The 5 Stages of Book Grief

5 stages

The moment has come. The last page has come and you know that you’re not ready for this book to end, you know.

And yet, you have to finish it because you have to know what the last intoxicating words are. So you do, but then you find yourself slipping into the deadly 5 stages of book grief.

STAGE 1- Denial


Ah, the denial stage. Quite an easily identifiable stage as it is fully of incoherent muttering and possibly tears from the devastated bookworm. Many of the common phrases include…

  • “That did NOT just happen!”
  • “Are you kidding me right now?”
  • “That can’t be it! Nope, I refuse to believe that just happened.”

STAGE 2- Anger


One of the more dangerous stages, anger. At this point you’ve moved past the fact that the author hurt you, and you’re mad.  The most common mutterings at this stage are…

  • “Why would you hurt me like this?!”
  • “What did I ever do to you?”
  • “I can’t even deal with this book anymore.”

STAGE 3- Bargaining


When faced with the end of a book, especially in a series, we like to bargain with the characters (even though they can’t do anything). Sometimes it will be sacrificing a character we don’t like, or promising to write that blog post we’ve been meaning to. Phrases you may hear include…

  • “Okay, so if you don’t die, I’ll right that book review!”
  • “Maybe we can just push this character off the cliff, and you’ll be fine! Okay?”
  • “I’ll do anything, just don’t do that, don’t do that.”

STAGE 4- Depression


Post finishing that fantastic book, the depression stage always lasts the longest (at least for me). No other books could ever live up to this one, and the temptation to reread is so very strong at this point. Common phrases that the grieving bookworm says are…

  • “I can’t pick up another book! It won’t be fair to this one.”
  • “I can’t move on yet. I can never move on.”
  • “Stop crying, they’re just fictional characters. C’mon me, stop crying!”

STAGE 5- Acceptance


You’ve done it. You’ve grieved for the end of the book, and possibly the loss of a few characters but you’ve reach the place of acceptance. Perhaps it’s even time to pick up a new book.Some of the most common things you hear bookworms say in this stage are…

  • “I can make until 2018 when the next book comes out.”
  • “This book sounds kind of good.”
  • “I should read something…”

Cycling through the whole process can take anywhere from a few hours to days, but then it just starts all over again. Stay strong, fellow bookworms.

I hope you enjoyed this funny little post! I’ve had the idea for it for several months, and I’m glad I finally got around to typing it up. So, I’ll see you all soon with most likely another book review!


12 thoughts on “The 5 Stages of Book Grief

      1. All Fall Down is by Ally Carter. I totally reccommend it. If you read it, prepare for the massive cliffhanger.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. OMG, I can so relate to this topic. I get a severe case of Book Grief after big door stopping bricks of books where I have invested a ton of time reading to get to that last page. 😦 Somehow it never gets easier because I get thoroughly engaged in a book when I am reading it. Thanks for outlining the 5 stages for all of us intrepid bookworms that deal with it as part of life. Let’s face it, life without reading is no life at all. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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