The addiction of a different kind.

Addiction is bad. What ever the substance may be. Addiction can never yield anything productive. But addiction may not always be alcohol, tobacco or cocaine. People get addicted to tea, to exercise, to road , to rain, to cellphone, even to work, who we euphemize as “workaholics” .

In the 12 Step program of the Alcoholics Anonymous, the first step in de-addiction is to accept that you have an addiction. So here goes, Yes. I’m addicted to reading. And don’t take it lightly, it has all the symptoms of any addiction, the craving, the fidgeting, the pleasure of devouring it slowly and the withdrawals. But its manifestations are more on a psychological level rather than physical.

How do you realize that you are a reading additict, you ask?

First of all, you cant stop buying books even though you have a million unread books at home. Be it book stores,online stores, second hand stores, flea markets, Higgin Bothams, railway vendors or libraries, you can never say no to a book.

You read multiple books simultaneously. At any given point in the space-time continuum you are reading five books and have another 17 on queue. And this is an eternal queue. As soon as you finish one, you start with two others.

The craving is also a substantial clue. When the package you ordered gets delivered, you mind gets flooded with a dopamine induced excitement. You dont open the package in a hurry, you first finish all your chores and then take the package and slowly take a knife to slice open the packing tape, trying to conserve the original box. Then you take out and read the invoice first trying to understand the taxation and logistics info written on it and finally you extort the book from the bosom of the cardboard box and take in the enchanted fragrance of ink on cheap paperback pages and your mind has orgasmic convolution. You slowly start reading the acknowledgement and abstracts and all sorts of tiny scribblings before finally delving into the realm of the story.

Reading is truly a magical experience. One that is too good to be put in words(there is the irony for you). But it seems funny to me that the 2600 paged text books never seems so appealing, even though physically its of the same composition, it lacks in a certain miracle, that is what we call the “soul” of a book. Now the only question that remains to be answered is , Are u an addict?

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