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Literature Abuse

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  • Stolzi@aol.com
    ... RE: Literature abuse Once a relatively rare disorder, Literature Abuse, or LA, has risen to new levels due to the accessibility of grammar school &
    Message 1 of 6 , Jul 1, 2000
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      -------------- Forwarded Message ---------------


      RE: Literature abuse


      Once a relatively rare disorder, Literature Abuse, or LA, has risen to new
      levels due to the accessibility of grammar school & higher education and
      increased college enrollment since the end of the Second World War. The
      number of literature abusers is currently at record levels.
      >>> > >
      SOCIAL COSTS OF LITERARY ABUSE
      >>> > >
      Abusers become withdrawn, uninterested in society or normal relationships.
      They fantasize, creating alternative worlds to occupy, to the neglect of
      friends and family. In severe cases they develop bad posture from reading
      in awkward positions or carrying heavy book bags. In the worst instances,
      they become cranky reference librarians in small towns.
      >>> > >
      Excessive reading during pregnancy is perhaps the number one cause of moral
      deformity among the children of English professors, teachers of English and
      creative writers. Known as Fetal Fiction Syndrome, this disease also leaves
      its victims prone to a lifetime of nearsightedness, daydreaming and
      emotional instability.
      >>> > >
      HEREDITY
      >>> > >
      It has been established that heredity plays a considerable role in
      determining whether a person will become an abuser of literature.
      Most abusers have at least one parent who abused literature, often
      beginning at an early age and progressing into adulthood. Many spouses of
      an
      abuser become abusers themselves.
      >>> > >
      OTHER PREDISPOSING FACTORS
      >>> > >
      Fathers or mothers who are English teachers, professors, or heavy fiction
      readers; parents who do not encourage children to play games, participate
      in healthy sports, interact in family "togetherness" or watch television in
      the evening.
      >>> > >
      PREVENTION
      >>> > >
      Pre-marital screening and counseling, referral to adoption agencies in
      order
      to break the chain of abuse. English teachers in particular should seek
      partners active in other fields. Children should be encouraged to seek
      physical activity, and to avoid isolation and morbid introspection except
      in computer games and the Internet.
      >>> > >
      SELF-TEST for literature abuse
      >>> > >
      How many of these apply to you?
      >>> > >
      1. I have read fiction when I was depressed, or to cheer myself up.
      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. Sometimes I avoid friends or family obligations in order to read novels.
      7. Sometimes I re-write film or television dialog as the characters speak.
      8. I am unable to enjoy myself with others unless there is a book nearby.
      9. At a party, I will often slip off unnoticed to read.
      10. Reading has made me seek haunts and companions which I would otherwise
      not choose.
      11. I have neglected personal hygiene or household chores until I
      had finished a novel.
      12. I have spent money meant for necessities on books instead.
      13. I have attempted to check out more library books than
      permitted.
      14. Most of my friends are heavy fiction readers.
      15. I have sometimes passed out after a night of heavy reading.
      16. I have suffered 'blackouts' or memory loss from a bout of reading.
      17. I have wept, become angry or irrational because of something
      I read.
      18. I have sometimes wished I did not read so much.
      19. Sometimes I think my fiction 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 five or more indicates a serious
      problem.
      >>> > >
      DECLINE AND FALL: THE ENGLISH MAJOR
      >>> > >
      Within the sordid world of literature abuse, the lowest circle belongs to
      those sufferers who have thrown their lives and hopes away to study
      literature in our colleges. Parents should look for signs that their
      children are taking the wrong path-don't expect your teenager to approach
      you and say, 'I can't stop reading Spenser.' By the time you visit her dorm
      room and find the secret stash of the Paris Review, it may already be too
      late.
      >>> > >
      What to do if you suspect your child is becoming an English major:
      >>> > >
      1. Talk to your child in a loving way. Show your concern. Let her know you
      won't abandon her- but that you aren't spending a hundred grand to put her
      through Stanford so she can clerk at Waldenbooks, either. But remember that
      she may not be able to make a decision without help; perhaps she has just
      finished Madame Bovary and is dying of arsenic poisoning.
      >>> > >
      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. Praise her
      brother, the engineer. 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.
    • Joan Marie Verba
      Okay, I ll take the test: 1. I have read fiction when I was depressed, or to cheer myself up. Yes. 2. I have gone on reading binges of an entire book or more
      Message 2 of 6 , Jul 1, 2000
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        Okay, I'll take the test:

        1. I have read fiction when I was depressed, or to cheer myself up.
        Yes.
        2. I have gone on reading binges of an entire book or more in a day.
        Yes.
        3. I read rapidly, often 'gulping' chapters.
        Yes.
        4. I have sometimes read early in the morning, or before work.
        Yes.
        5. I have hidden books in different places to sneak a chapter without being
        seen.
        How did you know?
        6. Sometimes I avoid friends or family obligations in order to read novels.
        True.
        7. Sometimes I re-write film or television dialog as the characters speak.
        True.
        8. I am unable to enjoy myself with others unless there is a book nearby.
        Sometimes.
        9. At a party, I will often slip off unnoticed to read.
        Heck, yes.
        10. Reading has made me seek haunts and companions which I would otherwise
        not choose.
        Yes, and they're better companions than the ones I would have been with
        otherwise!
        11. I have neglected personal hygiene or household chores until I
        had finished a novel.
        Yes.
        12. I have spent money meant for necessities on books instead.
        Heck, yes.
        13. I have attempted to check out more library books than
        permitted.
        True.
        14. Most of my friends are heavy fiction readers.
        Yes.
        15. I have sometimes passed out after a night of heavy reading.
        Yes.
        16. I have suffered 'blackouts' or memory loss from a bout of reading.
        Not that I can remember.... :-) ;-)
        17. I have wept, become angry or irrational because of something
        I read.
        True.
        18. I have sometimes wished I did not read so much.
        Never. I often think I read too little.
        19. Sometimes I think my fiction reading is out of control.
        No way.

        If you answered 'yes' to three or more of these questions, you
        may be a literature abuser.

        Hurrah!

        Affirmative responses to five or more indicates a serious
        problem.

        Oh, I'm definitely in the "serious" category.

        Joan

        ***************************************************
        Joan Marie Verba verba001@...
        Mythopoeic Press Secretary, Mythopoeic Society
        List Administrator for DocEx, Mythsoc, MNSCBWI and
        MNSCREENW lists
        http://www.sff.net/people/Joan.Marie.Verba
        ****************************************************
      • Stolzi@aol.com
        Well, I can remember getting up as a kid, getting ready to go to school. The glasses went on first. The book was laid out, open, on the dresser while I got
        Message 3 of 6 , Jul 2, 2000
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          Well, I can remember getting up as a kid, getting ready to go to school.

          The glasses went on first. The book was laid out, open, on the dresser while
          I got into my underwear and other items, bending over and reading.

          Then it was time for shoes and socks: I sat down in my chair, and the book
          was transferred to the floor beside me, so I could grab a few more sentences
          while putting =those= on.

          They didn't let me bring it to breakfast >:(

          Mary S
        • qiena@cs.com
          I have been known to read while walking down the street, taking a shower (tricky), and waiting at stoplights. I promise I don t read while actually driving,
          Message 4 of 6 , Jul 3, 2000
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            I have been known to read while walking down the street, taking a shower
            (tricky), and waiting at stoplights. I promise I don't read while actually
            driving, but admit to the temptation.

            Sharon

            :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::
            Christian Realists~ x-real.firinn.org
            :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::
            "The Man who cannot wonder, who does not habitually wonder, is but a Pair of
            Spectacles behind which
            there is no Eye." ~Thomas Carlyle
          • Juliet Blosser
            ... I remember my mom yelling at me for reading while walking. You re going to trip and fall! You re going to ruin your eyes! You re going to run into
            Message 5 of 6 , Jul 3, 2000
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              On Sun, Jul 02, 2000 at 09:39:04PM -0400, Stolzi@... wrote:
              > Well, I can remember getting up as a kid, getting ready to go to school.
              >
              > The glasses went on first. The book was laid out, open, on the dresser while
              > I got into my underwear and other items, bending over and reading.
              >
              > Then it was time for shoes and socks: I sat down in my chair, and the book
              > was transferred to the floor beside me, so I could grab a few more sentences
              > while putting =those= on.
              >
              > They didn't let me bring it to breakfast >:(
              >
              I remember my mom yelling at me for reading while walking. "You're
              going to trip and fall!" "You're going to ruin your eyes!" "You're
              going to run into someone!" Fortunately I never had a problem with
              any of those things :)

              I also remember reading with a flashlight under my blankets in bed
              when I was supposed to be asleep. Many times I stayed up almost all
              night, always being careful to aim the flashlight beam away from the
              crack under the door. Since my husband is a fellow literature abuser,
              I no longer have to sneak around. In fact, he was the last one in
              our house to stay up all night finishing a book (one of the Ender
              series).
            • Lisa Deutsch Harrigan
              You knew you were sending this to an e-list that is an enabler, didn t you? Good. That being said. About the heredity problem. Yep, did that. My
              Message 6 of 6 , Jul 12, 2000
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                You knew you were sending this to an e-list that is an enabler,
                didn't you? <vbeg> Good.

                That being said. About the heredity problem. Yep, did that. My
                daughter is also an LA, and she is given the nasty habit to her
                children. The children's books are overtaking their small bedroom.
                My 5 year old grandson reads to his 2 year old brother. Her husband
                is a big reader, too.

                My 11 year old son has to clean all the books out of his bed once a
                week, and we gave up and gave him a reading light he can turn off
                from bed. At ten o'clock, we advise him of the time, get a "Do I
                gotta?" whine, and then, usually, the light goes out. Sometimes we
                give him to the end of the chapter if he only has a page or two.

                As for the adiction list at the end, guilty as charged <g>. Of
                course, most of the parties I go to are at houses of people who have
                books. Taking them off of bookcases and reading is not unexpected.

                Our house is wall to wall to ceiling books, with the occasional spot
                of art work.

                Just back from our trip to Hawaii. Yep, bought more books. And am
                reading and replying to this from e-groups. (slowww reading).

                Mythically yours,

                Lisa
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