Tuesday, July 31, 2012

I Hardly Ever Wash My Hands: Book Review

You've probably noticed a number of people this month reviewing the book I Hardly Ever Wash My Hands, by J.J. Keeler. Here's another.

One of Keeler's stated goals in writing the book is to make people aware that OCD isn't just about being hyper organized or washing your hands all the time. As such, each chapter runs through a different "type" of OCD that she's dealt with over the years: fear of violently harming others, fear of hitting someone while driving, scrupulosity, fear of AIDS.

Her writing style is nice, and she has a great sense of humor. On more than one occasion I truly laughed out loud while reading, although sometimes it was just because I saw myself so much in what she was writing.

While I haven't suffered with most of the specific fears that she has, the idea of the "what ifs" clearly comes through in her writing, and I can sure relate to that.

Most of the book is written for those without OCD, so they can understand a little better what we go through. The last chapter, however, is written to those with OCD, with her advice for dealing with it. I liked this chapter; the advice is useful and in many cases practical and she gives examples from her own life.

I enjoyed the book. It was a quick and interesting read. I would have liked to have read more about her journey to where she is today. Most of the information was anecdotal details of her struggle, written with a humorous bent. The final chapter seems to indicate that while she still struggles, she's developed a strong toolkit against OCD. I'd like to learn a little more about the process of how she got from there to here.


  1. Well-written review, Ann. I enjoyed the book, too, but also wanted to read more about her treatment/recovery.

  2. I'm glad you found some helpful and practical tips in that final chapter!

    Thanks for being on the tour.

  3. sounds interesting, I'm wondering if any of my major OCD issues are listed in it (I haven't ever met another person with the same problems as me, i kind of question what I have at times). I've never once picked up a book on ocd, maybe it would help. =P