Most hobbies represent extended invitations to a secret world with never-ending selections of new possibilities and fantasies of which only you are privy to. At the very least most of them turn out to be temporary reprieves from the ever-present trials and tribulations of the day to day world. Being an avid lover of books comes with a lot of perks, as any bookworm would be proud to attest. However, that’s not to say we don’t pay a certain price for the love of our paper vices. Here are a few instances where our fixation with books took a toll on more than just our eyesight and postures – our emotions:

1. That sad feeling when you realize that you’ve probably already read some of your books for the last time

The older we get and the more responsibilities we’re obliged to take on, the less time we get to dedicate to our books. It doesn’t help that technology has also made it increasingly difficult to tear ourselves away from our devices which are rarely more than an arm’s width away. If, like every other bookworm, you have an entire stack of unread books that you “just haven’t gotten around to reading”, then it’s time to realize that the possibility of revisiting some old favourites may be nothing more than a busy adult’s pipe dream.

  1. The mild anxiety you experience when you think of all the books you’ve abandoned halfway and how you don’t really remember where you left off. (Do I have to start all over again?!)

Someone has just casually brought up a book that you think you’ve already read, but before you can proudly put in your two cents, you suddenly remember that you’ve banished your book to the “rejection corner” where all the other castaways have also been put to die. It’s not so much the lightning of pain that flashes across your subconscious that bothers you, but more of the anchor of guilt that sinks to the pit of your stomach that tugs at your heartstrings. Also, lightly breaking into a cold sweat as you contemplate picking the book up again and starting afresh. (Hello, Anna Karenina, my old friend. I’ve come to deal with you again.)

  1. When you leave your book some place elsewhere and you have to wait before you can pick it up. “What do you mean, just read another book?! It’s not that simple!”

Note to friends, family members or lovers of bookworms: Let’s say someone has left a book at your place. If you really love them, and you treasure their well-being and you want to keep their state of mind in good form, do your best to get it back to them as soon as possible. Gift them a good night’s rest, and return their book.

  1. When the film adaptation of a novel you’ve read is coming out soon and you feel the panic settle in as you scramble to refresh your memory.

There’s something special about watching the movie adaptation of a novel that you’ve read before. Unlike with any other movie, it’s different because you’ve already directed your favourite moments in your head, you’ve already imagined the scenes to perfection and you know exactly how you’re going to feel when it finally materializes across the screen in front of you. But sometimes with the limited span of our memories, it’s still possible to lose some vital elements of the book. It’s not uncommon to find us with our noses buried deep in the book in the days leading up to the movie as we anxiously speed-read to refresh our memories and to get the most out of that famed movie magic.

However, at the end of the day, spike in blood pressure levels or not, no amount of panic, blurry eyes, or bad posture, will ever take away from how rewarding and fulfilling the presence of books are in your life.