Reading Addiction - a humorous web search today that I can't quite let go of...
So today I was surfing around the 'net, letting different ideas take me various places, when I stumbled on this item:
Learn More About Reading Addiction
Reading Addiction is arguably a real phenomenon. A person can, in fact, be addicted to reading.
This is not so much like chemical addictions, however, in which the body becomes physically dependent on a particular drug or substance. Nor is it like gambling or food addiction, either, where chemical processes occur in the brain when people engage in the addictive behavior.
No, reading is an addiction when it is used as a mechanism to avoid reality. A person can avoid facing life by reading all day. A person can also avoid facing themselves by reading all day. This is the only time that reading really becomes a problem.
At first I found this somewhat humorous... yeah, I must be addicted, I read 180 to 200 books a year... ha ha ha. But no, I don't read all day long, so it must not be an addiction.
But is that true?
As I sit downstairs in my mess of an office, how many times have I told myself I'd clean it up, only to spend another 30 minutes reading stuff off my RSS feeds? How many projects do I have floating in my mind that I haven't done because I've taken a nap after getting into another good book? How much stuff have I said I NEED to learn, but instead end up just reading about it without applying it? Exercise or relax with a book? Look in the mirror, I'll tell you what wins 95% of the time. What's the first thing I take if I'm going somewhere for an appointment? Something to read while I'm waiting. Do I really obsess about which books to take on vacation, and most importantly how many? Yes, I do.
In the last year, I can tell you the number of days I've gone without sitting down to read a book of some sort at any point in the day... the answer is one. And I remember it vividly as it struck me a day later that I couldn't honestly remember the last time I had done that.
I don't subscribe to the popular notion that every little personality quirk and oddity deserves its own ICD-9 diagnosis code. But in my case, I really do think there's more than an element of truth behind the concept of "reading addition" as it applies to me. Many things are useful and beneficial in moderation. But I may well have passed that point quite some time ago.
I think as I leave on vacation for the next two weeks in Florida, I'll be spending more time thinking about this and how it plays out in my life and relationships. I'll have to take a notebook along to record some of my thoughts... packed right next to the 7 to 10 books I'll also take along with me...
No need to rush into these new concepts too rashly...