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:
- “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.