In some ways, book-lovers are just like ordinary people. We do things like talk and walk around and eat bread. But hang around a true book-lover for long enough, and you’ll start to notice a few key differences. For example, where a normal pedestrian might spend their money on rent or food, a book-lover prefers to live in a large cardboard box surround entirely by hardcovers. Book-lovers will frequently claim to be “bummed” that they can’t make it to your boyfriend’s cover band competition, when in fact they are quite content to stay home and read. There are also a few hidden talents that all book-lovers possess, so here are several things that book-lovers do better than anyone else.
Of course, book-lovers tend to keep their secret superpowers pretty quiet most of the time. We’re not going around bragging about our ability to find 99p paperbacks within a five mile radius of any given location. We’re not trying to make other people feel bad, just because we’re better at eating spaghetti while reading without getting sauce on the pages. And we’d definitely never let anyone know how good we at rereading the same book over and over again without ever getting bored.
But just in case you need a reminder, here are a few things that book-lovers do better:
1. Notice every change between book and movie
Even if we like the film adaptation, most book-lovers take intense mental (or literal) notes on every scene, character, and line of dialogue that’s different. We might forget birthdays and keys, but we remember every Ron line that was inexplicably given to Hermione in the movie. Same goes for TV shows. Don’t watch Game of Thrones with me unless you want to hear my lengthy feelings about the changes to the Dorne plot line.
2. Pull all-nighters
If the book is good enough, book-lovers have the ability to go for long periods of time without food, sleep, or social interaction. All we need is a flashlight and a novel, and we’re happy until dawn. We might not be great at showing up to work on time the next morning, but we don’t let a little thing like sleep deprivation get in the way of reading.
3. Concentrate while on the train/bus/airplane
So what if we miss a stop every once in a while? Book-lovers are excellent at shutting out the so-called “real world.” We might prefer peace and quiet, but in a pinch we can read just about anywhere (which also makes us excellent at avoiding eye contact with strangers).
4. Keep a well-loved book together by sheer force of willpower
What some people consider a loose pile of pages, we consider a beloved member of the family. Some book-lovers are more precious with their books than others, but all book-lovers are naturally gifted at nursing damaged and “well-loved” books through multiple re-reads. Tape is a book-lover’s best friend.
Even when book-lovers aren’t actively reading, we have some pretty finely-tuned imaginations. It’s hard to read a lot without becoming a thoughtful, creative person in the process. Especially for fiction junkies, all that literature gives your mind the fuel it needs to stare dreamily out the window on a rainy day, or to spend a calculus lecture thinking deeply about being married to Mr. Darcy.
6. Follow two (or five) plots at once
Some book-lovers are strictly one-book-at-a-time readers… but most of us have developed a talent for jumping from plot to plot without skipping a beat. We’ve go our ongoing re-reads, our book club reads, our new releases in hardcover, and our pocket sized paperbacks, for when you don’t want to carry a big bag. And we can tell you exactly what’s going on in all of them.
7. Balance books in weird positions
Of course, book-lovers prefer to read in a cozy chair or on a picturesque park bench under a cherry tree. But we make do. We’re all excellent at balancing books while eating, cooking, exercising, brushing our teeth, and doing all those other inconvenient things we frequently have to do when we’re right in the middle of a great chapter.
8. Apply literature to life
Sometimes it’s frustrating to be a book-lover. You just want to explain how Shakespeare, or George R.R. Martin, or Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie perfectly encapsulates all of your feelings about a particular political issue, but other people don’t seem to get it. That’s OK, book-lovers. Your ability to see how literature reflects real life and visa versa is actually a skill, and you’re not nuts to think that books might help you better understand the real world. Fiction does make you more empathetic, after all.
9. Find the perfect reading spot
Readers just have sixth sense for finding cozy reading spots. Everywhere we go, we’re low-key checking out coffee shops, parks, and window seats for maximum reading coziness. Add a cup of tea and a purring cat, and we have engineered peak reading comfort.
10. Walk and read
Walking and reading is an activity that should only be attempted by veteran book-lovers. But for those elite few, walking and reading is as natural as walking and talking. Just make sure you look both ways at the crossroad, if you’re planning to try this one at home.
Not every book-lover has to be an aspiring author themselves. But most readers just tend to be better writers: whether it’s writing a story, a blog, or a text message, readers have an innate sense of language, imagery, and where to put commas.
12. Fall madly in love with fictional characters
OK, so this one may not be a talent per say… but book-lovers most certainly do it better than anyone else. Literary crushes are intoxicating, because the reader has total control over imagining what their dream date looks like, how they wear their hair, how they smell, and so on. Step aside, people crushing on TV characters.
13. Budget for maximum book purchasing
Look, we go to the library. We borrow books from our friends. We prowl the used bookstore. But sometimes you just need to shell out for a new release, and that’s where book-lovers become budgeting experts. We’ll gladly sacrifice eating out, fancy cocktails, and possibly electricity if we can get our hands on that shiny new hardcover.
14. Find creative book storage solutions
Those shelves fill up quickly, man. And then we’ve got to get creative. Any book-lover knows the struggle of trying to fit an infinite number of books into a finite amount of space. Luckily, most of us are brilliant when it comes to stashing books under the bed, in the unused oven, and behind the books that are already on the shelf (double-shelving, anyone?).
Well, duh. But some book-lovers don’t realize just how good they are at reading. Reading is a skill. Understanding what you read, rather than just skimming, is an art. Not everyone is good at translating squiggles on a page into thrilling adventures and sweeping romance. A book is really only as good as the reader’s imagination, and book-lovers are pretty great when it comes to imagining.