Being a bookworm is awesome. It opens up strange new worlds, expands our horizons, helps us think critically, sparks the imagination — reading has countless benefits, and those who love books will argue to the death that reading is one of the most important things you can do. Being in love with books has its up and downs, of course; the following experiences are things that most book lovers experience during their relationship with reading.
1. There’s no such thing as having too many books.
It’s physically not possible to have too many books. The suggestion that you get rid of some of your beloved books makes you gasp in indignation; why would you ever get rid of books? Just because you’ve read them before doesn’t mean you won’t read them again.
2. You consider reading one of your hobbies.
Reading is one of your favorite things to do, and you’re not ashamed to admit it. You find reading to be just as — if not more — entertaining, exhilarating and inspiring than other pastimes, and you can’t imagine not taking time to read every day.
3. Many of the people you know think that reading is weird.
People have spent hours of your life telling you that reading is boring and how they just “can’t” read because they dislike it so much. Therefore, since you like a thing that they dislike, you must be weird.
4. You get funny looks when you mention that you like to read.
Telling people that you like to read is similar to telling people that you like to pin dead butterflies on your wall or have recently started learning puppetry and ventriloquism. You’ll get suspicious, side-eye glances from people who have now mentally classified you as dangerous, and most people will say something along the lines of, “Oh… that’s nice” when what they really mean is “Oh… so you’re one of those people.”
5. People also give you funny looks when they find out how many books you own.
The first time someone sees all your books, they ask why you need so many books, then quickly graduate to asking you when you’re going to get rid of them. They don’t understand how important these books are to you or why you get so defensive when people act like they’re a waste of space.
6. Sometimes you don’t even bother mentioning that you like to read.
Because of all the weird looks.
7. E-readers just aren’t the same.
You might use one for convenience, but you still love physical books the best. Their smell, the way they feel in your hands, the different sizes and covers… books are awesome.
8. You still have a library card.
When you were a kid it was a plain paper card, but it was later upgraded to a plastic card with a bar code. You also still remember what your old card looked like because you used it so often.
9. Your local librarian knows you well.
They greet you by name and ask about your job, your family and your pets, all of whom they know about in great detail because at this point, you’ve probably spent years of your life in the library.
10. You don’t understand people who don’t read.
Someone who says that they don’t read is usually alerting you to the fact that you will have nothing whatsoever in common with them, nor will you ever have anything to talk about.
11. You also don’t understand people who say they’ll read anything.
Like… anything? You have no preference whatsoever for certain authors, genres, time periods or writing styles? You’ll just read anything because someone puts it in front of your face and tells you that you should read it? This kind of person is terrifying to a book lover, giving off an aura akin to a literary zombie who just stumbles mindlessly through books, consuming them regardless of quality.
12. You’re always the annoying friend who’s telling people that the book was better than the movie.
No one wants to hear about it, but you can’t stop yourself from telling them anyway, delving into minute plot points and reasons why this was the worst movie in the world because the man character was supposed to be a redhead, not brunette.
13. In addition to your yearly purge of your closets, you also have to cut down your book collection every year.
Most people clean out their closets sometime during the spring and end up with a few bags of old clothes to donate to Goodwill. Book lovers, however, don’t just have to sort through old clothes; they also have to sort through their ever-growing piles of books and weed out the ones they know they’ll never read, the ones they don’t want anymore and the ones that someone gave them for their birthday five years ago while under the mistaken impression that they were into vampire romances. Every year, the local library gets a donation from you, and you hope that they won’t judge your taste in books.
14. You don’t have a ‘favorite’ book.
Asking you to pick a favorite book is like asking which you prefer, water or oxygen. There are millions of books out there in dozens of different genres from every single decade since writing books was invented; the thought of picking just one fills you with disgust and makes you not want to ever talk to the person asking you what your favorite book is again, because clearly they don’t understand how books work.
15. People think it’s OK to interrupt you while you’re reading.
They justify their heinous actions because you “weren’t doing anything.” No one understands why, when they walk into a room and start talking to you while you’re reading, you snarl at them like a wolf savaging the carcass of a deer.
16. You’re skittish about letting people borrow books.
If you give it to them, will they ever give it back? Unless you’re lending it to a fellow book-lover, there’s no guarantee that this person will understand how much you value your books. They might forget about it for months, leaving you fretting over your precious book while visions of coffee stains, water stains and highlighter marks fill your paranoid head.
17. You have very specific images of characters in your brain.
This means that when the movie version of the book comes out, you recoil when none of the characters look like you imagined. The worst part is that now the movie versions are stuck in your imagination forever, usurping your original vision of the character. It’s a big deal.
18. Dog-eared pages and underlines make you shudder.
You love buying used books, but sometimes you get one that has had almost every page turned down and seemingly every other sentence underlined. It drives you insane. If every sentence is important, why not just leave out the underlines? It’s not like you need to remember one specific page; clearly they’re all important, and underlining every sentence will literally never help you find anything. Drawing all over a book and bending every page is like desecration in your eyes, and you feel indignant on behalf of the book.
19. You still have all your childhood books somewhere.
The Narnia and Harry Potter books hold an honored place on your bookshelf, and somewhere you probably still have all those random paperback from middle school that you got at book fairs. When you’re feeling nostalgic, these books are like a window into your childhood.
20. You often read more than one book at a time.
Reading just one book is so limiting. Why not read three at a time? It’s hard to resist the allure of multiple books, especially when you’re in the process of reading an old book when you get a new one. You know you’re not going to wait to read the new one, but you’re certainly not going to just stop reading the old one. And oh look, there’s another one you’ve been meaning to reread. Better just read them all.
21. You have more than one copy of certain books
Maybe your old copy of a favorite book is falling apart, but you can’t bear to part with it, so you buy a new copy and keep the old one in a special place on a bookshelf where it will never be disturbed and its pages will never fall out. Or maybe you have an old paperback copy of something, but someone gives you a special leather-bound edition for your birthday because they know how much you love it. What are you going to do, not keep both of them? No way.
22. You sometimes put off finishing a really good book because you don’t want it to be over
Reading a truly excellent book is a wonderful experience, but as you draw closer and closer to the end, you start to read less and less instead of plowing through it at your formerly ridiculous pace. It’s not because you’re not still interested; it’s because you can’t stand the thought of this glorious book coming to an end, leaving you hollow and empty inside because there’s no more book to read.