Friday, May 20, 2016

You Might be a Readaholic if...

Hi, my name is Amy and I’m a readaholic. (Made up words are fun!)

If you suffer the same condition (excessive reading, not creative word-smithing) you might find yourself sucked into what I like to call a book vortex. One book a week turns into two, then spirals out of control to a book a day, becoming a gluttonous reading fest that only feeds the fiction monster in you.

Someone else’s books or your own, words can be addictive. Weaving stories a compulsion. The escape, an obsession.
Okay... easy now. Put the book down, and back away slowly…

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a happy and mainly functional readaholic. Reading is a wonderful vice and far less dangerous than others like chocolate or nicotine, as far as I’m concerned. But I’ve come to realize (and admit rather begrudgingly) that there does come a point when reading starts to become a problem. Because as much as it might feel like it’s so integrated in who we are as writers and lovers of story that it becomes as natural and necessary as breathing, our lives are not fiction. We can’t go back and edit that scene. Redo that day. Pay more attention to our kids or be more productive on a day you are actually living in. The escape is wonderful, but we have to prioritize our reality.

So here’s a litmus test for your self-diagnosis and some tips to achieve a better balance.

You might be a readaholic if…

-You devour a book a day for more than three consecutive days.

-You confuse events in your life with something you’ve read.

-You daydream in storyworld.

-You promise yourself that you’ll finish the chapter and go to bed… (riiiggghht!)

-You spend your all your spare moments glued to the page.

-You read in the bathroom. (And spend more time reading than doing anything else.)

-You spend wayyyy to much time perusing Amazon.

-You have your library card number memorized.

-You’d almost always rather curl up with a book than go out in the real world.

-You start reading a new book when it’s past your bedtime.

-You have more than one book boyfriend.

-You’ve read and re-edited your own manuscript over a dozen times.

Perhaps we’re not looking for a cure, more like healthy boundaries. So if your fiction world starts taking over consider…

- Allotting time for reading binges before starting on a new manuscript or project.

-Give yourself a book vacation but make sure you come back to the real world (and keep a firm grip on it).

-Don’t bring reading material to the kitchen table.

-Go to bed at a decent hour and snuggle up with your spouse. Most things are better in real life than on paper. ;)

-Get out of the house. (Go on a date, take the kids to the playground, take a walk, ie… come out of the book cave and breathe in some fresh air. Great fodder for story, just store away those ideas for later.)

-If you tend to get sucked in, set an alarm for when you should stop.

-Read a book with your significant other. This is one way to make reading more interactive. Read the same book together or separately and have conversations about it. Like your own book club. J

Alright, any brave ones willing to confess? Anything to add to either list? Happy Friday, readaholics! You are not alone.

Amy Leigh Simpson is a writer, singer, runner, foodie, coffee-lovin’-chocoholic. When she’s not dreaming up saucy love stories sprinkled with suspense and mystery, she’s chasing around her two adorable tow-headed toddler miscreants (Ahem)—boys, playing dress up with her miracle princess baby, and being the very blessed wife to the coolest, most hunky hero on the planet (sorry, ladies—taken). Though Amy doesn’t use her Sports Medicine degree for anything but patching up daily boo boo’s, she enjoys weaving medical aspects into her writing. Represented by the oh-so-wise and dashing Chip MacGregor of MacGregor Literary Inc.


Rachelle O'Neil said...

*grins* I don't know that I would consider myself a readaholic, but you definitely bring up good points, Amy! I do love books, and I read a lot, but I don't read nearly as much as I used to. And, I'm happy to say, I don't feel that it dominates my life. Which is probably a good thing. :D Still, these are good signs to keep in mind!

Amy Leigh Simpson said...

Ha! Oh I'm definitely a readaholic! And I definitely needed these reminders for myself :) thank you for commiserating, Rachelle!

Unknown said...

Does 8 out of 12 make me a readaholic? Probably, sigh, but I'm so glad you're right there with me Amy! I always love your posts (and when you make up new words) because you make me laugh!

Amy Leigh Simpson said...

Janice, I'm right there with you... Except my score was nine out of twelve. Sigh... ;)

Karen @ a house full of sunshine said...

What a fun post - love it!! I would classify myself as a recovering readaholic whose aim is to get right back on board with that addiction! I miss reading as much as I used to, and just bought myself a couple of new books this week to kickstart my habit again. ;) (P.S. I love your post graphic, Ames!)

Amy Leigh Simpson said...

Lol! Love it Karen!!! :) I need to scale back a bit!

Unknown said...

Ummm, guilty on several points there. I'm sorry but I can't help it. Is there a 12 step program? But one thing going for me is my empty next. I read when hubs watching ball game. Is there hope?

Unknown said...


Amy Leigh Simpson said...

Dana, that's seperate hobby togetherness! Genius!!! :)