2. I have gone on reading binges of an entire book or more in a day.
3. I read rapidly, often 'gulping' chapters.
4. I have sometimes read early in the morning or before work.
5. I have hidden books in different places to sneak a chapter without being seen.
6. I keep a book in my pocket to be sure I'm never without one.
7. Sometimes I avoid friends or family obligations in order to read novels.
8. Sometimes I re-write film or television dialog as the characters speak.
9. I am unable to enjoy myself with others unless there is a book nearby.
10. At a party, I will often slip off unnoticed to read.
11. Reading has made me seek haunts and companions which I would otherwise avoid.
12. I have neglected personal hygiene or household chores until I have finished a novel.
13. I have spent money meant for necessities on books instead.
14. I have attempted to check out more library books than permitted.
15. Most of my friends are heavy fiction readers.
16. I have sometimes passed out from a night of heavy reading.
17. I have suffered 'blackouts' or memory loss from a bout of reading.
18. I have wept, become angry, or very emotional because of something I read.
19. I have sometimes wished I did not read so much.
20. Sometimes I think my reading is out of control.
If you answered 'yes' to three or more of these questions, you may be a literature abuser. Affirmative responses to seven or more indicates a serious problem. Once a relatively rare disorder, Literature Abuse, or LA, has risen to new levels due to the accessibility of higher education, increased college enrollment, and ubiquitous availability of reading material since the end of the Second World War. The number of literature abusers is currently at record levels.
Excessive reading during pregnancy is perhaps the number one cause of moral deformity among the children of English professors, teachers of English and creative writing. Known as Fetal Fiction Syndrome, this disease also leaves its victims prone to a lifetime of nearsightedness, daydreaming and emotional instability.
2. Face the issue: Tell her what you know, and how: "I found this book in your purse. How long has this been going on?" Ask the hard question -- "Who is this Count Vronsky?"
3. Show her another way. Move the television set into her room. Introduce her to frat boys.
4. Do what you have to do. Tear up her library card. Make her stop signing her letters as 'Emma.' Force her to take a math class, or minor in Spanish. Transfer her to a Florida college.
* She names one or more of her cats after a Romantic poet.
* Next to her bed is a picture of: Lord Byron, Virginia Woolf, Faulkner or any scene from the Lake District.
Most importantly, remember, you are not alone. To seek help for yourself or someone you love, contact the nearest chapter of the American Literature Abuse Society, or look under ALAS in your telephone directory. The following resources will also be of considerable help:
with music by Sir Arthur Sullivan
Online Internet Addicts' Support Group
Readme files we hope we'll never see
Flamage, and other stupid net tricks
Idiosyncratic Reading Selections
William Blake on the Web
Christianity on the Web
Literature on the Web
The Gullibility Virus