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Old 08-03-2013, 04:31 PM   #1
Alexander Turcic
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Chain-reading e-books? You could be an e-book addict

Do you find reading e-books to be "psychologically or physically habit-forming... to such an extent that its cessation causes severe trauma" (Dictionary.com)? Well, perhaps you're an e-book addict. In fact, The Independent depicts a case where someone's e-book habit had gotten so excessive that it became a very real, damaging addiction.

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Page after page, chapter after chapter, when Lucy started reading she simply couldn't stop. She wouldn't sleep, eat or speak to anyone until she had completed the story. Then, she'd begin another one. Lucy was addicted to ebooks. At her worst, the 23-year-old student would spend 30 hours at a time alone in her bedroom, reading online novels on her laptop. Her head would hurt, her eyes would ache and the hunger would be painful, but she was unable to tear herself away from the screen.
A doctor quoted in the article blames the rise in consumer electronics as the culprit for this new kind of addiction.

Quote:
"Whether it's ebooks, porn or gaming, a lot of these things are technology based," Dr Smith says. "This is about devices being in the home and being used in different ways while becoming integral in our lives as well. There's a huge difference between a BBC Micro in the 1980s and a computer with a mouse or a touch-screen. These things are much more pleasing to us and much more attention-grabbing. They offer a greater degree of escapism."
[image by Lily Monster via Flickr]
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Old 08-03-2013, 04:39 PM   #2
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I'm afraid I file this under anything to get your name in print category

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Old 08-03-2013, 04:54 PM   #3
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"We're afraid she's going to read herself to death. We tried to lure her from the demon books with healthy stuff like Reality TV, Facebook, alcohol, sex, texting, and rock 'n' roll, but she wanted no part of it."
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Old 08-03-2013, 04:56 PM   #4
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I've never had a problem turning my Kindle/laptop/Xbox off when my eyes start swimming and I get a migraine. Sounds like Lucy simply has an addictive personality and if it wasn't ebooks it would be something else.
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Old 08-03-2013, 05:24 PM   #5
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I have always considered myself a readaholic, but I am not in her class. I agree that she probably has an addictive personality and if it wasn't books, it would be something else.
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Old 08-03-2013, 05:32 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DiapDealer View Post
"We're afraid she's going to read herself to death. We tried to lure her from the demon books with healthy stuff like Reality TV, Facebook, alcohol, sex, texting, and rock 'n' roll, but she wanted no part of it."


I'm out of Karma for today, but this is definitely one of the best postings I've read on MobileRead so far. That a lot for this.
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Old 08-03-2013, 05:42 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DiapDealer View Post
"We're afraid she's going to read herself to death. We tried to lure her from the demon books with healthy stuff like Reality TV, Facebook, alcohol, sex, texting, and rock 'n' roll, but she wanted no part of it."
LOVE this!
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Old 08-03-2013, 09:38 PM   #8
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I was thinking the same thing - an addictive personality. If it wasn't ebooks it would have been something else, not to mention someone who probably has some core socialization problems that she is escaping into books to such an extent.
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Old 08-03-2013, 10:04 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DiapDealer View Post
"We're afraid she's going to read herself to death. We tried to lure her from the demon books with healthy stuff like Reality TV, Facebook, alcohol, sex, texting, and rock 'n' roll, but she wanted no part of it."
According to the bottom of the article, they did use games to wean her from books, them television to wean her from games.
Talk about the cure worse than the disease.
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Old 08-04-2013, 01:49 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by j.p.s View Post
According to the bottom of the article, they did use games to wean her from books, them television to wean her from games.
Talk about the cure worse than the disease.
Are they sure this story wasn't originally from the Onion?

And yeah, ebooks = much better than gambling or shopping or alcohol or other drugs. Someone shoulda just gotten her an eink reader, better for her eyes and headaches (postural changes possible!), and let her read while also, if she wanted, addressing whatever core issues were behind her withdrawal.
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Old 08-04-2013, 02:01 AM   #11
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Better an addiction to the mind expanding effects of books than to the mind expanding effects of illegal drugs. Besides if she's in the library at least they know she's not hanging out down at the street corner smoking pot or something either.
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Old 08-04-2013, 02:12 AM   #12
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You can smoke pot at the library's balcony, that's no problem at all.

But nobody here would ever do such thing, of course.
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Old 08-04-2013, 02:30 AM   #13
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Sounds more like escapism than addiction to me, though I guess it is pretty much the same thing. I've seen that a lot in MMOs, like World of Warcraft, where people live in the game world and completely neglect their actual lives, relationships and careers, and stop eating, sleeping and showering (wowdetox.org has some stories).

She, if she is not just fictional, is doing the same, just with imaginary worlds instead of online ones.

Anyway, back to reading ...
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Old 08-04-2013, 02:55 AM   #14
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FWIW, we attempted to speak to two avid readers concerning this, but one was busy rereading David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest for the tenth time, and the other claimed that he didn't have a problem and could quit reading whenever he wanted.
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Old 08-04-2013, 04:16 AM   #15
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I admit to always being in the middle of reading one book or another. And the occasional book does keep me up to 2 or 3am. But I'm not really addicted as such.

The last couple of sentences of the article sum things up, I think:

Quote:
Lucy shifted from games to watching TV, then to watching musicals, before she finally learned techniques to manage her behaviour. She laughs. "I was told I have an addictive personality."
Some people do have to be careful of such tendencies.
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