Academic addicts almost always began as bathroom reading addicts, reading Reader's Digest, National Geographic, and the backs of lotion bottles while on the toilet. As they matured, they gradually learned to bring their books into the bathroom with them, and could occasionally be seen frantically running from room to room with pinched sphincter, hoping desperately to find their mislaid book before they absolutely had to make a beeline for the toilet. It is only advanced academic addiction, however, that will combine this reading addiction with vanity, the suffusion of pleasure in one's own printed words--even, for that matter, the occasional wince at an infelicitous phrase. That the addict would hope visitors to his bathroom might join him/her in admiration for his/her words is only further proof of his/her addiction.

Those of you who haven't delved this deeply into your addiction may scoff at this. "Nobody really does this," you say, "at least not on a regular basis. I might have taken a book or article of mine into the bathroom once, accidentally, but I would never do it intentionally, and would certainly never leave it there for my next visit."

Remember that, whenever an addict says "never," that is the next thing s/he will do. Anything that you claim you don't do--especially when not doing that thing is construed as evidence that you aren't an addict--should have an unspoken "yet" added to the end of it. Addiction is a progressive and fatal condition, and if you continue upon your current path, you will discover just to what depths the academic addict can sink. The testimony of thousands in our fellowship is painfully clear.

Back to Am I An Addict?

Copyright 1993 Doug Robinson and Bill Kaul