7 Dangers of Reading

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You were probably systematically encouraged to read books straight after learning your ABC’s and the word ‘cat.’ Maybe that encouragement was necessary for your academic development, but for those of us who love reading naturally, reading too much can pose dangers that Reading Rainbow never mentioned.

If you’re a heavy reader, take a moment to consider these seven dangers and gauge your risk level for each one:

1. Mistaken Identity

This is when you begin subconsciously skewing your behavior to match the mannerisms of a cool protagonist. Is your family wondering why your personality is changing from day-to-day? Or why you’ve started insisting that everyone call you Mr. Darcy.

via Brookish

2. Anti-Social Behavior

This is when you begin caring more about fictional characters than about your family, friends, and love life. Sure, we’ve all skipped a few events to stay home and read, but when you start skipping all the events it might be time to get out of the house.

3. Unnecessary Secrecy

If you start making excuses to read, hiding book purchases from your partner, or lying about other things, then it might be a sign that you should step back and reevaluate your reading.

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4. Unreliable Opinions

This is when your thoughts on important subjects are based on events that never occurred and people who never existed. Kind of like when historical fiction starts to blend into the actual history you learned in school.

5. Snobbish and Rude Behavior

This is when you use literary language or drop references to books that few people would understand. Or when you speak using words that you know the person you’re speaking too won’t be able to understand. And you know it, and you smile oh-so intelligently. After all, you are so well read, so you must know better than everyone.

6. New Fears

This is when something you’ve never experienced, feels real because you’ve read of it. So you become afraid of it in real life, but in reality the thing you’re afraid of isn’t very likely to happen to you or even if it did happen it wouldn’t be as bad. For example, when you’ve read a ton of murder mysteries or serial killer books in a row, and now you’re worried about something happening to you.

7. Radical Escapism

This is when you use 21 Benefits of Reading Everyone Can Enjoy to the point where it consumes you. Some people who do this develope maladaptive daydreaming. This is when a person spends so much time fantasizing about their favorite books and characters, for hours and hours on end, that their health and wellbeing suffers.

So yes, while reading is an amazing and good thing in general, even too much of a good thing can hurt us.