Monday, April 18, 2005

Mildly amusing piece touted

One of my surfeit of sisters sent me a long yuckfest purportedly exposing the tragic problem of "literature abuse." Amusing here and there, but overall, eh. The piece does attempt to warn parents "to look for signs that their children are taking the wrong path--don't expect your teenager to approach you and say, 'I can't stop reading, Spencer.'" (Okay, it actually says, "I can't stop reading Spencer," but if your teenager ever calls you "Spencer," it's past time to search the drawers, Dad.) The funniest part was the

Self-Test for Literature Abuse: 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 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 have pretended to watch television while secretly reading.
9. I keep books or magazines in the bathroom for a "quick nip."
10. I have denied or "laughed off" criticism of my reading habit.
11. Heavy reading has caused conflicts with my family or spouse.
12. I am unable to enjoy myself with others unless there is a book nearby.
13. I seldom leave my house without a book or magazine.
14. When travelling, I pack a large bag full of books.
15. At a party, I will often slip off unnoticed to read.
16. Reading has made me seek haunts and companions which I would otherwise avoid.
17. I have neglected personal hygiene or household chores until I finished a novel.
18. I become nervous, disoriented, or fearful when I must spend more than 15 minutes without reading matter.
19. I have spent money meant for necessities on books instead.
20. I have sold books to support my reading "habit."
21. I have daydreamed about becoming a rich & famous writer, or "word-pusher."
22. I have attempted to check out more library books than is permitted.
23. Most of my friends are heavy fiction readers.
24. I have sometimes passed out or woken groggy or "hung-over" after a night of
heavy reading.
25. I have suffered "blackouts" or memory loss from a bout of reading.
26. I have wept,become angry or irrational because of something I read.
27. I have sometimes wished I did not read so much.
28. Sometimes I think my fiction reading is out of control.

If you answered "yes" to five or more of these questions, you may be a literature abuser. Affirmative responses to ten or more indicates a serious reading problem--seek help now! Fifteen or more "yes" responses indicates a severe or chronic "readaholic" personality. Intervention is seldom effective at this stage.

Worth reading the whole thing if you're going to live forever and have time to kill.

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