If you are not a reader then you cannot possibly understand the importance of certain quirky problems in the lives of bookworms. These are serious matters which distract readers from day-to-day tasks. Readers will probably follow this article with the occasional nod and occasional outbursts of “well, obviously.”
1. Organizational Options
One thing an avid reader struggles with is organizing her books. Does she use one shelf and double up, creating a back row and a front besides top, middle, and bottom? Should she organize books by color, date, author, title, or genre? Perhaps it would be best to place novels according to how she rates books and log them in a journal with short-hand notes beside them (best, good, fair, so-so). Would a reader even keep a tome which rated less than so-so?
These bookshelves: should they occupy a room of their own, like honored members of the family? Certain books become like old friends and those would have to live on a shelf behind the bed or right on the nightstand at all times, surely. Should she slavishly keep their bothersome but protective jackets on to the end or remove them while reading, replacing jackets at the end?
2. When are Books and Relationships Mutually Exclusive?
When is it okay to reject a potential date or even a friendship based on a person’s reading habits? Of course, an interest in porn and excessive bloodshed is a good indication that a guy or gal is unhinged and dangerous. But would a book reader be able to form a meaningful relationship with someone who only likes magazines or technical guides even if he shuns trash that victimizes women?
Can a person whose main reading consists of recipes, quilting patterns, or “thoughts for the day” truly understand a guy who loves Grisham, Le Carre, or King? Who is the fan of Pratchett to share Discworld-related trivia with if not another Pratchett fan? At the very least, two parties should lay their genre-preferences on the table from the start.
3. Important Things in Life
Co-workers are watching the clock for lunch. The next lotto numbers are about to be announced. The next game in the World Cup will start in ten minutes. None of this interests the bookish sort, however. All she wants to know is how soon she can get her hands on a copy of Jodi Picoult’s latest release.
4. Hand-Eye Coordination
As for putting a book down for practical reasons, that’s like telling a reader to stop breathing. She can coordinate reading with crossing the street, eating, or shaving her legs without missing a beat. This multi-tasking individual possesses fine motor skills usually associated with tennis and basketball players.
5. In Consideration of Others
So what if other passengers on your flight are sleeping? It’s a long time to just sit and do nothing. Surely no one will take offense if you flick on the overhead lamp. You tell yourself, “next time I’ll bring a mini flashlight. Really I will.”
Nobody seems to understand your pain, but it’s real. Maybe too little blood was shed for people to notice, but that paper cut stung like crazy. Why don’t people give you more sympathy?
6. Saying Goodbye
Every ordinary task has been forsaken: dishes, laundry, repainting the bathroom, and changing the oil on your car. You devoted heart and soul to the characters in your book and now their story is finished. How can you say goodbye? If only the story would go on longer; yet, you knew in your mind (if not your heart) that the story would suffer if it had.
This book isn’t like the hundreds you have started and failed to put down, even though they weren’t worth your time. Meanwhile, in spite of their mediocrity, you still feel guilty about the many stories you did leave aside after the first 4 chapters failed to capture your attention.
7. Wasted Time
It’s just that you know how much time was wasted on exercise, eating, and relationships already; time you could have spent reading. How many books might you have read by now if you hadn’t chosen to sleep and shower?
Their friends and family don’t understand them, but these readers enjoy pain mixed with joy. They wouldn’t trade these feelings or their beloved books for anything.