A Cage of Words

Writing about a Reader Support Group which looks suspiciously like a book club.

It doesn’t matter how many times I’ve read the book, whether this is the first reading or the fiftieth reading. A well-written book can trap me in its seductive pages more firmly than the stoutest iron bars. As a child, this was an acute problem. I would sit with a book, lost for hours, unconcerned about homework, chores, or the possibility of parental retribution. Now, I simply avoid the problem by not picking up a book unless I am very sure that I have nothing I need to finish for the next day or so.

Frequently, this backfires. I may have a spare hour in the middle of my day, yet I fear to give into the temptation to crack open that novel, lest I can’t put it down in an hour or two and attend to my obligations. Sometimes, I give in despite the fear. My success at control is largely dependent on the gravity of the obligation looming. Sleep, for instance, rates rather low in comparison to a finely told story. This leads to rather unfortunate consequences, from dramatically shortened sleep to a complete reversion to nocturnality. Neither is particularly healthy. I adore a nice quiet hour’s read before sleep, but all too often I must face the fact that one hour turned into four or five, and the end of the book.

Now, I can not blame this affliction merely on the multitude of authors whose work is my downfall. Pratchett. Lackey. McCaffrey. Pierce. Rowling. Bujold. The list goes on. These people are not to blame for the intoxicating drug they produce. Alright, maybe they are. But the point is, I should have more control. The point is, I should not allow this unbreakable cage of words to ensnare me. The point is….what was the point again?

Oh yes. Readers Anonymous. I wish to form a support group for addictive readers. If you have ever been unable to put a book down in the middle even for food, sleep, or calls of nature then RA is for you. If the very thought of going a single day without reading material induces panic-stricken binge book-buying, then RA is for you. If you’ve ever found yourself walking the long way to your destination to avoid even seeing the oh-so-tempting storefront of your local book-store, then RA is for you. With the strength of unity we can put the book down, so someone else can read it too. By sharing our experiences with various books, we can learn which books are the most addicting, enabling us to go out and read them for ourselves. Admitting we have a problem is the first step towards embracing our true natures as avid readers. Readers Anonymous is a place to share books, stories, and experiences with reading in a safe and supportive environment.

Hello. My name is Lia, and I’m a Reader.


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