10 signs you’re a bookworm who is happiest being lost in a good book

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I do enjoy a good book, but like many people, I wish I read more.

Not only is it fun, but there’s plenty of evidence pointing to the countless benefits it offers too.

From stress reduction to improved memory, vocabulary, and analytical thinking. It even makes us more empathetic and can help us to live longer.

Some people certainly don’t need to be sold on the wonders of getting lost in a good book.

They are already convinced, and they find their happy place amongst the pages.

Here are some clear signs that you are one of these bookworms. 

1) You haven’t seen the movie but you have read the book

Shall we be honest?

It may be a bit of intellectual snobbery at play but there’s something so satisfying about declaring:

“No, I never saw the movie, but I have read the book.”

As music journalist Henry Yates remarks in the Guardian newspaper:

“When we say the book is better, we’re announcing that we read, we’re cultured, we feed our brains something loftier than big, colourful moving images.”

Plenty of people don’t even realize that some of their fave films started out as best-selling books.

But you do.

Whilst it’s more anecdotal than scientific, there is certainly evidence that you’re right in thinking the book is always better than the movie.

When it comes to ratings, the book version usually scores consistently higher.

That’s probably because we can immerse ourselves in a book in far more depth. They stretch over days rather than hours.

It also allows us to be creative and use more of our imagination in very different ways.

2) You tackle even the most challenging literary work 

My husband told me the other day that one of his colleagues managed to get through Tolstoy’s War and Peace in under a week.

Now as someone who has only ever managed to get two-thirds in over several years, I found that very impressive.

At over 1400 pages, it’s a daunting book to dare to pick up.

Personally, I didn’t find it much of a page-turner either. I often joke that whilst I enjoyed the peace, the war dragged on a bit.

Apparently, I’m not the only one, with Dawn Raffel commenting in the Oprah magazine:

“It would not be unheard of to get bogged down in the military minutia of the battlefield chapters. Were you to skim, even skip, parts of the Battle of Borodino, for instance, the literary police would not come knocking at your door.”

Whilst the mere mortals amongst us find this kind of stuff heavy-going, some people relish it.

If that’s you, reading isn’t just a pleasure for you, it sounds like a gift you have too.

3) Given the chance you’d stay up reading into the wee small hours

I love to read but when I do so before bed, I can manage around 5 pages before I’m hypnotized into sleep.

My eyes get very heavy very quickly. All the willpower in the world to just finish the chapter does no good.

On the plus side, it’s a great way to relax and wind down when I’m ready to drift off. But on the downside, it takes me ages to finish a book.

But I used to live with a friend who had the opposite problem. She would finish a novel in a night.

Yawning at breakfast she would frequently explain how she was up until 5 am with a page-turner that she just couldn’t put down.

Rather than tire her out, the enjoyment she got from books kept her engaged and energized, so she found it difficult to switch off.

If you frequently sacrifice your shut-eye for the sake of reading, you’re probably the same.

4) You’ve worked your way through all the classics

Okay, maybe not all of them, there are a lot, but you’ve made a good dent in plenty.

It shows a commitment to reading that is likely born out of a love of it. Because as Mark Twain once wittily remarked:

“Classic’ – a book which people praise and don’t read.”

Especially as a lot of the language in some older classics can be pretty challenging.

We may think of the likes of Shakespeare as pretty grandiose these days, yet back in the day that was just how people spoke.

The audience wasn’t intellectual, it was a form of entertainment. So it can take greater dedication to tackle work that seems very much of its time.

5) You love to eat alone

The thought of a table for one doesn’t fill you with dread.

Far from being embarrassed or lonely at the prospect of eating out solo, you relish the idea. 

Why?

So that you can pull out your book.

You have instant company on demand when you are a self-professed bookworm.

Let’s face it, the stories that engross us within the pages are often far more engaging than some people’s company.

Because as far as you’re concerned, Ernest Hemingway was spot on when he declared:

“There is no friend as loyal as a book.”

6) Vacations for you are 99.9% of the time all about reading

For one in four of us, vacations are the only time we do any reading, getting through on average around 2.3 books each time.

Yet that’s a laughable figure to a seasoned book addict.

With spare time on your hands, vacations are when you are able to dedicate far more hours of your day to your favorite pastime.

If anyone were to open your case, they’d discover that half of what you’ve packed is just reading material.

7) Books aren’t just entertaining, they have a profound effect on you

I remember when I first read Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights.

It sent me into an existential crisis. I walked around in a haze for several days and was prone to outbursts of tears.

To many, that is bound to sound incredibly melodramatic.

But those who know, know!

In the words of Virginia Woolf:

“Books are the mirrors of the soul.”

When you immerse yourself so deeply into this other world presented in a book it can have powerful results.

You may feel like you get to know the characters as though they are friends.

It can be really sad to finally finish a book that you’ve been on quite a journey with.

They can bring up profound life questions that stay with you long after you’ve turned a page.

8) You carry a book with you wherever you go

If we were to empty out your bag right now, would there be a book in there?

If so, then it’s a clear sign that you’re an avid reader.

It’s your just-in-case “emergency book”.

It comes out whenever you are on public transport, if you have to stand in a cue, on your lunch break at work…

…in fact, during just about any slight pause within your day.

9) “You say you’ve got plans, but it’s probably not what people imagine”

You do have plans. But those plans are to stay home and read.

You’d much rather be tucked up in bed with a good book than out partying.

Self-care looks like a bubble bath and book instead of a night out with friends.

Unwinding after a long day is putting your phone on silent and starting your new book.

In fact, you’re getting giddy just thinking about it.

10) Nothing beats the smell and feel of a book in your hands

I finally relented and bought an e-reader.

There’s no denying that it’s the most practical choice for reading a lot on the go. It gives you such a wide choice at your fingertips in an instant.

But plenty of bookworms also know that it’s true:

Nothing comes close to holding a physical printed book in your hands.

I know plenty of keen readers who can’t make the swap for this very reason.

They argue it’s just not the same, and there is evidence that they have a point.

Research has discovered that it’s not only easier on the eyes, it’s less distracting and we absorb more information from paper books.

We can also just get more joy out of physical books, with a whopping 92 percent of us saying we much prefer leafing through real pages.

Perhaps that’s because they’ve been shown to create a more visceral experience for us:

“Scientists who have analyzed the chemical composition of old books found that the pages contain hints of vanilla (from lignin, a similar-smelling component in paper) as well as grassy notes. In this sense, taking a whiff of an old book is a little like the enjoyment one gets from smelling perfume or flowers.”

Book tokens are the best gift for you for every birthday and Christmas

Sometimes criticized as an unimaginative or boring choice, you are more than happy to receive the humble book token.

It opens up countless new worlds that you will happily get lost in for hours at a time.

Because as far as you’re concerned, Stephen King got it right when he pointed out:

“Books are a uniquely portable magic.”

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Tina Fey

I'm Tina Fey, the founder of the blog Love Connection. I've extremely passionate about sharing relationship advice. I've studied psychology and have my Masters in marital, family, and relationship counseling. I hope with all my heart to help you improve your relationships, and I hope that even if one thing I write helps you, it means more to me than just about anything else in the world. Check out my blog Love Connection, and if you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Twitter

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