The Sad Pitfalls of Bibliomania...

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Biblio - of or that relating to books
maniac - A person who has an obsession with or excessive enthusiasm for something (Syn: lunatic, madman)

When my mother brought home a copy of Gulliver's Travels one day in May many years ago, it was simply meant to keep me out of mischief during my summer holidays. Little did she realize then that she'd just doomed her 6 year old to lifelong lunacy of another kind, one that eventually turned him into an incorrigible bibliomaniac! Today, it seems to be a lost case.

Deep introspection and careful observation of individuals suffering from this insidious malaise has revealed some truly alarming symptoms. For the readers of Kadzilla's Lounge, I present an exclusive list of results from the ongoing studies for my research paper, The Sad Pitfalls of Bibliomania. Remember, even one of the following common symptoms is a sure sign of full blown BM!

Disclaimer: According to Wikipedia, Bibliomania is a real disease. But please remember, all material presented in this write-up is to be taken for its entertainment value only, and not as an educative guide.

  • You may have turned into a sorry old book snob. “People who read Chetan Bhagat are absolute philistines. Second to Dan Brown enthusiasts. Those clods are sub-human.”

  • You never have any extra cash/credit. This may result in you becoming a biblio-bandit. Ebooks are stupid, of course.

  • You have those crummy, free bookmarks, lying around everywhere.

  • At some point in your life, you have been a Howard Roark wannabe.

  • You waste 30 minutes on the potty every day, setting up your imaginary bathroom library.

  • Being asked to lend a book can cause respiratory problems.

  • You've never quite forgiven your mother for giving away your moth eaten collection of MAD Magazine and Champak to the ‘raddi walla’ when you were 13.

  • You buy books from a bookshop 12 miles away because the one nearby puts a tiny rubber stamp on the flyleaf. You have no issues, however, buying cheap library discards with rubber stamps on every centimeter of the flyleaf.

  • You've begun dreading the arrival of the Sunday paper because there's just too much good stuff to read and you're not even done with Saturday's.

  • You start carrying a book everywhere, including to your own birthday party.

  • You pause a movie just to make sure you get the name of the book which somebody in the scene is reading.

  • Multitasking is being able to turn the pages with your chin while holding a book with one hand and hanging on to the Metro/bus rod with the other.

  • You start living as far away from your office as possible, just so you can read during the commute.

  • The biggest fear in your life is breaking up with your girlfriend/boyfriend because then they would want their books back.

  • Your steamiest fantasy is cuddling up with her/him and reading Dostoevsky together.

  • You have a regularly updated list of fictional people you want to date.

  • You actually start believing that you are more intelligent than the guy on the street because you managed to finish A Brief History of Time.

  • Moving house is impossible because your book rack is heavier than the truck.

  • You read a list like this and smile knowingly/nod furiously without feeling that there is anything wrong with you. Or me.
Intensive research into what is now a worldwide epidemic has failed to reveal a cure. Bibliomaniacs are a part of society. They could be anyone. They are everywhere. Some are known to be armed with paperbacks and camouflaged by spectacles. Or not. That is the most diabolical aspect of bibliomania. A regular guy walking down the street in front of you could suddenly bend down without warning, pick up a crumpled biscuit wrapper and start… reading. There is simply no way to know. The list above is meant to be used as a check list to see if, God forbid, you too are a bibliomaniac.

Are you one then?

Picture Credits: Jason Love

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Kaddu said...

I sure am one... totally! :D

January 3, 2011 at 7:42 PM
Abhiroop Banerjee said...

What are your symptoms, Kaddu?
Strictly confidential of course, for my research ;)

January 5, 2011 at 7:12 AM
Kaddu said...

Oh several of them from your list... Chetan Bhagat, respiratory prbs, brk up with gf/bf, multi-tasking, potty time, pausing a movie... and the last one of course! And yes, my current fantasies involve a date with Jacob Black of the Twilight saga. This is strictly between u and me though, right? Especially the point abt the potty time... now I wouldn't want that to become knowledge! Happy researching btw! :D

January 11, 2011 at 3:00 PM
Kaddu said...

A type:
* PUBLIC knowledge

January 11, 2011 at 3:07 PM
Mithila Menezes said...

I loved this post! The comics were too hilarious, as were the characteristics of a bibliomaniac :D

April 2, 2016 at 6:03 PM

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