5 Signs You Are A Book Addict  

Niamh McCabe shares a checklist to the symptoms of book addiction…

I am a bookaholic, and my Dad is to blame. He is one that read to me and encouraged me to enter the world of books, literature, poetry, and art. He is the one who took me to the library once a week, every Thursday to be specific, to get my weekly supply. I have been reading for about fifteen years roughly, properly reading books that is, and I do not want to know how many books I have read. I can assure you, it is a scary amount. In my flat currently, I have 131 books, and that does not include the books that I have scattered around my home back in Aberdeen. It has become so bad that my bookshelf has collapsed, and there are books lying all around my bedroom. Some of my books have made their way into my flatmates’ rooms. 

My name is Niamh and I’m a bookaholic. If you relate to any of these five warning signs, welcome to the club. It seems like you would be, in fact, a bookaholic too. I would not worry about trying to go cold turkey on these habits, it’s no use… 

(Infographic by Niamh McCabe)

1. Do You Ever Read a Book and Lose Track of Time? 

I don’t know about you, but I am so bad for picking up a book at 9am and then finishing it at 2pm. Or worse, if I have bought a book series for a deal, and if I really enjoy it, then I could read from 9am to 9pm. I then proceed to wonder where all the time has gone, and why I have no time left to do the things that are actually important. 

I did come up with a way of honing in on this bad habit, because ultimately, I sadly have more to do then just spending the whole day reading a book. So, I created a system; in the morning I usually read Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman by Haruki Murakami or Send Nudes by Saba Sams. Both books are a stunning collection of differing short stories. I just read a short story in the morning, whatever one I read really sets me up for the day. Then, at night, I usually read a few chapters of whatever book I am currently reading. Right now, I am currently re-reading the Pursuit of Love by Nancy Mitford

2. You Love A Rainy Day Because You Can Stay Indoors And Read 

I have a confession. I have never seen the appeal of reading in the rain. I’m simply using this as a figure of speech. I really thrive reading when it is in the sun, in my back garden preferably, with my dog beside me. The first lockdown was a great time in that respect. 

But, it’s almost like serotonin for me, bringing a book out into the sun and reading it. I associate the sun with being outside with a book, spending all my time reading. Just like people associate the rain with a cup of coffee, getting all warm and delving into their favourite book, I do with the sun, the heat, and maybe the flow of cocktails. 

Are you the same? 

3. When you are known as the person who gives only books as gifts. 

If I ever gave you a gift, seven out of ten times a book will be included. Christmas, two years ago, I got each of my family members a book, from my own personal collection, that I wanted them to read because it made me think of them. I will give away my own books as gifts, because I want to spread the love of reading to everyone and anyone. 

It is a great gift idea, and if we want to flip this around, I love getting books as gifts. Just throwing it out there, if you ever wanted to get me a gift, a piece of literature would be well-received.  

4. You always (always) believe the book is better than the movie. 

I have only been corrected a few times on this statement, but the book is always better than the movie. I understand books have more of an opportunity to go in depth, but movies have the chance to bring our favourite books to life, and sometimes, directors and producers fail and end up with a flatline. 

A movie can last roughly two hours, whereas a book can have hundreds and hundreds of pages of extremely detailed description that ultimately brings the story to life. I always say to people, ‘I really like the movie, but I read the book first, so it is not as good as I thought it would be’. 

I think that, honestly, The Notebook movie is better than the book, as well as, The Devil Wears Prada. Although the book is fantastic, the movie has a new lease of life that just makes it that one bit superior. 

5. Lastly, you dream about “book worlds” and not the actual real world. 

I talk about this all the time, I was raised in two worlds. A life of flesh and a life of literature. I sat on the train with Harry, Hermione and Ron. I cried with Sunja on the boat to Japan. I acted with Jo, Meg, Beth and Amy in their house. 

Books are such an immersive experience for me, and I really hope that you feel the same. If you don’t, you are truly missing out. 

So, are you a bookaholic just like me? I hope so, it’s the best way to be. 

I want to leave you something to celebrate World Book Day. I hope it can inspire you to pick up a book today, because it is a quote that I live by. It is on my wall, my phone screen and my laptop. The quote itself took me by surprise and made me realise being a writer was what I was going to do for the rest of my life. 

Therefore, without further ado, the words of Mr. John Keating: 

‘We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for.’ 

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