Christina Wolfgram
April 17, 2015 2:53 pm

‘Tis the best of times, ’tis the worst of times. Becoming obsessed with a book is a lot like falling in love, only it’s way more time-consuming. With love, there are at least times with the other  person might want some space. You try to keep your chill a little bit so you don’t scare off your newfound love. But with books, all bets are off. You don’t have to play it cool for a book. You don’t have to worry that you might be smothering a book. You get to have all of your feels, totally unadulterated. Or is that just me?

Book lovers everywhere will understand that the range of emotions and stages you go through when you fall in love with a new book are very, very real. Here’s an average timeline of how a personal literary craze plays out:

Phase One: The First Read-Through

You’ve heard this book was great, but by the end of page two, you are hooked. You read constantly — under your desk during class, during family dinner, even during the newest episode of The Vampire Diaries. THAT’S how hooked you are.

Phase Two: Re-Reading

The moment you read, “The end,” you flip back to “Once upon a time.” Who needs sleep when you can re-read an incredible book? You find even more details to love this read around and start accidentally referring to the characters as your “friends” during conversation.

Phase Three: Internet Stalking

Your obsession is growing. You start Googling the book, reading review after review on Good Reads – agreeing with the positive (correct) ones and getting furious over anything negative (very, very incorrect). Your Tumblr turns into a shrine for the book; you even post pictures of your dream cast for a movie version.

Phase Four: Re-Re-Re-Reading

By now, the book flops open to your favorite sections that you practically have memorized. Sometimes when you talk to your friends and family, you realize that you are just reciting the best lines. It’s kind of getting weird.

Phase Five: Fan Fiction

Okay, wait. Now it’s kind of getting weird. Tired of reading the same paragraphs over and over again, you turn to fan blogs where other obsessives like you write the story beyond the book’s ending. Inspired, you might even write a few chapters of your own. Maybe you’ll even write yourself into the story and maybe you’ll be married to the main love interest and maybe you two will have six children – why not? You’re practically living in this book anyway.

Phase Six: The Book Slump

The obsession is fading. You’ve exhausted every fandom outlet: You’ve written 500 pages of fan fiction and tweeted the author so many times you’re a little worried she might issue a restraining order. Honestly, you’re starting to second guess your the idea to get a commemorative tattoo honoring the book. This, my friend, is called a book slump. Symptoms include loss of purpose, long naps, and grouchiness.

Phase Seven: Obsession Reborn

Three words: Sequel. Coming. Soon.

(All images via here.)