How Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) Affects My Reading

I have been diagnosed with OCD for 5 years now and realise that a lot of habits and quirks I have thought of as ‘just the normal way to do things’ can be construed, if required, by others as characteristic of this particular condition. However, the following habits I exhibit, to my mind may be shared by many bibliophiles out there, or I really am freaky, which suits me just fine.

Please note everyone with OCD is different and this is NOT a diagnostic tool.

1. I cannot start another book until I have finished one and books I have read must be catalogued on Goodreads with the correct date of starting and finishing.
2. Physical books I am reading have to be kept pristine, no folds, creases or imperfections should be visible, preferably before, but definitely none in addition, during or after I have finished reading it.
3. Physical books I have not read must be kept out of contact and in a different pile to one’s I have read. The book I am currently reading cannot be kept in either the read or unread pile.
4. I need silence to read; no tv, music, chatting or radio in the background.
5. As quickly as I may read, I do not skim, I read closely.
6. I must know whilst I am reading on my Kindle ereader, just how much time it will take me to finish the book so I can plan my day accordingly.
7. Books (and ereaders/tablets) must not touch my feet or shoes.
8. I must highlight errors.
9. I must removed finished books from my ereader device immediately.
10. I must always have a book on the go.

There are more but for the sake of brevity, I have once again stuck to my top 10. If you have any reading quirks please share, of course, only if you want to.


10 thoughts on “How Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) Affects My Reading”

  1. Thanks for sharing. I also always need a book on the go. When i am about halfway through a book i need to have another book picked out to read. I cant stand the feeling of being done a book and not knowing what i am going to read next!!


  2. I don’t know if this is a quirk, but I cannot give up on a book no matter how much I dislike it. There have been books that have made me think “Why are you still reading this?” from beginning to end, yet I just couldn’t bring myself to stop reading. I’m pretty sure it has to do with the fact that if I don’t finish something, I feel like a failure. Ugh!


    1. I had difficulty with not finishing books but made an effort to stop reading any I didn’t enjoy last year, life is too short and there are too many books that you would like to be miserable with one you don’t enjoy.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I am #s 2, 5, and 10 and I have a TBR list (complete with author and title of series and stuff) on my laptop and another one handwritten on my notebook, and a books-read jar with date and rating.


  4. I try to keep my books in good shape. The first thing my sister does when she gets a new paperback, though, is break the spine so that it will open and lay flat more easily.


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