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What Type Of Reader Are You?


If you can say one thing about avid readers, it’s this: We’re a weird lot.

Every reader is unique. Many of us can be rather eccentric. And some of us can be just plain goofy.

So who are we?

Last year, The Atlantic Wire compiled a list of the many types of book readers. Inspired by that piece, I thought I’d have a little fun.

So I sat down, dug in, thought about all my reading experiences, and these are 8 types of readers I could think of:

The Academic

Looking through The Academic’s bookshelf is like revisiting the syllabus from your 400 level literature class in college. I don’t entirely question The Academic’s sincerity in his love of Joyce, Proust, and the other literary elite. But I also wonder when The Academic will finally get over the thinly-veiled man crush he had on Professor Snodgrass during his senior year 20 years ago.

The Grocery Store Romantic

Frosted Flakes? Check. Frozen lasagna? Check. Canned peas? Got ‘em. “Restless Heart” collection of romance novels featuring sweaty-chested men of all ethnicities in compromising positions with blond-haired women? Check.

The Two-Timer

How do you do this, Mr. Bookish Two-Timer? How do you read two books at once without getting all your characters and settings confused? If I tried to read two books at once, Mrs. Dalloway would somehow end up buying the flowers (herself) for one of Gatsby’s parties.

The Nonfiction Snob

If you’ve been reading 101 Books for a little while, you know all about the book snob. But the nonfiction snob is the ultimate of the book snob breed. Why? The nonfiction snob thinks some of the greatest books in the history of the world—you know, Moby Dick, The Great Gatsby, The Grapes of Wrath, etc—are beneath him because fiction is an “escape.” I’m not sure if this guy is a snob, or if he’s just dense.

The Collector

Dude doesn’t even read books. He just collects them like old leaves pressed into a laminated folder. So, okay, you bought a first edition, signed copy of Gone With The Wind. It wasn’t cheap, and you want to show it off. I get that. But how many John Grisham and Danielle Steel novels must you put on display, sans their dust jackets? C’mon man.

The Book Hipster

The Book Hipster will drive 94 miles to the nearest independent bookstore to avoid bowing at the altar of Amazon and other retailers they perceive as corporate warlords. Also, organic coffee, skinny jeans, and some form of Amish-leaning beard.

The Obsessive, Creepy Lady

Guys get a bad rap for being creepy, and it’s well deserved—or else books like Lolita would’ve never been written. But my guess is we all know one older lady who is WAY too obsessed with books like Twilight, Harry Potter, and (gulp) Fifty Shades of Gray. This is not an indictment on the legitimacy of those books (I’m a Potter fan), but let’s just say your 45-year-old co-worker who has a “Team Jacob” sticker on her desk might have crossed the line. Also, she’ll slice your neck with a letter opener if you tell her Twilight sucks.

The Dude Who Ain’t Got Time For That

You might call this guy the anti-reader: “Like, dude. My life is so, like, busy and all, I ain’t got time to read, man. Like, I read that, like, that Red Letter book in high school about the chick who gets knocked up and has that letter on her scarf or something, and, like, dude it was so boring. Yeah, man, reading, dude, like.”

I see myself in some of these—especially the Obsessive, Creepy Lady.

How about you?

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55 Comments Post a comment
  1. The Cross~Under

    October 11, 2013
  2. Maybe The Academic, but not exactly – is there some kind of reading type for literary critic who is obsessed with children books, biographies and poetry? :D

    October 11, 2013
    • The Cross ~ Under Loves them all ;)

      October 11, 2013
    • As long as you’re not a Twilight mom, we’re okay.

      October 11, 2013
      • Noooo, haven’t been and never will :D Instead of Twilight reading Craig Raine :)

        October 11, 2013
  3. Neat post. I’m a two timer. :)

    October 11, 2013
  4. For get two-timing….I’m a promiscuous academic.

    October 11, 2013
    • Haha. Nice.

      October 11, 2013
  5. I’m a Bookophile by the looks of it!

    October 11, 2013
  6. I am a cross-under chronological bookophile! I also apparently can’t commit to one category.

    October 11, 2013
  7. Oh no… I’m a two-timing, collector! O__O

    October 11, 2013
  8. habitsofthought #

    I’m most definitely a two-timer. I have at least three or four books going at once. A contributing factor to this is that I borrow from the library and most of the books I read get requested by another person and I have to return it before I finish.

    October 11, 2013
  9. Vanessa Herrera #

    ha ha so true about that…

    October 11, 2013
  10. I see myself in all of these except the non-fiction snob and the anti-reader. Really liked this entry in your blog. Humorous, yet, accurate. Thanks. =)

    October 11, 2013
    • Thank you!

      October 11, 2013
  11. I will admit to being The Grocery Store Romantic but now with the eReaders I can do it in public with impunity. Oh, the benefits of technology…Looking well read while really reading nothing but stories featuring smutty, naughty vampires or men with certain “proclivities”.

    October 11, 2013
  12. peachyperspectivve #

    I don’t think I fall into any of these categories!

    October 11, 2013
  13. Closest thing was Delayed Onset Reader #1. >.>

    October 11, 2013
  14. I’m a non-linear reader. Sometimes I work backwards systematically, chapter by chapter. Sometimes I skip around. And I’m a partial reader. I used to think I should finish any book I started. No more! Life is too short!

    October 11, 2013
  15. I’m a two timer. well actually three. I always read two novels. At the moment one is a library book and the other is the new Stephen King. I also tend to read these in conjunction with a collection of short stories. This month it’s A L Kennedy

    October 11, 2013
  16. What about The Dabbler? People who read a bit of one book and then move on to another, rarely finishing any? They have so many interests and so little time. They live in the harried moment, and the moment is always changing. Their motto: Life is short, and don’t ask me to commit to anything that may take longer than today.

    October 11, 2013
    • That’s a good one. Maybe I’ll do a second post and use it.

      October 11, 2013
  17. bookgeeking #

    Two -timer but more likely ten-timer, I can leave a book for a year and still come back to it. :)

    October 11, 2013
    • Me too! :)

      October 11, 2013
  18. I usually read 3 or 4 books in the same time period, wide-ranging subjects: physics, romance, bestsellers, mysteries, Autism, environment, business, comedy, politics. Thanks, this was a funny post.

    October 11, 2013
  19. Denise #

    I’m a bit of an academic hipster collector, with a splash of creepy old lady. I have friends who are the non-fiction snob and too busy to read dude, though and they drive me nuts! :0)

    October 11, 2013
  20. I am definitely a grocery store reader and although I absolutely love non-fiction, I still read fiction books – I just don’t prefer them and if that makes me a snob, then so be it!

    October 11, 2013
  21. Reblogged this on A Kitten in Paris and commented:
    I’m the creepy old lady, obviously.

    October 11, 2013
  22. I’m an Academic – no bones about it. One day, I’ll read all the books on the AP Lit/Comp reading list. I figure they must be a classic for a reason, and I want to know why. And yes, I had my AP Lit/Comp teacher on a pedestal and had a total crush on my British lit professor in college. The man would walk in the room while reciting poems in Middle English, AND he wore a bow tie…regularly. *le swoon*

    October 11, 2013
  23. I’m a two-timer for sure. I am also part Collector – not that I actually collect first editions, but I seem to have a book buying addiction so my shelves are full with books I haven’t yet had a chance to read. More like a Hoarder I guess.

    October 11, 2013
  24. I don’t really see myself as predominantly any of those book types….but then if I were a grocery store romantic I wouldn’t fess up to in in public!

    October 11, 2013
  25. Alexandra #

    I’m part two-timer, part collector. I buy the books and I WANT to read them so I’ll start one, and then for some reason…buy another one, then start that too. I don’t know what’s wrong with me, I used to be better at this “reading stuff”. I can remember a time where I actually finished a book! LOL

    October 11, 2013
  26. I’m a two-timer and Academic…yes, that’s me. Possbily a three timer and four timer, it’s a problem, I know. Great post!

    October 11, 2013
  27. Im a two-timer destined to be the creepy lady when I get older. Im pretty much creepy lady Junior already….

    October 11, 2013
  28. I have been the academic and the two-timer at different times of my life. At this stage, I am truly “a dabbler,” as I am so busy. I like the dynamic nature of one’s reading personality! It helps me to look at my life and see how I am evolving and also to look forward to my next stage.

    October 11, 2013
  29. Nice post ! I am a book hipster and a creepy lady – and a collector of the most funniest, sarcastic books…I have to tell you about my ex-husband who said he never reads anything but the texts that can possibly make him some money ! Boring Work-a-holic ! Ummm…

    October 11, 2013
  30. Funny! I’m a two timer. How about a “keeps trying”? That would be me with Possession and any Rushdie book.

    October 11, 2013
  31. Oh no! I’m not sure I fit any of these. What does THAT mean?!

    October 11, 2013
  32. I’m the Academic and the Two-timer. But my Two-timing goes along like this. Mrs. Dalloway is a substitute teacher at Hogwarts and Hogwarts just happens to be Gatsby residence. At least for the time being before he goes on the road with Dean Moriarity and Holden Caulfield.

    There is one you left out. It’s the Writerly Reader, those of us who read to learn the magic other writers put on paper.

    October 11, 2013
  33. I’m a blend of the Academic and the Obsessive Creepy Lady. I haven’t reached that “forty year old with a Jacob sticker” yet (at eighteen I’ve got a bit to go!) but I can 100% guarantee that I will still fangirl for my books when I’m hooked up to a dialysis machine.

    October 11, 2013
  34. I am a Two-Timer acadamic, but I like the idea of becoming a Book Hipster without skinny jeans and beard.

    October 12, 2013
  35. samscham #

    I’m a mix between academic and obsessive creep. I get obsessed easily and my bookshelf is full of those academic books from school that I also enjoy.

    October 12, 2013
  36. I think being older and being obsessed with Twilight is a very different thing from being older and being obsessed with the Harry Potter series. As Stephen King reportedly said, “Harry Potter is about confronting fears, finding inner strength and doing what is right in the face of adversity. Twilight is about how important it is to have a boyfriend”.

    Looking through your list of reader types, I would classify myself as an academic. I genuinely enjoy classics and the top shelf of the bookshelf in my room is filled with Jane Austen books and books about her life and times, as well as the Bronte sisters, Chekhov, Pasternak, Harper Lee, Hemingway… The shelf below has a varied selection of classics and books which have been described as modern classics, such as Atonement by Ian McEwan. Then I have a shelf devoted to light fiction, such as Harry Potter, The Hunger Games and my childhood favourites (which I have kept but don’t read any more) like Little Women and a brilliant series of books about ponies. At the very bottom of my bookshelf, I keep the academic textbooks I’m studying at the moment. It is currently filled with weighty tomes about the Spanish Civil War and child language acquisition.

    So, yeah, I’m a cross between an academic type and possibly a little bit of Hipster. I don’t boycott Amazon but I do support independent bookshops. Does that sentence sound like an oxymoron? The simple fact of the matter is that Amazon sells books cheaply which, for a student like me, is pretty great. But I do like organic coffee and skinny jeans. :-)

    October 12, 2013
  37. So I am going to guess my Harry Potter tattoo gives me away?

    October 12, 2013
  38. A two-timer. Right now I’m reading Someone Knows my Name at night (because of the back light on my iPad and Crossing to Safety during the day (because it’s a paperback). Since these stories and characters are so vastly differently, I haven’t had a problem confusing Meena’s life with Sally’s.

    October 14, 2013
  39. I identify with the Two-Timer. It takes a certain confidence in oneself to take on any more than two books at once. And, yes, it’s exhausting!

    October 14, 2013
  40. Hmm,the academic!

    October 15, 2013
  41. shootingscar #

    I’m a mix of everything but I’ll always be a collector (for future purposes). :D

    October 18, 2013
  42. foxfaw #

    Four-Timer. I know, it’s depraved. I usually only finish one them.

    October 18, 2013
  43. Reblogged this on tessaurus and commented:
    It surprises me that I am all of these (luckily at different times).

    October 21, 2013
  44. I’m a cross between The Academic and the Two-Timer. Although I think I’m usually just an Academic during term, because I don’t have time for anything else!

    October 25, 2013
  45. Hilarious!! I love it!

    October 27, 2013
  46. Ahahaha I’m actually the two timer person! I think its really easy for me to keep my characters separate and have never muddled them up. I do this because I do find myself getting bored halfway through a book and then start a new one; once I start getting bored of that, I go back to the first one and finish it. This is a cycle I do with all my books

    November 2, 2013
  47. I think Im the two-timer. Im not getting confused if I read two books. Readers should read this to know if what kind of reader are they.

    November 14, 2013

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