The Potential Dangers Of Reading Too Much
I love to read.
Honestly, if you were to look up bibliomaniac in the dictionary, you'd see my picture. Enough said right there. Being the complete book nerd that I am, I know just how dangerous reading can actually be.
You don't believe me, do you?
Fine, then I'll just have to prove to you the risks and problems that come along with excessive reading. Be warned, there are real-life experiences and interesting facts within this hub, so if you'd rather go and check out something more serious and possibly more scientific, I suggest you close this window and find yourself another hub.
You're still here? All right, you asked for it...
Here it is, folks: the potential dangers of reading too much!
Potential Danger #1: Eyesight
Generally, most people read with their books about a foot away from their eyes. This isn't a big deal, right? It's easier to see the words, and it gives you that sense of being in your own world with the story, since you can't really see your surroundings.
It is a big deal.
The dilemma that comes with reading, especially with excessive reading for long periods of time, is that your eyes adjust to the nearness of your book. When you go to look away, anything farther than that one foot your eyes have grown accustom to will look blurry. Depending on how long you've been sitting with your butt on the couch and your nose in the pages, the blurriness can vary from slight to severe. I've had times where I literally could not see anything except giant blobs of color past that one foot radius.
Not only is this seriously annoying when you're trying to look at the clock on the wall 7 feet away, but if your eyes grow used to this little bubble of vision for too long, it will begin to permanently damage your eyesight, causing nearsightedness. Why do you people think I have glasses? They're not just to make my face look pretty. I don't need help with that. :-P
Okay, so, that was a joke; but you get my drift, don't you?
In order to keep your eyeballs from going haywire on you and costing you quite a bundle at the optometrist's, look up from your book every so often. Time doesn't matter too much. Try looking up at something far away in-between chapters. Are you a slow reader? Then consider setting yourself a timer on your cell phone, microwave, or wristwatch. Start with every half hour. That's a decent amount of time between glances. As long as you remember to follow this routine, you won't be stuck with specks like me. And seriously, who wants to be like me?
Potential Danger #2: Hearing
Now, if you don't have a problem hearing while reading, you may skip this section if you wish. But if you're one of those people who gets so engrossed in the story your nose is stuck in, they can't hear anything anybody's saying to them, you might just want to pay attention.
Being the huge nerd that I am, I get so into my books that I can't hear a single thing outside of my little bubble of conscious reality. Meaning, someone could be telling me that they're going to slit my throat and take my purse, and I might be able to catch the purse part of the sentence, but that's about it. I'll have glanced up, said that ever-verbose sentence of, "Huh? What? Were you saying something?" and by then I would be deader than a doornail. Not that doornails were ever alive or anything...
My mom has THE WORST habit of trying to tell me things while I'm reading. She'll give me a list of chores, or tell me where she's going for the day, or ask me to do something for her. The best answer she's ever received was, "Uhhhhuhhhh... Uhhhhuhhhh... Yeah... Okay... Uhhhhuhhhhh..." Come on, I'm much more talkative than that! Like I'd honestly speak like some zombified Kika for any reason? No way, José. But alas, she always thinks I'm actually listening to her. It's slightly amusing, until she gets really mad at me for not doing what she told me to do or some trivial thing like that.
Anyway, a good way to avoid this problem is to quickly close your book the minute you hear another person speaking. Whether it's toward you (as if you can hear your name out of that jarble of jargon) or another person, this will eliminate the possibility of you missing out on what could be important information you'll really want to know later. Of course, when you close your book, you should always put a bookmark in place. Don't dog-ear your pages; it's soooooo bad for your precious book! And I would cry! :'( If you don't have a bookmark, use your finger to hold your spot. It might get a little sore, but it's better than losing your place or (heaven forbid!) dog-earing the page you're on.
Potential Danger #3: Time
Time flies when you're having fun, and for us bookworms, it flies like crazy when we read. Sometimes we don't notice the time slipping away. Of course, when the sun goes down and we have to turn a light on, we notice. But by then, we may have missed our favorite TV show (House!) or valuable homework time we should've spent studying.
Luckily, I don't need to study, but for those who do... Yeah, you're gonna have trouble on that History test tomorrow.
What about meetings or appointments? Did you remember them? Did you miss them because you were reading? I sure hope they weren't important. Even with watches and cell phones that tell us the time, if we're too busy in our storyline, we're not going to glance up or down to check the time. Heck no, our story is much more important than the clock!
To alleviate the problems time throw at us, set timers for when you need to be leaving the house or place you're in. Gotta be at work at 4:30 pm? Set a timer for 4:00 pm. That gives you enough time to put a bookmark in your book, get ready for work, and quick get your butt out the door. Have some homework you need to finish before bedtime? Work on it before you read, and you won't have to worry about the time. At least, not until you have to go to sleep.
Another great idea is to give yourself a full day dedicated to reading. One day out of the week where you don't work on homework or have any plans is just the right amount. Sure, you'll be vying for the next sequence in the story, but this way, you won't fret over deadlines and missed appointments. And your friends won't get cranky at you for forgetting about them.
Potential Danger #4: Sore Muscles
When you read, you don't move a whole lot, do you? No, you sit in your favorite chair, maybe curl under a nice, warm blanket, and vegetate for hours upon hours on end. Then, when you've decided to get up and maybe catch some breakfast (at 6:00 pm...), you have to stretch for about 10 minutes because your body's so used to being in one position for so long.
The problem with sitting still for long periods of time is that your muscles and joints lock in the position they're placed. They're not being used, so they have no reason to stay limber. Once they are moved, they protest like mad because they've become so used to being in one place for so long. "Oh, no, no, no! I don't want to help you stand up! I was so content just falling asleep, why must you torture me so?"
... Well, muscles can't actually speak, but if they could, I'm sure they'd be saying something like that.
Get up between chapters and stretch for a good 3-5 minutes. Make sure to strech all your muscles, especially your neck and back, but also your upper legs and knees. Your arms are already being used to turn the pages. Okay, your hands are turning the pages, but it takes several muscles coordinating together to perform this simple action, so your arms should be okay. If you need to, stretch them as well. You don't have to go all yoga guru on us, just simple stretches will do. What you want to do is reps of 3 or 4, 6 seconds per rep. This should provide just enough stretching to keep you loosey-goosey and in as little pain as possible once you decide to get up and do something else.
Potential Danger #5: Stuff Around You
Reading and walking. Yeah. That right there should be enough to get anyone giggling/chuckling a little. Reading and walking is great and all, but it seriously sucks major monkey nuts when you run into things.
Like doors and chairs and tables and other people...
This used to be the only way I could get through the hallways at school. I couldn't stand all the noise and stupidity coming from my fellow classmates, so I'd traverse the halls without a care in the world, my face burried so deep within a book, I'm surprised I was never seriously injured. Especially with those dang stairs...
There was this one time I was walking along during passing time (8 minute periods between classes so we could get from one side of the building to the other) down the most crowded hallway in the building. Ah, how I don't miss the checkerboard hallway... For the most part, it was considered Freshman Hall, but there weren't a lot of freshmen lockers in there, so we mostly called it the checkerboard hallway. It was the most dangerous hallway in school. It's very narrow, with a crap-ton of foot (and wheel) traffic, most of it coming from the Special Ed. hall and the rest from the industrial rooms and english wing. In an attempt to avoid the possibility of human conversing, I had my nose in my book and was happily walking with the ginormous crowd I was stuck inside when I started to faintly notice I was being pushed toward the outer edge of the herd. Not thinking much of it, I continued my reading/walking endeavor when suddenly something brown was flying right at my face, and before I could stop, look up from my book, and blink, BAM! I fell flat on my back. I was attacked by a door, with a little freshman girl behind it crying out apologies when she realized the err of her ways (meaning, she noticed people laughing and stopped to see what was so funny).
Thankfully, the only injury I sustained was a little pumpnut (bump) on my head that was easily fixed with a bag of ice. But I learned my lesson quickly. From then on, I just carried my current book with me, instead of reading and walking at the same time. Ah, if only I had space to tell you my other reading/doing something else stories...
Tada! Five beautifully written capsules made by yours truly! Yes, I have a humongous ego when it comes to my writing, but these are serious risks that should be seriously considered when you decide to bury your mind in the deliciously addictive pages of a book. I hope this hub has given you some insight, and possibly some easy to follow tips, on the potential dangers of reading too much. May your books always pwn, and your selection grow ever expansive!
Also, feel free to share your own personal stories or favorite books for everyone else to read! Thanks for checking this out!
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