If there’s anything avid readers will understand, it’s doing weird things. After all, we’re all a little nutty around here. I think it takes a certain degree of eccentricity to devote yourself to near-constant reading. And maybe it shows itself in our strange (but lovable) reading quirks. So here, in no particular order, are the peculiar things avid readers do that just make sense … if only to us.
#1. The bookmark check.
Is there anything more satisfying than shutting a book at the end of a reading session and checking to see how far the bookmark has moved? It’s like the gamification of reading: can I beat my highest record of page turns in a single session? Did I read enough to count? Or, possibly, it’s just the unmatched satisfaction of bearing witness to how much progress we’ve made.
#2. Using audiobooks to double your productivity.
On my corner of the internet, we don’t gate-keep. Audiobooks are a perfectly valid way to enjoy reading, and no one knows this better than avid book-lovers. We are the ones who have audiobooks cued up in our cars, while we’re in the shower, and in our earbuds while walking around the grocery store. Please don’t interrupt. We might have just reached a juicy spot.
#3. Shelf trophies.
Related to point #2 is this little nugget: purchasing the physical copy of audiobooks we’ve read to display on our bookshelf. Yes, it’s technically buying the book twice. But if we don’t have the physical copy, how will anyone know we’ve read it?
#4. Reading glasses in every room.
We simply don’t have time to track down our glasses every time we sit down to read. We really never know where we’re going to cozy up with a book, so it’s important to have reading glasses always in reach.
#5. Dread and anxiety when our TBR list gets too long.
Maybe this isn’t all avid readers, but I know a lot of us have a love/hate relationship with our TBR (To Be Read) list. We constantly buy books because we simply must have them, but we feel anxious when we don’t feel like we’re making our way through that list fast enough.
#6. Changing our entire personality based on the book we’re reading.
I honestly don’t know how to explain this one to anyone who hasn’t experienced it. Our vocabulary, syntactic style, and even our conversational interests will morph to match the vibe of our current book. On more than one occasion this year, I have unintentionally adopted a Trans-Atlantic accent and begun using words like looking glass and heterodoxy, much to my family’s confusion.
#7. Going to GoodReads to decide if we liked a book.
This doesn’t happen often, but sometimes it’s just hard to tell whether we’ve liked a book or not. When faced with Likes and Dislikes list of equal length, we’ll cart ourselves off to GoodReads to let the reviews settle the score.
#8. Being complete snobs about films based on books.
Sorry, we know this is obnoxious. But we can’t help it! Listen, we do understand that they can’t possibly fit all the beautiful nuances of a well-written book into a 90-minute movie. We also understand that certain creative liberties must be taken to close plot holes that came from removing large portions of the story. We get it! Still, we will always absolutely despise it.
#9. Freezing when someone asks us to name our favorite books and authors.
When you consume books like oxygen, it gets harder and harder to name favorite authors or books. There are just so many to love that it can be overwhelming to winnow them down to an easily digestible list on the spot! The truth is that we could all do it, given enough time to stare at our shelves. But even that is painful.
#10. Constantly agonizing over bookshelf organization.
By author name? No, by height. Noooo, by jacket color! Or what about by genre? Should a bookshelf be aesthetically pleasing, like decor, or highly functional, like the library? These are questions we torment ourselves over, often re-organizing our shelves several times a year.
Despite our quirks, we are all united by a sincere love and devotion to books. All these strange behaviors are born out of our obsession with knowledge, with fantasy, with imagination and whimsy. It’s a beautiful, bookish life we lead. And we wouldn’t have it any other way.
Amber Wardell is a doctor of psychology and author who speaks on women’s issues related to marriage, motherhood, and mental health. Subscribe to the free newsletter to get exclusive content delivered to your inbox and to never miss an upload.