Come February 14th love is in the air as everyone celebrates Valentine’s Day with that special someone. Yet who ever said that only human relationships deserve a day of their own is sorely mistaken. There is a bond that is just as special. It’s the only love triangle with mutual feelings and a happy ending. That of readers, authors and books. Unlike other relationships, this one stands the test of time, forever immortalized in ink. Just like Aladdin takes Jasmine on a magic carpet ride to a whole new world, authors take their readers into their imagined world through their books. Ask any bibliophile and they would tell you that it is a gift like no other…with some surprises along the way.
The habit of avid reading comes with its own set of side effects. Here are some that ‘bookaholics’ often experience:
Obsession with Fictional Characters
Authors write the perfect characters with whom we relate to and even fall in love with. Sometimes readers tend to like characters from a book more than people they actually know. There are some cases when you could be reading about your favourite character doing something extremely humiliating and you have to stop for a second and put the book down because you can literally feel the second-hand embarrassment.
(Paradoxical after thought: What if fictional characters fall in love with us readers but we’re too real for them?)
Frustration due to Lack of Time
So many books, so little time. It’s been known to happen that when a bibliophile jots down the names of a couple of novels to read in the future they end up with a comprehensively longer list. Unfortunately, what with busy schedules it’s difficult to squeeze in time to just sit down and read nowadays.
W. Somerset Maugham once said, “To acquire the habit of reading is to construct for yourself a refuge from almost all the miseries of life.” Cuddling up with a good book and a piping hot cup of tea is all you need to feel happy… if only for a little while.
Aversion to Kindles
For all the 90’s kids and the generations that preceded the advent of Amazon’s Kindle, paperbacks and hard covers still reign supreme. There’s nothing like the musty smell of a good book or the feel of thumbing through its pages. Sorry Kindle but you don’t have that kind of magic.
Getting lost in the pages
Hold a book and you’ll have the world in your hands. It’s true. As readers, we invest so much of ourselves in the books we read that it is difficult to cope with reality. A novel can be so magnificent that it leaves you reeling. Besides, you can be a different person for a while and take a break from being yourself. Honestly, who wouldn’t want to be a genius mastermind like Artemis Fowl or even a powerful villain like Lord Voldemort? In more ways than one, getting immersed in a book is like playing pretend. Readers are like Peter Pan. We never really grow up.
Feeling nostalgic for children’s books
Have you ever gone to the book store and got excited to see a book you’d read when you were a child? Good because the books we read at a young age play a huge role in who grow up to be. As Meg Ryan says in You’ve got Mail, “When you read a book as a child it becomes part of your identity in a way that no other reading in your life does.”
Fan Fiction Addiction
Shock waves were sent through the Harry Potter fan base when J.K Rowling announced that she regretted writing Ron and Hermione getting married. For those who loved the two of them together it was a disappointment but for those who preferred Harry and Hermione together, it was a moment of victory. Clearly it is too late to change the ending but that’s where fan fiction intervenes and saves the day. Fans read and write fan fiction as a means of wish fulfillment and expression, creating an alternate dimension within the world of their favourite books.
- (Warning: Severity of said side effects varies from reader to reader)