This weekend, I was asked about the kind of reader I am. You may have come across the article on The Atlantic yourself, and you may have skimmed through it, trying to pigeonhole yourself into one of the types mentioned.
Pigeonholing is amusing, and this question is a good one too, especially since I’ve been sinking in a fanatical wave of bookcraze.
Jen Doll, the article’s writer, describes herself as a “serial book-adulterer who’ll chase after anything in a dust jacket.” She goes on to describe the other kinds of readers:
The Hate Reader. The person who reads to diss books, correct grammar, complain about lack of depth of characters, and generally bullshit. I hate people like this, regardless of whether they apply this shitty personality trait to their reading list or anything else.
The Chronological Reader. The person who reads a book thoroughly, and then puts it down and reads another book thoroughly.
The Book-Buster. The reader who loves books so much that his or her books are in the “tough love” condition of broken spines and yellowing pages.
Delayed Onset Reader #1. A person who loves books and keeps buying them, but he or she is too busy to read and they keep piling up.
Delayed Onset Reader #2. The book collector who doesn’t read.
The Bookophile. A person who loves the physical attributes of a book itself more than he or she loves reading.
The Anti-Reader. The “I don’t read!” person.
The Cross-Under. The grown-up who reads young adult or kids books, or a kid who reads adult books.
The Multi-Tasker. A person who reads more than one book at the same time.
The Sleepy Bedtime Reader. People who only read before sleeping and thus don’t really read much.
None of these reader types are anywhere close to my character as a reader. I don’t multi-task with my reading list and yet I don’t read books thoroughly either. I do love books to death but I’m always very careful about not even folding the edges. No. I’m not any of these types.
Then it dawned on me. I’m the book slut, to put it “nicely”. There are so many books I want to read that I go through them very quickly with a goal-oriented mindset: get in, get to the finish line, get out.
For 2012, my goal is to read a 100 sci-fi/fantasy “titles”. Truth be told, this might be impossible because most of these “titles” contain a minimum of three books each, making the number closer to 300 (“Ender’s Game” alone had 11 novels, 12 short stories, and 47 comic issues).
I won’t give up on this goal till my clock ticks midnight this December, which gives me four months to read, read, read. I can “glok” the books I read this year some time in 2013. For now, I have dates set with Atwood, Robinson, Stephenson, and many other great writers.
Being the book slut that I am, I don’t have much time for each of the dates, because I have other dates lined up back-to-back. I will let each author tell me all they have to say, but they’ll have a time limit. If one of them is a complete failure (Ian Banks was a failure to me), I won’t read past the first book in the “title”.
That’s the kind of reader I am, Hayat. There isn’t an activity in the world I enjoy more than reading, and I don’t think there is any activity in the world that is as important either. My daily reading time is as systematic as breathing: it’s how I learn, how I unwind, how I become inspired, how I learn to get even more of life. Its been my routine since I was a child (with some bad years).
Reading is my job. My medicine. My means of survival.
Good thing I enjoy it so much.
What kind of reader are you?