Is it possible to be addicted to reading? You know, like laying on the sofa for hours while lost in a story, ignoring responsibilities and obligations, only wanting to get to the next page in the book…
And if it does exist, is it a bad thing? There are far worse things one could be addicted to. It seems to me that being addicted to reading is only dangerous to your eyes and your bank account.
What would the symptoms look like? If I were to guess I’d say bloodshot eyes, paper cuts on the fingertips, maybe bedsores from not moving position often enough, potential dehydration, and a marked increase in vocabulary. Sounds serious.
There would also be a decrease in the bank account balance, especially if the reader in question is into physical copies of book. And along those same lines there may be soreness in the wrists and elbow from holding up hardbacks. Some of those suckers are heavy. Someone who’s been addicted for a while may also develop Popeye forearms, too. Definitely an indicator of reading addiction.
I think it would be safe to assume there would also be a decrease in socialization. Once one is addicted to reading, then the outside world falls away and all the reader wants is to immerse themselves in another story. For some, one story isn’t enough. The hardcore reading addicts often read two or more books at once, switching between them as their needs requires.
All the things that used to keep them entertained – television, video games, pets, loved ones – all end up ignored and covered in dust. It’s quite sad.
Unfortunately, there’s no cure at the moment. Reading addicts must be monitored, turned regularly so as to avoid bed sores, and occasionally watered. And caregivers should probably hide the patient’s credit cards and library card.
There’s also a danger of the patient being injured by falling stacks of books. All reading materials should be secured on a bookshelf and should not be stacked on coffee tables, nightstands, or on desks. There have been many reported cases of reading addicts being crushed under fallen stacks, only to be discovered later with a strange smile on their faces.
If you or anyone you love is addicted to reading, you can find support at your local book club.
This public service message was brought to you by RAU (Reading Addicts Unanimous).