If you’re a book-lover, your friends and acquaintances have probably made countless generalizations about what your personality must be like based on the fact that you love books. Because if you’re a fan of reading, you MUST prefer to stay in and read every night, right? And you must be an introvert, and you must be shy, and you must be Hermione Granger in all aspects of your life.
And although being Hermione Granger is a completely amazing goal, not all book-lovers are cardboard cutouts of the same literary character. Because surprise! Book-lovers come in all shapes and sizes, which is perhaps why there are so many different kinds of books.
Sure, some stereotypes are correct. Chances are you’ve read (or plan to read) the latest bestseller, you probably have an opinion about e-readers versus print books, you also have a some thoughts about movie adaptations of books, and you have (at one point or another) wished your favorite book never had to end. However, despite the fact that some of the generalizations are totally true, there are just as many (if not more) that are as wrong as completely cutting Hermione’s dedication to S.P.E.W. from all the Harry Potter films.
You're Not Antisocial
Sure, you may lock yourself in your room from time to time to finish the latest page-turner you picked up at a local indie bookstore. And yeah, sometimes you just need to spend some quality time with the characters from your favorite series. But that doesn't mean you can't enjoy a party or a night out with living, breathing human beings. After all, you probably know more about social interaction than anyone, because you've read so much that you understand every character. I mean, person.
You Don't Always Read the Book Before Watching the Movie
Sure, most of the time you will complain that "the book was way better" and "Ginny was completely different in the books," but there are times when even you will cheat and see the movie first. After all, sometimes a person really wants to see Keira Knightley in Anna Karenina without conquering Tolstoy's 800-page work first.
You Don't Expect Everyone To Love Reading As Much As You Do
Even though you're obsessed with books, you don't expect everyone to share that same passion. You may not understand it, and you may try to change it by constantly recommending different options for books, saying that "you just haven't found the genre you like yet!" But truly, you're capable of being friends with people who hate reading, because...
You Have Other Hobbies Besides Reading
People may not believe it, because you're constantly talking about the latest book you read, and it doesn't seem humanly possible for a person to fit in that much reading AND a hobby, too — but truth be told, you somehow manage that feat.
You Don't Try To Make People Read Because You Want To Change Them — You Just Want Everyone To Experience The Joy You've Found in Books
OK, if you have plenties of hobbies in common with someone, but you're STILL recommending books... truly, it's not because you want you to change their personality. You like them, you really do. And that's why you keep recommending books — because they've had such a profound, amazing impact on your life, and you want everyone to be able to experience that.
You Still Watch Netflix
Remember how you have other hobbies besides reading? Well, some of those include watching Netflix, and you watch just as much as the next person. Maybe more. After all, if your favorite series is adapted for television, you're going to have to watch every episode. So though you do spend a lot of nights curled up with a book, sometimes you curl up with your laptop, too.
There Are Times When You'd Rather Do Other Things Than Read
It's true. Though many online quizzes suggest that a book-lover's favorite Friday night activity is reading the newest bestseller, that's not always the case. Sometimes, you actually want to go to parties or train for a 10k or try out a new recipe. Though reading is obviously always high on the list, sometimes you'd just rather be doing other things — after all, you need to have plenty of real-life experiences so you can understand book characters more fully.
You Didn't Necessarily Grow Up As An Avid Reader
Not all of you grew up with a book in your hands. Some of you had stacks of The Magic Treehouse on your shelves, others preferred playing outside. What matters is not how you got there, what matters is that you ended up loving books in the end.
Sometimes, You Hated Assigned School Reading As Much As Everyone Else Did
Just because you loved reading young adult fantasy doesn't mean you loved reading whatever random classic the teacher chose for class. There's nothing worse than having an entire summer to read whatever you want, feeling extremely excited, and then finding out that the school is forcing you to read Great Expectations. Granted, you secretly liked it in the end, but chances are you complained about having to read it just as much as the next person.
Just Because Two People Both Love Reading Doesn't Mean They'll Be Best Friends... Or Soulmates
You've been through it a million times. Your friend says, "That person loves reading? Must be your soulmate!!!" But then that person only enjoys autobiographical poems, and you're more into quirky lit fiction, or vice versa, and suddenly you have nothing to talk about once again. Or worse, that person hates your favorite book and you hate theirs, and suddenly it's an all-out feud.
You Don't Love Every Book
Yes, it's true. You are a book-lover, but that doesn't mean you love all books. There are inevitably those novels that make you cringe, and sometimes ones that you all-out refuse to read. Maybe someday you'll give them a try, and you always reserve the right to change your mind, but for now you've got your favorites, and they have a special place in your heart — and on your bookshelf.
You Haven't Read Everything
Aristotle said, "the more you know, the more you know you don't know." Similarly, the more you read, the more you realize you haven't read. When people find out you're a book-lover, they will suddenly begin quizzing you and asking you if you've read this book, or THIS book, and suddenly your to-read list is pages long. As Frank Zappa said, "So many books, so little time."
Sometimes, You Skim Stuff
Whether you're trying to get through a long and tedious work, or trying to get to the end of a thriller to see what's going to happen ( The Girl on the Train , anyone?), sometimes, you skim stuff. It's part of life. And sometimes... crazy but true... you use SparkNotes, too. Cue collective gasp.
You Know Book Characters Aren't Real
...But that doesn't mean you don't feel real emotional pain when your favorite character is going through a difficult time. Or happiness when things are finally looking up for them. YOU FEEL ALL THE FEELS.
And Ultimately, You Know You're Not A Character in a Book
Just kidding. You're totally in a book.
Images(15): Melanie Allan/flickr; Giphy