We Avid Readers must face the music when it comes to our habits and lifestyles as bookish people. Sometimes we book-crazies participate in BAD BOOKISH BEHAVIOR that outwardly shames us but inwardly rewards us. 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 return), 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 (to non-bookworms). Although non-bookish people tell us we’re nuts and we’re apt to believe it’s true, 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!
It’s simple: you’re 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 eventually reaches this point, and it’s kind of mind-blowing when you do. You must sit down and analyze your relationship to these inanimate objects, and if you relate to any of the following, you’re lusting for sure:
- Do you find yourself treating these guys (books) like lovers you can’t get enough of? Are you getting a bit clingy?
- Do you steal precious time away from other activities in order to read, as if you’re off on a secret book tryst?
- Are you struggling to return your library books for fear you might never get back to page 456 to continue the story?
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!)
- Consume your pages as if they were sustenance all their own.
- Skip meals to read.
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.
- 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.
- Instinctively put holds on books you might be interested in perusing in the next six months to one year.
Anyone who dreams of and hopes for rainy/snowy or otherwise inclement weather is surely planning on using that sweet time to read. You might be a book sloth if you:
- Don’t plan on leaving your house once you start a book.
- Don’t answer your phone while reading.
- Invite your loved ones to snuggle with you…but only if they grab a book and read too.
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 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).
- Stop talking to your friends or family when they admit they didn’t like your all-time favorite novel.
There’s no way around this one sometimes, and this one can strike at any given moment. 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.
- 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.
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 post right now really should be too. You might be guilty (although guilty is NOT a dirty word here) of book pride if you:
- 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.
So…there you have it, book people. It is my pleasure to inform you that there is NO CURE or TRUE PUNISHMENT for any of these offenses, except possibly…dare I say it, ADDITIONAL READING!
Keep ’em turning,