Once a relatively rare disorder, Literature Abuse (or "readaholism") has risen to crisis levels due to the accessibility of higher education and increased college enrollment since the end of the Second World War. The number of literature abusers is currently at record levels.
Excessive reading during pregnancy is the major cause of prenatal LA among the children of heavy readers. Known as Fetal Fiction Syndrome, it leaves its tiny victims prone to a lifetime of nearsightedness, daydreaming and emotional instability.
Most abusers have at least one parent who abused literature, often beginning at an early age and progressing into adulthood. Siblings of abusers are also likely to become literature abusers. Spouses of an abuser may themselves become problem readers.
Other predisposing factors: parents who are English teachers, professors, or heavy fiction readers; parents who do not encourage children to play games, participate in healthy sports, or watch television.
Abusers become withdrawn and uninterested in society or normal relationships. They fantasize, daydreaming about "castles in the air," while neglecting work, friends and family. In severe cases "problem readers" develop bad posture from reading in awkward positions, or from carrying heavy book bags.
How many of these apply to you?
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.
WARNING: "Reading Addiction" has been classified as "behavior with a significant voluntary component," as defined in the Beatty-Eisner Amendment. If you are declared a "known literature abuser," you will become ineligible for SSA disability payments and/or ADA protections. Your fate is likely to be a life of poverty and despair, drifting from one dead-end job to another, as you wallow shamelessly in the causes of your addiction.