I hate to admit it, but I have taken to the realisation that I am an addict, a book addict. Let’s define addiction first. Merriam Webster defines ‘addiction’ as:
“..a compulsive, chronic, physiological or psychological need for a habit-forming substance, behavior, or activity having harmful physical, psychological, or social effects and typically causing well-defined symptoms (such as anxiety, irritability, tremors, or nausea) upon withdrawal or abstinence: the state of being addicted..”
I mean, I am head over heels on the scent of books, their yellowed pages, the cravings for personalising the books with my personal annotations and serious bookmarking stuff. It seems a “compulsive need”, “habit-forming..behavior”, “..having..psychological, or social effects..” Ummm.. Once inside a second-hand bookstore or bookshop, I would spend hours looking and assimilating everything. Wondering how it would be to read all those books.
It is not necessarily buying and spending sleepless nights on reading these books, but rather the compulsive need to visit bookshops and buy books, especially those with amazing covers that are irresistible. I need my ‘fix’ when I scan the bookshelves, delving from genre to genre.
I have a range of preferences when it comes to reading; historical fiction, science fiction, thrillers, self-help, mythology (Greek to Indian, Egyptian to Norse and so on), and most dearest of all, books that deal with the unknown, with the spiritual side of being human. I have always dreamed of my transformation, my apotheosis..well and here I am an addict, like seriously!
This is the end for me as there is no going back for me, but I would like to give my fellow addicts some piece of the lessons that I have learnt the hard way. DON’T hide your addiction. Learn to accept it. Let people judge. When you shall accept that reality, your friends and family will be supportive and may, I say ‘just might’ even give you books for presents on the days that you are feeling low and on festive events. But do not make puppy eyes to them to get books or they will send you to a detox centre. And trust me, the prep talks and when they try to get you out through going out, watching movies or even social gatherings, you get destroyed. Their powers are too great!
Please take the following test to know if you are a book addict and your addiction level.
- That moment when you just finished a book, look around and realise that everyone, including your own family, is carrying things as usual with their lives as if you didn’t experience emotional atyachar at the hands of a book.
- You rush through the book and when the climax is threatening to overpower your sanity, you keep going until you remain mouth agape when it’s over.
- You take your book to the bed with you and take comfort in its warmth and protective aura.
- You are a confirmed book addict if you treat your books with the utmost respect as if they are real persons, you caress and smooth the cover and ensure that it has a pristine and privileged place on your shelve.
If you got 1 response, you are safe.
If you got 2, you are treading on dangerous grounds.
If you got 3, you need help, and
If you got all 4, you are doomed to be an addict and no help shall come.
I nominate Sushree Diya Ji, Prahalad, Medha Shri, Hemanya, and Hritik Bhai(not necessarily in order of seniority) to share their story! Do not be afraid. You might not have guessed it, but everyone here knows about your struggles.
PS: My favourite authors are (in no particular order), Om Swami, Sadhvi Vrinda, J. K. Rowling, Dominique LaPierre/ Larry Collins, Dan Brown, Rick Riordan, Alexandre Dumas, Tolkien, Shubh Vilas, Vanamali, James Clear, Jeffrey Archer, Christopher Pike, and so many more!