A Brief Guide to Book Nerds; How to Learn to Love and Live With Them
I love books, reading them, holding them, sorting them. Sure I have an ever growing library of eBooks but I also have a dozen shelves, and counting, filled with not just newer books but also treasures that I have owned since childhood, have stumbled across at a thrift store or a yard sale or have on very long term loan from acquaintances (because they have never bothered to ask for them back.) I belong to both online book clubs and a couple of offline ones and I am the kind of person who can always threaten movie and TV fans with spoilers because I read the book years ago. In short, I am what is known as a book nerd.
But book nerds do come in different species and it is often helpful, whether you are a reader yourself or not, if you can identify them, so that you have a better understanding of their behaviors, especially if you have to live/work/hang out with them. Here then is a short guide to the most common of the book nerd species:
The Insatiable Omnivore
I have to say that I fall into this category. The Insatiable Omnivore will - and does - read anything. Books, magazines, the backs of cereal boxes, the book that someone else is reading on the subway when the train is a little too packed for them to take out their own tome. No book has ever defeated them, however bad, and they are willing to give almost any new title a go just in case they would be missing out on something great if they did not.
The Insatiable Omnivore is an easy going person to deal with. No need to wrack your brains over what to buy them for their birthday or Christmas, a bookstore gift certificate will be perfect every time. And they are not hard to keep amused either. Simply point them in the direction of a book sale at the library or at a box of books at a flea market and you won't see them for hours.
The Book Snob
The Book Snob is also a voracious reader but only of a certain 'class' of books. They would never be seen dead reading a Stephen King novel and they avoided '50 Shades of Grey' on general principle. They will grudgingly admit to having read the 'Harry Potter' novels but only because they were a child at the time and knew no better (even though they were actually 17 when 'Sorcerer’s Stone' came out but who's counting?)
The Book Snob can be a rather useful character for other book nerds to get to know because they do tend to focus on new and obscure authors and will often be able to recommend a title you may not have considered (or even heard of) that turns out to be a real gem.
The Reverse Snob
The Reverse Snob is the kind of person who actually loves the fact that some other book nerds give them sideways glances when they notice their space chicks and fiery dragons read on the train. They also wear t shirts proclaiming things like 'Ask Me about My Doctor Who Extended Universe Collection'. These are the people who buy novelizations of movies (they are currently breathlessly awaiting the release of Sharknado 2 in paperback) and whether you question their taste level or not they are endless fun to be around.
The Desperate Dreamer
These are the book nerds who live in eternal hope of things that to other book nerds sound like practical impossibilities. They truly believe that hidden away somewhere in his old home in Leeds there are even more unseen J.R.R Tolkien manuscripts that will be rediscovered any day. They also believe the same of Charles Dickens, Jane Austen, Douglas Adams and even William Shakespeare.
These days they can often be found sending yet another feverish email to J.K Rowling imploring her to drop all of the adult author nonsense and get back to writing about Harry. All you can do for these people is listen and smile indulgently and then be tolerant when they goad you over the fact that their hopes are occasionally fulfilled (case in point the fact that Ann Rice is in the process of writing a new Vampire Lestat book ten years after swearing the Vampire Chronicles were over.
I created this blog to open a window to the world. A place where I will mainly talk about books, but also about everything I like.