We, the book-inclined, could brag for days about the many glories a life full of books. In fact, there have even been books written about the virtues of loving books so much. There are literally millions upon millions of books in the world, which means millions upon millions of people throughout history and the world who share your passion and pretty much think your hobby is the coolest hobby. And, of course, there’s that perfectly romantic scene you see everywhere of the reader sipping some perfect beverage in some perfect quiet setting, looking like the very definition of peace.
But being a book-lover isn’t always hot cocoa and looking smart at the coffee shop. The book nerd struggle is real sometimes. I know, I know; it seems hard to believe that book-lovers aren’t all just in a state of constant erudite bliss. But sometimes all that reading takes a toll in the most unexpected ways.
Fine. Nobody’s gonna lose sleep (which is totally a book-nerd struggle) over the struggles of the bookish person, but I'll steal the soap box for the next 1,500 words, anyway. Here are 13 times every book-lover has had to seriously consider taking on a new hobby (not that we could ever be cured of our book love).
When You Tried To Read Charles Dickens Too Young and Had To Look Up Every Other Word
And if you’re an '80s baby like I am, you had to use an actual behemoth-sized dictionary. You’d think it would take all of the pleasure out of reading to have to stop and look up every fifth word in a book (and possibly the words in the definitions, too!). But I’m certain it’s only the nerdiest of book nerds who would dare to read venture onto Dickens at such an incapable age anyway, so, naturally, we survived the frustration, and are probably the jerks whom you hate who use big, excessive words for no reason whatsoever.
When You Tried To Date That Hot Guy/Girl And Then Found Out S/he Doesn’t Read
If only… just this one time. But alas, s/he did not in fact get that killer butt from running up and down the stacks at the public library in a literary frenzy. And it turns out that no matter how hard you try, you just can’t bring yourself to date a girl/guy who doesn’t read.
When Your Doctor Asks You When’s The Last Time You Exercised…
And you realize that you’ve actually just been on one long binge-read for the past 20 years, and kind of forgot that you should probably get your nose out of a book and jog or something every once and a while. That's what audiobooks are for, though, right?
When You Had a Wrist Cramp That Lasted For Weeks After You Finally Took On War & Peace
Hey, skateboarding and parkour aren’t the only hobbies that come with physical endangerment. Have you ever tried holding up a 1,440-page tome to reading height for several (otherwise blissfully absorbing) hours at a time… for however many days it takes a normal human to read 1,440 pages? Dedicated readers regularly sacrifice wrist health in the name of good literature!
Every Time You Have to Renew Your Glasses Prescription
For the unlucky among book-lovers, there are glasses to contend with. And, even though you know you need them, you still attempt to read without them, anyway (like when you’re desperate to dive back into your book first thing in the morning but your glasses are… way...over...there). This only makes things worse! In your future, there's a trip to the eye doctor for a brand new prescription, and you contemplating if the new guy/girlfriend would be up for reading Jane Austen novels (with the voices) to a very blind you in 20 years.
When You Finally Remember To Go Outside… Only To End Up With Reader’s Tan
Look, it’s really hard to read with the sun in your eyes, and you know what makes a pretty useful sun-blocker? A book in front of your face. You know what makes for a terrible way to make sure your face tans evenly with the rest of your body? …A book in front of your face. There are many possible species of “Reader’s Tan,” all of them the embarrassing signs of a really good book and a beach day where you probably never once even got in the water.
When You Realize That All Of Your Social Media Accounts Kind Of Make It Look You Might Be An Animate Book, Instead of As An Actual Living, Breathing Human
Next to your friends' pictures of parties and beaches and cook-outs and quirky updates on how quirky and awesome their lives are, your status updates look pretty sad. Go ahead, take a look through your Facebook/Instagram/Twitter photos right now. How many shots do you have of your tea + cat + couch reading setup? Or yet another photo of a pile of your latest bookstore haul? Or, the worst an up-close shot of a whole page of text... just the actual text of a page… you know, because you wanted to quote the book but the quote was too long or you couldn’t decide which part to use… or typing it out was just too much effort for the day?
When You’re Insanely Sleep Deprived All Week Because the Book Is Just That Good
We all know the struggle. It’s the ever-losing battle between your 6 a.m. alarm and the last 10 pages of the super suspenseful Chapter 7… and then, of course, you can’t just go to sleep on that cliffhanger… Who needs sleep anyway? Less sleep = more books!
When You Read The Last Sentence Of The Last Book of the Harry Potter Series…
...and realize in one agonizing moment that the lives of the characters you’ve grown to love will have to live on exclusively in your own imagination. It’s a little bit like they’ve died, or, like they’ve been frozen, completely inanimate, in time. Thus deprived, you just wander around in a daze for a few days, not sure what to do with the sudden cryogenesis of your dear friends made over a saga of 7 books and 10 years. It’s real, y’all. Last Page Syndrome is real...
During Practically Every Episode of Season 5 of Game of Thrones
Maybe if you had just never read the books, then it wouldn’t be so terribly shocking and disappointing to see such egregious digressions from the books, especially when it comes to scenes like the one between Ramsay and Sansa (you know the one). Actually, nope, never mind, pretty much everyone should be completely disturbed and kinda pissed about that.
When Every Single One Of Your Friends and Family Got You The New Madame Bovary Translation For Your Birthday
OK, let’s be real. You wouldn’t actually be upset if that happened. But what actually happens is more like this… You suddenly find a bunch of book-shaped gifts at your doorstep on your birthday, and you get super-excited, gnawing on the impossible-to-open FedEx packages only to find yourself buried in books so random that you can’t be entirely sure that these benevolent gift-givers didn’t actually just close their eyes and spin around in a bookstore to select them. No, seriously. I sincerely hope that whoever bought me that copy of Justin Bieber’s autobiography didn’t actually do it with any sincerity whatsoever. It may be the only way I’ll ever forgive you.
To your friends and family, your single most defining trait is your overwhelming love for all things literature (they can’t be blamed for this; your Instagram does actually boast more pictures of books than humans), but how they manage to translate “book-lover” into “lover of any book whatsoever as long as it has pages and a cover” is beyond me.
When You’re Moving… Again
This one is so well-known. The familiar cry: Why, oh why, couldn’t I have been into collecting leaves or something?! Books are heavy, yes. But also, books can be isolating, and if you just spent the past few months blowing off all your friends to finally tackle Les Miserables, then good luck getting those friends to lend a hand.
Images: Giphy (12); Warner Bros.; Andrew Hefter/Flickr