Philosophical Rambling: Escapism

Jennifer Forsyth jforsyth at
Thu Jul 20 14:52:40 EDT 2000

Just to stand up and be counted, I drink alcohol moderately, especially since
American stores have finally started carrying hard cider, hate tobacco, and was
always afraid to try illegal drugs in case I liked them (and because I'm pretty
law-abiding). While I agree that *technically* books are (probably) not
addictive, I do use them regularly to control my mood, either as uppers or
downers. And, as with drugs, my tolerance for their effect unfortunately becomes
increased the more I turn to them. I occasionally overdose on one book (or one
author) with vile repercussions.

And then there are those who are "social readers" in the same sense that some
people are "social drinkers"--they don't care about reading so much for its own
sake as that it gives them the opportunity to be on the same page, so to speak,
as everyone else. I think of these people as ones who regularly buy books just
because they're on the bestseller lists... Certainly none of *us* are like that,
and I probably shouldn't even bring this up, but my step-mother-in-law is one of
these people, and the saddest thing (to me) is that she limits her reading list
by the notion of what she might be able to get to before she dies. (In case
somebody was going to ask, she's only middle-aged and in good health.)

Jennifer Forsyth

Melissa Proffitt wrote:

> On Mon, 17 Jul 2000 17:35:07 +0200 (CEST), Britta Koch wrote:
> > But then it hit me: what is reading but
> >escaping? Reading, especially fantasy is just another way to escape,
> >it's just healthier and free of any (bodily) side-effects, and you
> >really can escape from your own life - even if you have to face other
> >people's problems.
> >So,as an afterthought (and forgive my nosy questions ;): do any of you
> >smoke? Or regularly take part in alcoholic excesses? Or did you at any
> >point in your life, and did you read much?

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