Sadly, I have to admit I am an addict. I try not to abuse any substance, even caffeine, but I am an escapist fiction junkie. The evidence is everywhere. On a shelf in my room stand many battered novels, silent witnesses of long years of addiction. If my library record were printed out, it would circle the globe twice. There is always a small library carried around in my backpack. I can hardly function without my daily reading fix.

You are probably thinking, "Why does this girls say she's addicted? Lots of people like to read, but no one's felt the need to start Readaholics Anonymous." I could claim I just like to read, but it has really become a necessity for me. Let me show you the progression of this addiction.

In the beginning, I could only talk, and chattering floated across the darkness of my mind. Then I learned to read, and there was knowledge, and it was good. I read everything in sight from the street signs towering over my head to the brand names written across the soles of my shoes. Next picture books appeared, and Max with his Wild Things took root with the Lorax. I discovered my first chapter book in second grade and the Indian from the cupboard became a permanent fixture of the mindscape. Children's classics, like The Secret Garden and Little Women, shaped the earth and set morals above it. Then I found nonfiction. Suddenly my mind abounded with animals and great figures of history strode after them. Even a small history of the world that I snatched out of the school discard box replayed the saga of history from creatures forming in primordial goop until the first industrial revolution. Finally I discovered fantasy and science fiction, stories created in the image of everyday life.

The lives contained in my books have become just as real as my day to day life. Or maybe they have become part of my day to day life. I dive into the worlds of novels and that way I can deal with my own. I am not sure how, but reading always calms me. I can venture too far and get more involved in the lives of the book world than my own life. But if I read in moderation, somehow submerging myself in the trials and details of another imaginary life makes it possible for me to cope with mine.

This is an essay for school, so I would greatly appreciate any input you could give me. Hate it? Tell me how stupid paragraph ___ is. Like it? Point out what's good. Words are appreciated more than votes, here. Thank you in advance.