldn't help it. I was having so much fun, and it was there for the taking and...

I book-binged.

Perhaps I should feel guilty about it, but I don't. Other people binge on alcohol or food or other things and then stagger into work with a hangover. I stay up far too late and come in with a book hangover.

Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore was my latest focus. 560 pages from beginning to end, and I read it all in less than three days. I binged. I read the last 200+ pages alone that final evening. I couldn't just stop, you see. The tension was heightening to near-unbearable proportions, and I had work the next morning. If I stopped, I'd have to wait twenty-four hours to pick it up again, which is just unacceptable.

I really should know better. I book-binge far too often. This blog has made it worse, because now I'm under a deadline to read whatever book I've picked for the week, even if it's a monster like Bitterblue.

In my experience, there are two types of book binges.

Replace the bottle with a stack of books and voila.
One is the Bitterblue type. It involves a single book, usually a large one, that is finished in a short amount of time. My analogies may be a little off, as I don't drink, but I think such a binge can be compared to knocking back a shot of that really hard liquor that always makes people wheeze in movies. What should be taken slowly and spread out over a ling period of time is instead downed in an instant. Such binges usually involve me, a free day, and the multi-colored hammock in my backyard.

The other type is the Agatha Christie type. I love Agatha Christie (don't forget to join the Agatha Christie Book Club!). I think she's amazing, but - to steal from Pringles - once you pop, you just can't stop. Her books are addictive. Worse, they're brain books, so like Bitterblue, they're meant to be read with space in between to let your brain muscles unclench. Instead, I sit down with one Agatha Christie book and end up reading three or four in a row. It's like the stereotypical sitcom scene where the rowdy teens go to the local party spot and each drink a six-pack of beer.

Everything in moderation.

Do you book-binge? What books have made you down more than you should? And are there other types of book binges that I didn't mention?

P.S. I also have a bad habit of trying to binge Ted Dekker books. Bad idea. Really bad idea.