How many of these apply to you?
1. I have read fiction when I was depressed, or to cheer myself up.
2. I have gone on reading binges of an entire book or more in a day.
3. I read rapidly, often ‘gulping’ chapters.
4. I have sometimes read early in the morning or before work.
5. I have hidden books in different places to sneak a chapter without being seen.
6. Sometimes I avoid friends or family obligations in order to read novels.
7. Sometimes I re-write film or television dialog as the characters speak.
8. I am unable to enjoy myself with others unless there is a book nearby.
9. At a party, I will often slip off unnoticed to read.
10. Reading has made me seek haunts and companions which I would otherwise avoid.
11. I have neglected personal hygiene or household chores until I have finished a novel.
12. I have spent money meant for necessities on books instead.
13. I have attempted to check out more library books than permitted.
14. Most of my friends are heavy fiction readers.
15. I have sometimes passed out from a night of heavy reading
16. I have suffered ‘blackouts’ or memory loss from a bout of reading.
17. I have wept, become angry or irrational because of something I read.
18. I have sometimes wished I did not read so much.
19. Sometimes I think my reading is out of control.
If you answered ‘yes’ to three or more of these questions, you may be a literature abuser. Affirmative responses to five or more indicates a serious problem.
Remember, you are not alone. To seek help for yourself or someone you love, contact the nearest chapter of the National Literature Abuse Society, or look under NLAS in your telephone directory.
[Note: A “concerned” friend of mine sent this to me about ten years ago; I’ve tried to find the original source but no luck. Perhaps the author is in treatment. If you are aware of a copyright issue, please let me know, as I would happily credit this evaluative tool.]