What Type of Reader are You? (Horror Edition)
In the Bookstagram and reading communities, like anywhere else, there are a variety of people trying to live their best lives while immersing themselves in the lives of the characters within the tomes they are perusing. While there has been some sense of discord in how fast or "incorrectly" people read, we can all at least agree that everyone does it their own particular way. Let's take a look at some different types of readers, shall we?
- Watch out for Jigsaw, the intellectual reader that devours information from mainly historical and nonfiction sources in order to research his deadly puzzle-like contraptions. Like many of Chandra's ex-boyfriends, these readers feel like these books are much more fun and make for greater stimulating conversation. "Fiction?", they scoff, "anybody can make things up - it's the real things that are truly horrific!"
- The Extraterrestrial is a being that is out of this world and must read EVERYTHING IN ITS PATH. This person reads just about anything they can get their hands on. They don't care about genre, length, pretty covers or anything other bookworms may associate with their favorite reads. Instead, they are information vacuums and are fun as they always have some input on anything you might be reading. True conversation continuers.
- The snobby, narcissist literary monster thinks he or she KNOWS EVERYTHING. These beloved readers have their opinion and you can NOT change their mind. This leads to some fascinating conversations as what they *think* doesn't necessarily add up to what is fact.
- The pleasure reader freely gets lost in a book much like how a psychic gets lost in their séance. Their motto is reading is fun and liberating! Always a happy person, they know what they like and stick with it.
- The series junkie enjoys visiting old friends such as their favorite gunslinger, Roland Deschain, in the Dark Tower books. What’s better than returning to a universe you absolutely love? While standalones can sometimes be found on their shelves, you'll never find a more dedicated reader to a series.
- The polygamist reader loves to multitask by juggling several books at once much like our friend Patrick Bateman likes to juggle kills. Who says you can't read more than one or even ten books at the same time? These readers love variety so they change up their according to their moods for the day. Juggle me this: how many books can YOU read at a time?
- The part-time reader has difficulty avoiding distractions. Squirrel!? They’re off! Maybe they'll get some reading done later...you know when they find the time again. ;)
- The re-reader revisits the world of books much like HP Lovecraft’s Reanimator (be sure to watch out for the cannibal zombies!) Why not revisit the books you loved before? You're guaranteed a good time and everyone loves a guarantee.
- Ah, the emotional reader. They choose to feel things deeply, always seeking maximum joy and pain. But this particular reader doesn’t realize they might lose their soul to a puzzle box where the Cenobites are always lurking. Prepare yourself for screams, cries, oohs, and aahs. When you feel it in your soul, these readers become the empaths to our book world.
- The spoiler lover, much like David Mills in Seven, has to know: “what’s in the box?!!” Make sure you know the Seven Deadly Sins. Why wait ‘til the last page when you can find out immediately how the book ends? After all, isn't the fun mostly in the ending?
- The physical book loyalist is a tactile creature that has to physically hold the book in its webbed hands much like the Creature from the Black Lagoon. Be careful though, as he might abduct you and take you to his lair as punishment for those eBooks and audiobooks! How dare you!
- The shy reader isn’t one to discuss the book until they are finished, but likes to be included, much like the intelligent Frankenstein’s monster. These are the lurkers in your book chat groups that may pop in here and there. They actually have a lot to say, but prefer to keep to themselves...JUST IN CASE.
- The author obsessed reader owns EVERY SINGLE Stephen King book - duh! They have a favorite author and you CANNOT dissuade them. Don't come at them, their loyalty is fierce.
- The book club reader enjoys the cult-like safety of Minnie and Roman Castevet’s Satanic coven - even if this cult is really just a book and wine club. Who cares as long as everyone is likeminded and having a good time!
- The Party Animal reader loves to have a great crime television show on in the background as opposed to the silent ghost reader, who prefers to hear every tiny creak in the house. Read with noise or without? The point is, you're reading. COOL!
- The Hannibal Lector reader loves to savor his book with his victim’s liver, some fava beans and a nice Chianti. Careful though, he eats the rude. Simmer, simmer, simmer - he takes in each and every page and savors them. No need to rush through a good book - the other books aren't going anywhere!
- The Speed reader is able to read a book in one sitting. This type of reader is so fast that The Ring’s Samara has nothing on them. But even so, don’t watch that VHS tape! WHO ARE THESE CREATURES AND HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE? Oh but it is...and it's an ancient reader's secret. ;)
There are many other categories we’re sure we’ve missed but this covers just a few in a playful way to remind everyone that everyone reads a little differently...and that’s okay!
The biggest backlash I get is how I can read so many books in one month! Yes, I eat, work, have a life, and am busy in my own way. But you make time for things you love. Maybe your work, friends, and family take up more of your time. I just happen to read at any opportunity that works for me. I personally have always been a fast reader; even when I was a kid I was devouring books in one sitting. If you don't get it, you don't get it, but be mindful. And just like with anything else, just because someone’s not doing something the way you do, doesn't mean they're doing it wrong.
I have a short attention span *BIRDS!* so if I agonize over a book for too long, it’s painstaking. And unless I have a commitment I signed up for, I will put the book down, probably indefinitely. When I am into a book, it’s a breezy, thrilling ride of excitement. It’s my happy place and my short attention span doesn’t tolerate something I don’t enjoy in my happy place. Just like Chandra, I have a real life with stress, fun, and obligations that I have to find ways to workaround. For instance, I have a terrible habit of reading instead of sleeping when I’m busy or stressed. And as a kid, most books I read were in one sitting. I would pick up a book on a Saturday and finish it in a couple of hours. My mind works fast; too fast sometimes, but I have a fantastic memory which helps. I don’t think there is a right or wrong way to read. If you are reading, you are winning at life.
Reading Tips & Tricks:
- Set your alarm an hour early to read before work or take an hour before bedtime. Or read on your commute or on your lunch break or during commercials or in line or or or.
- Audiobooks are a great way to read while you multitask such as errands, exercise, chores, playing games on your phone, or any time you are doing something mundane. Janelle regularly listens to audiobooks to fall asleep because it calms her constant thinking. And like music, it can help pass the time.
- Reading sprints have become a thing on Bookstagram. Set your alarm for 30 minutes or an hour then read as much as you can with no distractions. You can team up with a buddy or host a reading sprint on Bookstagram every week.
- Read eBooks on your laptop. If you are trying to cover a lot of ground fast, this can be useful. You can read more text at once this way.
- eReaders are a reader’s dream. They are easy to use and super convenient. You can fit an entire bookshelf in your purse or tote. It’s great for on the go or reading in bed (just try not to drop them on your face as Chandra has)!
- Read more than one book at a time. Not simultaneously mind you, but have a book for at night, one for the morning, one on the Kindle, an audiobook, or a book for at work. It helps if the books are different genres so they don’t run into each other.
- Buddy reads! Buddy reads or “book parties” are a great way to stay motivated. Cheer each other along or talk about the juicy details. It’s so much fun to read with a buddy. The Bookstagram community is the best for this!
- Use earbuds to block out noise. Some readers use white noise to help them concentrate, especially in a readathon.
- Volunteer at libraries or senior citizen homes to read to people. This is a great opportunity to not only give back to the community but to also keep reading combined with another activity.
- Make sure you are comfortable, but not too comfortable. And not in any position to bother your back or neck. Use a pillow under your knees and try to be next to a window for natural light if possible. Pay attention to your posture.
- Above all, HAVE FUN.