5 Signs That You’re a Booklover

Today on our blog, we have a special guest: Serena Hanson, a life-long reader and our Bethany House summer intern. She’s got some great ways to diagnose your addiction to books. See how many apply to you!

You know you’re a Booklover if you show these common symptoms:

1. You suffer from distraction.

When you’re in the middle of a good novel, it can be very difficult to focus on ordinary tasks. It can be a small, nagging sensation in the back of your mind that you’re missing something. Or it can be full-blown obsession over getting home to find out how in the world the main character is going to get out of the mess he’s in. Either way, it is very distracting.

2. You are unable to stop reading.

If you find yourself constantly thinking, “just one more chapter,” you’re a Booklover. Once you start a novel, it’s almost impossible to stop. You may find yourself looking at the clock, only to think: “Sure, it’s one in the morning, but I need to know if his message was in time to save his love from her kidnapper!” Or you might walk around the house unable to tear yourself away from the book in your hands, bumping into doorframes and answering in monosyllables whenever anyone speaks to you. Many Booklovers have also been known to burn their dinners by attempting to read and cook at the same time.

3. You get book hangovers.

Have you ever finished a good novel and felt like you can’t quite adjust back to reality? You walk around for the next few hours or days in a slight haze, irritable, slightly depressed, and just not yourself. The fact is, you’re not yourself. Part of you is still stuck between the pages of that novel. You haven’t fully returned to this world yet.

4. Friends and family members notice that you talk to yourself.

Okay, you’re not actually talking to yourself. You’re talking to book characters. The novel gets exciting, and you just can’t contain yourself. I know that I’m definitely guilty of this one.

If you have said any of the following to a printed page, you are a prime candidate for a Booklover diagnosis:

  • “Nooooooo!”
  • “Can’t you see that it’s a trap?”
  • “He’s lying to you! She doesn’t love Randall. She never did!”
  • “Wow buddy, even I saw that coming.” Or, vice versa: “Oh my goodness! I never even guessed!”
  • “Get in there and tell her how you feel!”
  • “Shoulda listened to me five chapters ago and you wouldn’t be in this mess.”
  • “So beautiful.” *sniff sniff* “I knew this day would come.”

5. You experience random outbursts of crying.

Other people might look at you in surprise, but you know that your tears are completely justified. The protagonist’s brother has just died, or two lovers have parted never to see each other again, or the faithful golden retriever fell off a cliff trying to save a baby, or any number of horrible things! Seriously, they should have a warning label on books: “May cause tears and/or the desire to drown your sorrows in chocolate.”

If you have two or more of these symptoms, you should seek advice at your local bookstore immediately. There is no known cure for this condition, but don’t panic. It is very common and is not life threatening. In fact, some even say that it enhances your life (and if they do, they’re probably Booklovers themselves).

Okay, readers, time to share: which Booklover symptom do you relate to most?

I’m Serena Hanson, the summer fiction intern at Bethany House Publishers and a confirmed Booklover. I’ve loved stories since before I can remember, from my mom reading me board books about raisins and strollers to devouring full-length novels as I grew up. As a girl, my favorite pastime was sitting in a hammock I made out of a bed sheet, reading whatever new book I’d found at the library.

20 thoughts on “5 Signs That You’re a Booklover

  1. I suffer from all of them, and now I make sure that I have a book on my phone to read, just in case I’m out and about and need to read. Yes, it is a need….my mind craves books more than my body craves food. I love Bethany House’s uplifting books and hope you continue to publish forever!

  2. oh how fun. LOL i guess i need to head out to the bookstore immediately. I have all off those symptoms. I need to take care of them.
    Have a fabulous day.

  3. These all apply to me ( except maybe the dinner thing since I can burn dinner even without a book)😀….have loved to read since I first learned as a child. Sometimes I get a book hangover….after finishing a great story it takes me few days to begin another.

  4. I have indeed burned food from being distracted by a book, even when sitting on the floor directly in front of the stove as a theoretical reminder to mind the food while cooking/reading.

  5. I’ve cooked while reading; always have a book with me; reading has been part of my life since a young child.
    And oh! a book store!

  6. I totally get distracted, can’t stop reading, and suffer from book hangovers. . . .. I don’t talk to characters out loud, but I have been known to “huff” and “puff” on occasion.

  7. I agree with everything said. Like Rebecca, above, I don’t talk to characters, but I still can get so choked up, I can hardly breathe. Reading a book is, among other things, entering into an alternative reality, another world. But one doesn’t just enter–we are changed as well and who we are is altered: the tree becomes thicker, the river deeper. We assimilate feelings that benefit us in a most positive manner–forever.

    Great post. Thank you for sharing! 🙂

  8. Guilty of all of the above. So distracted that I have missed my bus stop. And I’ve burst into tears reading on the bus. Or laughed out loud. So embarrassing….but it doesn’t stop me from reading in public places. And yes, I talk to characters. I thought everybody did. I mean, when the heroine is about to go into that deserted house that I know isn’t deserted because I read the scene before where the bad guy is sneaking in a back window you better believe I’m going to open my mouth and warn the heroine! (another reason reading in public can be embarrassing for me.) And talking about book hangovers…I’m in the middle of the worst one ever having just finished Falling for You by Becky Wade. I can’t even….

  9. I suffer from all of those and more! My husband makes fun of me when I get “over-involved” in a book. I’ve added an Audible addiction to things I suffer from too. I love to read the book, if I love it I get the Audible version and listen over and over. Jen Turano’s Apart from the Crowd series is my current repeat favorites to read and listen to. I NEED her humor. Seriously, I’ve listened to the first two books a minimum of 20 times and the new one at least 4 times already.

  10. I have definitely done all five but 2 and 3 real frequently. Years ago when I first realized I got a little depressed when I got through reading a good book I thought why do I feel this way when the book ended beautifully. Only thing cures that feeling is to get into another book quickly.

  11. I can relate on so many levels. 2, 3 and 5 are my main ones. But I would have to say that for me it’s number 2. Unable to stop reading. I don’t know how many times I have gotten into a book only to realize several hours later that I should’ve been in bed hours ago. I am not a night owl, unless I am reading a good book. Then I just lose track of time.
    I love a good Christian fiction novel. My favorite today is the trilogy by R J Larson the Book of the Infinite trilogy. I bought and read the first one months ago, then found the third one at the library. I didn’t realize it was a trilogy until I started putting two and two together. I started reading the 1st one again and ordered me a copy of the 2nd one to read since my library doesn’t have that one.
    I am definitely a book lover.

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