March 29, 2022
You know when you read a book and you have so many feelings about it that you start immediately harassing your loved ones (and/or the entire internet) to read it so that they, too, will experience all these feelings?
And then they do indeed read the book and experience the feelings? And then you laugh and laugh with a kind of vicious glee and then talk about the book for an hour?
We experience this so frequently that we came up with our own ridiculous name for it: BOUKEN REVENGEN. Because “book revenge” didn’t sound intense or scary enough, so we had to make it vaguely German and all caps.
(In case you’re wondering, “book revenge” in German is actually “Buch Rache,” (or, perhaps “Bücherrache”) but, in this case, we’re after emotional hyperbole rather than linguistic accuracy.)
Do you know what we mean though, about this feeling? Or are we just monsters?
When we get really caught up in a book, we both have a tendency to binge read. We will literally stay up all night until we’re done. Unless the book is a giant tome, in which case we turn into utter trash goblins who, for days, can’t do anything but stuff toast into our faces with one hand in a desperate bid to consume enough calories to stay alive while continuing to turn pages with the other.
This is absolutely not new behavior, but we’ve been in a particularly vicious spate of it recently.
Sara recently tore through the Simon Snow trilogy by Rainbow Rowell. It was basically three nights in a row of a glowing Kindle in her face until like 4am. She immediately started bugging Brittany to read it and declared that the first book in the trilogy, Carry On, would be the next Carterhaugh book club pick. (If you’re not already a member of our book club, JOIN US. This can be your excuse to read more mythic and fantastical fiction and then geek out about it with other awesome people!)
Brittany had tragically been in a book slump of late, but this… cured her? As much as we can say that something that keeps you up all night, turns you into a book zombie, and has you obsessively trawling Etsy for book merch like this means that you’re cured.
(By the way, all this is poet and awesome human Sally Rosen Kindred’s fault because she’s the one who recommended Carry On to Sara, so we hope you’re happy with your BOUKEN REVENGEN, Sally.)
But the thing about BOUKEN REVENGEN is, it’s not just the glorious, wild glee of tearing through a ridiculously compelling book.
It’s that, PLUS getting to share that giddy book high with someone else. It’s when someone else laugh-cries with you over a beloved character having an existential meltdown in a Cheesecake Factory or also notices a particularly beautiful turn of phrase or feels like they’ve also just felt a whole new dimension of the human condition related so compassionately. It’s waiting for them to get to a certain part so that you can be like “I KNOW, RIGHT?!”
It’s an experience that’s half trash goblin, half Tolkienesque elf, all aesthetic and narrative bliss.
What’s the last time you felt BOUKEN REVENGEN? Or, is there BOUKEN REVENGEN you wish to unleash into the world? Tell us about the books that have moved you and kept you reading all night and that you want to scream about from the rooftops until everyone else reads it and understands the majesty.