No no, I'm not talking about the one a man needs after he has been... intimate. I am talking about a literary one.
Sometimes when I finish reading a book I am energized, ready to jump into the next book. This is especially the case if it is part of a series or a new-to-me author. This past weekend I read Angel's Blood by Nalini Singh. So fabulous! I immediately pulled Slave to Sensation out of my TBR pile. I've got about a third of the book left. I'm loving her heroes and the worlds she has built. I know I will be picking up the next book in the Psy-changeling series as soon as I finish. No down time. No recovery period. No refractory period.
Other times I finish a book and need a break. It could be because I have glutted myself on a particular genre. I could be completely stressed by RL stuff. Perhaps I read an author's entire backlist and just need to reset the brain. Occasionally, I read a book that is so good, so complex, that I need time to process it. I need a few days to savor the story, characters, and imagery. Unfortunately, there are the times when you read a book so bad that you just can't bring yourself to pick up another book. (Usually, though, a good book will cleanse away the foul taste of bad writing.)
Recovery time. A literary refractory period. Do you have one? When do you need a break?