Bookmarked Thoughts

Bookmarked Thoughts: Binge Reading


Binge Reading is a fairly common affliction referring to the compulsive need to read. It is commonly divided into Generalized Binge Reading and Specialized Binge Reading. Binges can last anywhere from a few hours to weeks and typically resolve themselves without need for medical intervention.

One may be tempted to view Binge Reading as a beneficial condition, however it impedes on the Reader’s ability to perform in other important areas of life and thus must be treated with caution.


General Binge Reading is defined as the compulsive need to read any Book in one’s vicinity.


-reflexively grabbing nearby Books and proceeding to read them

-chain reading Books with the neglect of all other duties

-staying up all night to read and not feeling the need to sleep

-experiencing withdrawal symptoms upon the temporary cessation of reading


Much research has been done in investigating the causes of this affliction and a few potential variables have arisen:

Generalized Reading Binges typically follow:

  • a period of time during which one has been unable to read
  • the completion of a ‘good Book’

But can also be brought on by:

  • a free weekend or vacation from work/school
  • stress in other areas of one’s life
  • the desire to clear ones ‘to-be-read’ list


Specialized Binge Reading is defined as the compulsive need to read Books by a specific ‘author’ OR in a specific ‘series’ OR in a specific ‘genre’.


Specialized Binge Reading, having only recently been differentiated from Generalized Binge Reading, is not as well researched. However, some causes have been discovered.

Specialized Reading Binges follow:

  • the completion a ‘good Book’, typically from a newly discovered ‘author’/’genre’ or the first in a ‘series’
  • the fascination with a specific topic or ‘genre’


Treatment is identical for both cases of Binge Reading. It is commonly advised that one let the Reading Binge abate on its own, as attempts to treat it may result in a relapse. All cases of Binge Reading subside with time as the demands of work, school or home reassert themselves and occasionally ends in a Reading Slump.

However, if treatment is necessary, the most common method is Distraction and Avoidance. Readers are encourage to distract themselves with other pursuits and to remove themselves from the presence of Books until the desperate need to read has subsided.

One should also be advised that a large supply of Books is necessary during a Reading Binge to avoid nasty side effects such as anger, annoyance, sadness and despair.


Have you experienced a Reading Binge? How did you ‘cure’ it? 



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