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The Voice

Addicted to reading
published: Sunday | September 19, 2004

"Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested."

­ Francis Bacon

"WHAT SHALL separate us from the love of a good book?"

The allusion to the quote which describes the depths of God's love may seem a bit blasphemous when applied to the love of books. But, as in the scriptures, the real answer which you will get from any bookaholic worth his or her salt is, 'nothing'.

There is very little that can come between the book lover and compelling words. They will readily confess that they are addicted.

While Hurricane Ivan raged and others bemoaned the absence of television, these were they who escaped into a world of fact or fiction as easily as opening a door into another room.


The book accompanies the bookaholic everywhere; on the car seat, in the drawer at work and into the bathroom even. The preferred tome might have been a history of the centuries worst hurricanes, or it might have been Stephen King's Four past Midnight. Whatever it was, turning the pages was a certain escape into a world that was often more interesting than the lives we lead.

How do you know you fall into the category of bookaholic? If any of the following confessions sound familiar, you just might be:

I'd rather get into a good book than watch any blockbuster movie. Movies and TV in general is too boring and frequently puts me to sleep.

I don't know what it is to be lonely. If there is a book within my reach, in less than a second I get right into the middle of another person's life.

Once I resisted bargains on clothes and shoes but my wallet came out of my pocket quickly enough when I found a 'British Museum Encyclopaedia of Underwater and Maritime Archaeology'.

I totally frustrated my mother. When she thought I was doing my chores, I was reading. When she turned off the lights at night, I read by the light of the moon coming through the open windows.

My boyfriends found me out very easily. All they needed to do to make me happy is to supply me with the latest magazines and good books.

I was suspended during ninth grade for reading. I read from the start of school to the end. I hid my Mills and Boons inside my text books and eventually I was caught. I was sent home as punishment.

Even if I have four books at home that are waiting to be read I am always on the hunt for others. I need to make sure that I am never out.

I get withdrawal symptoms if I don't visit the library or book shop at least once every two weeks. Once a week keeps me in good humour.


It makes me absolutely furious when I cannot buy the books and magazines I want. Sometimes I feel like selling my car just so I can indulge myself every week.

If I have a good book, I can bear hunger. I can bear anything. Just leave me alone so I can get between the pages.

I read more than one book at a time. I've had up to three going at once at various times in the past. Also, I stay up 'til two or three in the morning to finish a book.

For those who love a good read, books are the centrepiece not only their leisure time, but every moment which they can 'steal'. One Portmore resident confessed to reading even while driving (in slow-moving traffic of course).

It's a bit like cigarette addiction, but, fortunately, there are no negative effects, unless you count the exasperation of the poor souls who are forced to live with them and endure their preference for reading over almost everything else.

­ Outlook Team

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