Friday, February 18, 2011

A Good Addiction?

While some addictions clearly cross the line into what our moral construct defines as deviant behavior (addiction to drugs, shopping, & sex), some may not be so clear cut. 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.

The idea of being addicted to books is tricky, because reading is generally considered to be a good thing. But we all know that too much of a good thing can be bad for you as well. Therefore, we should take a closer look at the concept of reading addiction.

When does Heavy Reading Become an Addiction?

It all boils down to a person’s motives. If you are reading for pleasure, that’s great. If you are reading for knowledge or learning, that’s great too. Both activities are healthy, even when practiced in abundance. But if your true motive for reading is to escape reality, then you might be using reading in an addictive manner.

There have been times in my own life when I have read for over 10 hours straight.  During my daily 
commute, at work, at lunch, you name it . I'm still trying to find a balance.

This leads to us to the ultimate solution for a reading addiction. The cure is not to quit reading. The solution is not to “cut down” on the time you spend reading, either. “Cutting down” has such a negative vibe to it, and will probably lead you to resent the fact that you have to “cut down” on your reading at all.

So instead of cutting down, the key is to broaden your horizons and bring balance into your life through other activities. If you just sit on the couch and stare at the wall and focus on how you wish you were reading, it’s going to be awfully hard not to be miserable.

Check out the current discussion on Amazon.

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