“A place isn’t a place until it has a bookstore.” This line resonates in my head long after I put down Gabrielle Zevin’s The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry, which I reviewed yesterday. It makes me think that as long as there are people who care about books, bookstores will not die. Despite the staggering rent in my hometown, Hong Kong, bookstores still thrive in silence. Whether they are corporates like Eslite (from Taiwan) and Page One (from Singapore) or indies, there are people who are passionate about the business sustaining them. Reading is more than a hobby in the same way a bookstore is more than a business. It’s where readers come together to talk about books and spur one another on to more books. I know I’m sentimental when I talk about how I long for the feel of a book in my hands and prefer the…
We Addicted Readers must face the music when it comes to our habits and lifestyles as bookish people. Sometimes we behave ourselves and sometimes we just can’t find the willpower to do so. Sometimes (or most of the time) we book-crazies participate in BAD BOOKISH BEHAVIOR that outwardly shames us but inwardly rewards us in oh so many ways. Book offenses include and are NOT limited to: racking up small fines on our overdue library books (while complaining about that overdue book another patron has failed to turn in), loading up on books we never intend to read (because we know there’s only 24 hours in a day and we’ve still got so many unfinished books in progress), and selfishly stealing too much alone time (to down some coffee and turn some pages, of course!) Put simply, we do things that defy both logic and understanding (well, to non-bookworms, anyways). Although non-bookish people (to be avoided, perhaps?) tell us we’re nuts and we sometimes might believe that to be the case, it takes commitment as readers to be introspective enough about ourselves to admit we’re not perfect. I’m here to analyze the Seven Deadly Sins of the Reader, and well, I’m guilty of just about all of these…on a daily basis, no less!
*My personal ratings are based on a 10-point scale, by the way.
She’s guilty of book LUST since she brought the blessed pages to her bed. You’re only supposed to share your bed with those you love, right? (Right?)
You’re just not considered *OFFICIALLY* book-crazy until you’ve really thought about how you think of and treat your books (both owned and borrowed). Every serious Reader reaches this point eventually, and it’s kind of mind-blowing when you do. You must sit down and analyze your relationship to these babies. First things first…
Do you find yourself treating these guys (books) like lovers you can’t get enough of?
Do you steal precious time away from so-called “normal”/”conventional” activities in order to read these things, as if you’re off on a secret book tryst no one can know about?
Do you take your sweet time with this or that book in order to savor the flavor of each and find yourself enjoying every delicious moment?
Are you struggling to return your library books for fear you might never get back to page 456 to continue the story?
Are you hopelessly in love with each and every book you get your hands on?
Do you sleep with your books? Do you roll over in the morning and expect them to be lying there like a slumbering lover?
If you relate to any or all of those feelings, you’re guilty of book LUST.
My personal book LUST rating: 8.5 most days, although I don’t sleep with my books…yet.
She’s hungry for knowledge…literally. She’s a book GLUTTON.
I don’t know if it’s even sensible to say any of us are book gluttons, as we cannot physically consume books. Although we do make up for that inconvenient fact in many other ways.
You might be a book glutton if you:
Think the only healthy activity is reading. (Who needs physical exercise like jogging, you’re expanding your mind!)
Bring your books to the breakfast or dinner table.
Consume your pages as if they were sustenance all their own.
Skip meals to read.
Think “I can get my reading time in!” when you think about lunch or snack time.
Actually eat your books (but don’t do this, okay?)
If you do any or all of those things, you’re guilty of book GLUTTONY.
My personal book GLUTTONY rating: 5.0 most days. I never eat with my books for fear of ruining their precious quality, but I sometimes have coffee nearby when reading. This is taking a risk, I know. I DO think reading is exceptionally healthy, although not to the exclusion of other activities, and I consume my books rather slowly most of the time. I don’t eat them, that’s not nice.
Book GREED is bad? Does not compute.
Everyone is guilty of greediness from time to time. I don’t think there’s a truly selfless person out there who hasn’t desired to have it all at some point. For us bookish folk, greed naturally means more books, and in the most severe cases, more usually isn’t enough.
You might be book GREEDY if you:
Obsessively check out library books and line them up on your shelves at home as if you own them. *I DO THIS…*shame face*
Can’t walk into ANY book store (retail or used) without buying (or at least wanting to buy) sixteen titles.
Compulsively search for books on Goodreads and your library database.
Hoard your books and don’t let anyone touch them, let alone read them.
Instinctively put holds on books you might be interested in perusing in the next six months to one year.
Steal books from people you care about.
Never have room for new books and would sooner die than retire old ones.
If you do any or all of those things, you’re guilty of book GREEDINESS.
My personal book GREED rating: 9.5 most days. Getting rid of books is like pulling teeth for me but I can do it if need be. I shamefully admit that I obsessively check out library books and line them up on my shelves at home as if they were my own children. I compulsively search for books on Goodreads and other relevant sites, and I instinctively put holds on books I might be interested in perusing in the next six months to one year. I don’t steal books (I would never!) but I do borrow them like I’m afflicted.
Books IN the chairs now? That’s a sure sign of a book SLOTH.
Anyone who dreams of and hopes for rainy/snowy or otherwise inclement weather is surely planning on using that sweet time to read and imbibe their beverage of choice. And possibly sit near a cozy fire. And when the weather’s nice, there’s no need to really participate in it, just sunning on the deck with a drink and a book is enough exertion. Sloth it up!
You might be a book SLOTH if you:
Don’t plan on leaving your house once you start a book.
Turn down offers to work out, dine out, or otherwise socialize because you’d rather be sitting at home lazing about with your pages.
Have furniture that rather conveniently incorporates your books in a safely architectural way (see the photo).
Don’t mind the creepy, crappy weather because you’ve started a new Stephen King.
Don’t fully immerse yourself in the super-fantastic nice weather because you’ve started a new Stephen King.
Don’t answer your phone while reading.
Have no idea why it’s “unhealthy” to read in bed…(HINT: because you’ll never stop and catch up on your sleep! You’ll basically be a walking zombie in less than a week.)
Invite your loved ones to snuggle with you…but only if they grab a book and read too.
If you can relate to any or all of those things, you’re guilty of being a book SLOTH.
My personal book SLOTH rating: 7.5 most days. I’m kinda lazy in general (not that I don’t know the value of hard work when it’s necessary) but when books are added to the equation I’m hopelessly gone. I enjoy crappy, rainy/snowy weather because I know it is conducive to reading time for me. Sometimes I don’t answer phone calls or text messages until I’ve finished at least the paragraph I’m on (although I don’t make a habit of doing this because people are more important than Readage, right? Psshhhttt…the jury’s still out on that one).
Don’t take it out on your books even if you tend to get book WRATH.
Everyone gets angry, whether it’s at their spouse, children, co-workers, or fellow traffic-people. People get mad at themselves quite often as well. Bookish nuts get angry (sometimes downright hostile) at the choices both authors and fictional characters make while they’re reading. It’s a serious issue for some of us.
You might have book WRATH issues if you:
Have been known to throw your book across the room when mad at or disappointed in a character.
Have contributed bombastic complaints about an author’s decision to kill off a truly beloved character (or two).
Don’t like to surrender your books.
Can’t or won’t give up your reading time.
Scold yourself for not making more time for reading.
Stop talking to your friends or family when they admit they didn’t like your all-time favorite novel.
Hate NOT reading.
If you have done any or all of those things, you’re guilty of book WRATH.
My personal book WRATH rating: 4.0 most days. I tend to get a bit moody if I haven’t had adequate reading/reflection time during the day. I shame myself when I absentmindedly turn on the TV when I already promised myself I would read instead. I don’t like to surrender my books and I’m always sad to see them go back to the library, even if I haven’t cracked the cover.
Even cats have book ENVY.
There’s no way around this one sometimes, and this one can strike at any given moment. It comes upon you quick like a viper, and that’s all she wrote.
You might be guilty of book ENVY if you:
See someone reading the newest bestseller you’ve been waiting to get your hands on and unfortunately you want to snatch it from their hands.
Are jealous of anyone who receives a book for a present.
Have to share a book with someone and you just can’t make it work.
Are envious of authors because they wrote the book you were only thinking about.
Find out the book you’ve purchased from Amazon has sold out and you’re wishing there weren’t so many people in the world to compete with.
Keep your books all to yourself and don’t let anyone touch them, let alone read them.
If you find yourself troubled by any of those things, you’re guilty of book ENVY.
My personal book ENVY rating: 3.5 most days. I’m pretty well-behaved with this one but I do not like being sixth in line on a holds list. I kinda envy the people at the top of the list.
Be proud of yourself, I mean your shelf…show your book PRIDE!
All I can say about this one is: OWN IT! If you are who you’re supposed to be and you’re supposed to be a Reader, then dammit READ until your vision fails you! It’s fine to wish for more hours in the day in order to turn more pages, and if you’re sick with book pride there’s always someone out there to be sick with you. I’m all in with this one, and anyone reading this blog post right now really should be too.
You might be guilty (although guilty is a dirty word here) of book PRIDE if you:
Really don’t care if you get caught reading at someone’s wedding or birthday party.
Announce a favorite author’s newly published book with an insane fervor no one else understands.
Have written/published your own work.
If you wear bookish clothing or have bookish accessories proudly displaying your book affection.
Patronize your library almost every day.
READ enough to be considered a “serious” or “professional” reader.
If you take your Readage seriously, then you’re guilty of book PRIDE, and that’s freaking cool!
My personal book PRIDE rating: 10! Off the charts, baby. That’s kinda why I’m writing this blog.
So…there you have it, my lovely book people. I hope you enjoyed your foray through The Seven Deadly (OK not so Deadly) Sins of The Reader. It is my pleasure to inform you that there is NO CURE or TRUE PUNISHMENT for any of these afflictions/offenses, except possibly…dare I say it, ADDITIONAL READING!
Hey guys! Lo and behold, it appears that 2015 is off to a great reading start! I can’t believe I’ve already knocked out 4 (mostly great) books this year. Here’s my progress so far, with updates and more to come!
8) a funny book: “My Horizontal Life,” Chelsea Handler (borrowed copy)
11) a book with a one-word title: “Lullaby,” Chuck Palahniuk (library copy)
26) a memoir: “Catch a Fire: The Autobiography,” Melanie B. (owned copy)
10) a mystery/thriller: “Mr. Mercedes,” Stephen King (library copy)
Also, I have made a late New Year’s resolution: to read more books and stress about the blog less. I know I should be able to do it all (read, blog, stress out, etc.) but I’m just not okay with READAGE = STRESS! I’m back in school and just can’t commit to being on here and updating every week and certainly not every day! I am coming to terms with the fact that it might be a month or two before I have something interesting to post or update. I realize that blogging about books requires me to read so that’s what I’m doing! And I’m enjoying it, regardless of whether I crank out a book review or not.
2015 is shaping up to be a swell reading experience, and I can’t wait to keep plugging along! Please, please, please let me hear from you guys and let’s continue talking books!