Yesterday I shared a fun little post about America’s hidden problem: literature abuse. But many of you may now be asking yourselves, “am I an abuser?” Complete this short test to find out.

Photo woman reading outside

Photo credit: Ljupco Smokovski

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.

3. I have sometimes read early in the morning, or before work.

4. I have hidden books in different places to sneak a chapter without being seen.

5. Sometimes I avoid friends or family obligations in order to read novels.

6. Sometimes I re-write film or television dialog as the characters speak.

7. I am unable to enjoy myself with others unless there is a book nearby.

8. At a party, I will often slip off unnoticed to read.

9. Reading has made me seek haunts and companions which I would otherwise avoid.

10. I have neglected personal hygiene or household chores until I had 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 fiction 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.

[I did NOT create the above test. This was published as “anonymous” in an e-mail I read back in 1999.]

Categories: Novels


Shawn · August 13, 2012 at 12:55 PM

What about a number 20: I willingly read the “50 Shades” trilogy even though I’m smart enough to know better. If that’s not abuse, I don’t know what is. 🙂

E.K. Carmel · August 15, 2012 at 8:11 PM

The question now: is there a 12 step program? Honestly, though, I think I’d rather wallow in my shame. 😉

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