From grade school onwards, avid readers get a lot of flak. This may be because reading is one of the most solitary pleasures; it’s not an obvious means of bonding with peers (even though, duh, reading connects us with other people and cultures). Most sweeping generalizations about book lovers are completely untrue: We all wear glasses, our heads are always in the clouds, and we’re usually overcome with crippling awkwardness when we’re forced to socialize.
On the other hand, some stereotypes seem to be accurate: We’re hoarders, we idealize the lives of authors, and, no surprise here, we spend a whole lot of time in bookstores. These qualities are nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, they should be embraced! Here are 31 absolutely true, and absolutely wonderful stereotypes about book lovers:
1. You never leave home without a book.
2. In fact, you may or may not have been known to show up at restaurants, movie theaters, and bars, with a book in tow.
3. The idea of moving is a profound source of stress, if only because you can’t imagine sorting, packing, and lifting your stacks of prized hardcovers.
4. This might be because you have issues with letting go of your prized editions, and could probably be diagnosed as a hoarder.
5. In fact, you’d rather buy a new copy of a book for a friend than let her borrow your personal copy…
6. …because everyone knows there’s nothing worse than bent spines and dog-eared pages, that is, if you ever even SEE the book again.
7. But that doesn’t stop you from being obnoxiously pushy and opinionated about your favorite books.
8. Holidays are just another excuse to share classics and hidden gems with your friends and family; never mind their looks of disappointment upon receiving War and Peace instead of the latest gadgets, or even, like, a cool tie.
9. Some people have favorite basketball teams; you have favorite translations.
10. In fact, if authors had trading cards, you’d collect them all.
11. Author biographies and Wikipedia pages are your celebrity tabloids…
12. …although part of you may only be interested in how famous writers became so well-loved, because you secretly know that you yourself are only one page away from starting the Great American Novel.
13. Bad movie adaptations have the potential to ruin your entire summer.
14. Finding a typo in a book is the equivalent of hearing nails screech across a blackboard.
15. Forget freshly-baked cookies; your favorite smell is a musty, old book.
16. You have strong, unwavering opinions about e-readers versus physical books…
17. But regardless of your stance, you poured one out when Borders finally shut down…
18. And were on the welcoming committee when the new indie bookstore showed up in your neighborhood.
19. You cringe when you peruse airline bookstores. The trashy paperbacks! The terrible translations! The horror! (That doesn’t stop you from buying a new book for the plane, though).
20. Packing lightly can be an issue; can you really be expected to pack all of your reading material in just two carry-ons?
21. Vicinity to a great bookstore or library is definitely a bigger real estate perk than exposed brick. Location, location, location!
22. Some of your favorite, happiest moments as a child were reading books with your parents.
23. Some people rescue stray animals; you rescue books. Stumbling upon a copy of a classic that you already own, abandoned on a stoop or thoughtlessly strewn on a garage sale table, inevitably leads to the “can we keep it? can we, can we?” talk.
24. You fantasize about meeting a romantic interest in a bookstore…
25. And you always judge your potential significant others based on their bookshelves. Atlas Shrugged is more of a red flag than bad manners.
26. You’re shocked, confused and disappointed when your life doesn’t follow a logical narrative arc. “It wasn’t supposed to happen this way!” you sigh when your friend cancels dinner plans, and then proceed to hop into bed to read your favorite book for the eighth time.
27. “So, what do you for fun?” is an anxiety-inducing question. Apparently, most people don’t really think reading is all that fun.
28. Look, carrying The Goldfinch around all day is good enough of a work out…