"You’ve just reached the end of a book . . . what do you do now? Savor and muse over the book? Dive right into the next one? Go take the dog for a walk, the kids to the park, before even thinking about the next book you’re going to read? What?
(Obviously, there can be more than one answer, here–a book with a cliff-hanger is going to engender different reactions than a serene, stand-alone, but you get the idea!)"
I usually need a little time to reflect before I jump into the next book. Depending on the type of book I just finished, that can be a couple of hours to a day or more. It's hardly ever more than 2 days, though, because I can never wait to get started on the next one:)
Most of the time, I start thinking about what I'm going to read next before I've finished the one I'm on -- since I've started doing challenges, I pull all my challenge books out of my bookcases and put them in a separate bookcase in another room, so I know which ones to focus on. I have to be in the right mood to start a new book, so I like having them all in one place when it's time to pick the next -- I can contemplate my choices much easier being able to see them all.
Generally speaking, I will reflect longer and more intensely on a fiction book than a nonfiction. I'll also sometimes do a little outside research (SparkNotes, academic papers focused on the book) because I want to make sure I understood the different layers of the story and connected with what the author was trying to say. (I'll also do this sometimes for plays or movies based on plays -- for example, I don't know if I would have figured out on my own that "The Crucible" was a reaction to McCarthyism.)