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We all know reading is good for you right? It is widely accepted that regular reading helps with your general intelligence and literacy skills. It is also believed by many to help reduce stress, improve your memory, build concentration and focus, and even build self-esteem.

The positives are widely touted, but could there perhaps be a negative lurking in the impressive shadow of the world of books?

I dare say there is.

You see, reading has made me sick, on a number of occasions. Say it isn’t so I hear you bellow. Alas I cannot.

Many a night the mysteries, the finely crafted words or the haunting familiarity of a book has drawn me in so completely that I devour and turn pages until the early hours of the morning. After finally completing the book of the moment, there is but a few hours of sleep to be had, resulting in my waking un-rested, not motivated and feeling generally unwell.

Worse still is when I have become so tired, I had to sleep before finishing the book. It is logical that I would continue to read as soon as I have the bare minimum moments of sleep completed that is required to keep my body going.

What then does one do when this book-induced illness strikes on a morning one is expected to go to work?

There is nothing for it but to call in sick.

I am openly confessing that, in the past, I have called in sick at least a couple of times due to this very ailment. Raging fever, headaches, stitches, broken bones and chest infections shall not keep me away from work. But a good book can.

Am I alone in this? Should I hang my head in shame?