Books Magazine

What Type Of Reader Are You?

By Robert Bruce @robertbruce76

If you can say one thing about avid readers, it’s this: We’re a weird lot.

Every reader is unique. Many of us can be rather eccentric. And some of us can be just plain goofy.

So who are we?

Last year, The Atlantic Wire compiled a list of the many types of book readers. Inspired by that piece, I thought I’d have a little fun.

So I sat down, dug in, thought about all my reading experiences, and these are 8 types of readers I could think of:

The Academic

Looking through The Academic’s bookshelf is like revisiting the syllabus from your 400 level literature class in college. I don’t entirely question The Academic’s sincerity in his love of Joyce, Proust, and the other literary elite. But I also wonder when The Academic will finally get over the thinly-veiled man crush he had on Professor Snodgrass during his senior year 20 years ago.

The Grocery Store Romantic

Frosted Flakes? Check. Frozen lasagna? Check. Canned peas? Got ‘em. “Restless Heart” collection of romance novels featuring sweaty-chested men of all ethnicities in compromising positions with blond-haired women? Check.

The Two-Timer

How do you do this, Mr. Bookish Two-Timer? How do you read two books at once without getting all your characters and settings confused? If I tried to read two books at once, Mrs. Dalloway would somehow end up buying the flowers (herself) for one of Gatsby’s parties.

The Nonfiction Snob

If you’ve been reading 101 Books for a little while, you know all about the book snob. But the nonfiction snob is the ultimate of the book snob breed. Why? The nonfiction snob thinks some of the greatest books in the history of the world—you know, Moby Dick, The Great Gatsby, The Grapes of Wrath, etc—are beneath him because fiction is an “escape.” I’m not sure if this guy is a snob, or if he’s just dense.

The Collector

Dude doesn’t even read books. He just collects them like old leaves pressed into a laminated folder. So, okay, you bought a first edition, signed copy of Gone With The Wind. It wasn’t cheap, and you want to show it off. I get that. But how many John Grisham and Danielle Steel novels must you put on display, sans their dust jackets? C’mon man.

The Book Hipster

The Book Hipster will drive 94 miles to the nearest independent bookstore to avoid bowing at the altar of Amazon and other retailers they perceive as corporate warlords. Also, organic coffee, skinny jeans, and some form of Amish-leaning beard.

The Obsessive, Creepy Lady

Guys get a bad rap for being creepy, and it’s well deserved—or else books like Lolita would’ve never been written. But my guess is we all know one older lady who is WAY too obsessed with books like Twilight, Harry Potter, and (gulp) Fifty Shades of Gray. This is not an indictment on the legitimacy of those books (I’m a Potter fan), but let’s just say your 45-year-old co-worker who has a “Team Jacob” sticker on her desk might have crossed the line. Also, she’ll slice your neck with a letter opener if you tell her Twilight sucks.

The Dude Who Ain’t Got Time For That

You might call this guy the anti-reader: “Like, dude. My life is so, like, busy and all, I ain’t got time to read, man. Like, I read that, like, that Red Letter book in high school about the chick who gets knocked up and has that letter on her scarf or something, and, like, dude it was so boring. Yeah, man, reading, dude, like.”

I see myself in some of these—especially the Obsessive, Creepy Lady.

How about you?

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