Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Addiction that’s difficult to shrug

An old issue of Readers Digest defined Reading ‘An activity that is undertaken when TV is not functional or one visits dentist or barber‘. But I don’t fit into that definition. I read not just when TV is switched on but also concurrently. I read scrolling information of stocks or headlines or even ads that appear on the bottom screen while I am watching TV. I don’t get disappointed if I have to wait extra time at dentist or barber as long as they have stacks of magazines. Often, after getting my work done, I sit back to read an unfinished article. Old newspapers that wrap goodies in India don’t get thrown out unless I rummage through their headlines.

In short, my eyeballs definitely need external stimulus to make them move like a pendulum. I doubt if they can ever be standstill even during sleep. A small siesta of 15 minutes can generate fabulous, exciting sequence of dreams full of persons from different corners of the world.

Reading is one habit that I picked up at an early age and since then continued at frenetic pace. In my school days, first thing that I did after waking up – was not brushing the teeth- but picking up rustling noise of newspaper that got slipped under the main door. Slowly, repertoire of reading got extended by borrowed newspaper from neighbor to Chandamama, Detective stories and Magazines from library. Movie and gossip magazines were banned at home but I looked forward to reading them in barber shops on Sunday. I remember reading almost all previous issues of ‘marmik – weekly magazine of shive sena ‘by discovering cache of them under one of the beds while recovering from Appendicitis surgery. Now I read wherever I go and whatever that comes to me ranging from non fictions, novels, flight magazines, newspapers covering religion, philosophy, history, economics, folklore, social issues, poetry, literature and sports

Am I becoming an addict?? I think …. I am already one!!!

Like a true addict, I read anything, from a philosophical analysis to a book review to a food recipe. I keep book with me at all times. I read on the bus, read in the airport lounge, while eating food, while waiting for appointments, while in line at stores. I read myself to sleep at night with tabloid. I read to wake myself up in the morning with Readers Digest in my toilet. I take immense delight in reading old newspaper or book that is scribbled by previous owner of a book.

But now I am getting worried about this addiction that is taking me to ridiculous level. Now I have started reading while I'm driving – albeit at traffic signals or when car is moving at snail speed. I tell myself not to move my leg from break pad till someone from back doesn’t honk. I am aware it’s dangerous but I can’t avoid. Red blinking button on Blackberry tempts me to open and read my message even car is at full speed.


Anonymous Subbaraman Iyer said...

I think you are mixing up addiction with obsession. I share all the traits that you have, other than reading my email and news feed on my PDA as I drive though I have committed other amusing acts. I spent 3 hours in a bookstore as my wife watched a movie in the same shopping mall. I have missed a flight despite being in the terminal, because I just got busy reading something at the book store.

6:08 PM  

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