Plights of a Bookworm #7: Reading Addiction


They say I gotta go to rehab, I say no, no no…


















This week, our esteemed mayor went to rehab (we think), confirming what I had been saying all along; there no such thing as a casual crack user. That, unlike other things (Baseball cards, scratching mosquito bites or Starbucks cinnamon dolce lattes), you can’t simply go out once in a while with some buddies and enjoy some crack.

You can’t just “like” crack.

But when does liking something become problematic? When does it become…An Addiction?

Recently, I started a new temporary job. It’s 1500x more rewarding but 150x more mentally taxing. Unlike my previous job, there is no shift work, so I’m on “regular people” hours, which is great. But I am exhausted! I’ve turned into one of those people, the ones I used to scoff at, the “I don’t have time to read” crowd. All I can muster the energy for after working all day and squeezing in a quick workout is to zone out in front of the TV for an hour and then maybe catch 5 minutes of reading before falling asleep at 10:30…10pm…9:30 sometimes.

At any rate, this Bookworm hasn’t been living up to her title. I’ve been re-reading “A prayer for Owen Meany” for almost 3 weeks! Absurd!

Then the symptoms started; irritability, apathy, fatigue, headaches*, and a rash on the back of my thumb that is NOT simply contact dermatitis, I don’t care what WebMD says.

It’s the Plight of a Bookworm #7: Reading Addiction.

So like any good addict, I took off from work early, refused to interact with my husband and sister**, grabbed the cat and headed out to my favorite reading spot. Now I finally feel like a functional person again***.

Gotta have my fix.

*The DSM defines addiction (dependence) using criteria including the following:

  • Withdrawal symptoms: Does the patient experience withdrawal symptoms when he or she does not use the drug?
  • **Reduced involvement: Has the patient given up or reduced his or her involvement in social, occupational or recreational activities due to the drug?
  • ***Person requires increased quantities of the drug to function normally.