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Book worm: a person who cannot imagine an existence without reading.

It just occurred to me the other day that most people are not book worms. I mean, I know that most American adults do not read that many books; in 2007 the media had fun complaining about how 27% of Americans hadn’t read a book in the last year, and looking at that same study, of the remaining 73% of people who did read, 25% of them had only read 1-3 books in the past year.

Sometimes numbers take a while to sink into my brain. But I met someone at a party recently who announced, “I don’t read.” I appreciated his bluntness: no excuse making, no pretending. And I realized these hypothetical people who don’t read (or don’t read much) actually exist. They are all around me, all of the time! My lifestyle, in which books have always featured prominently, is not the way everyone I know lives. What an epiphany to have, right?

I love reading. I feel physically hungry to read more good books. When I purchased William Shakespeare’s complete works for the Kindle, I almost started crying because I can now carry all of Shakespeare’s words wherever I go. I cannot contemplate a life in which I don’t have time to read; my brain cannot even compute the possibility.

Photo by Eneas de Troya

You know you’re a book worm when:

1. You worry when you leave your house and don’t have a book with you.
2. The idea of having hundreds of books on a portable device reduces you to tears of joy.
3. Libraries and bookstores are the most amazing places on the planet because you can experience physical proximity to so many books at once.
4. The idea of having your bedroom lined with bookshelves gives you a cozy feeling.
5. When you think of being stranded on a desert island, your first concern is what books you would choose to have with you (and how you’d survive if you didn’t have any books at all).
6. One of the best parts of planning a vacation is choosing the books you’ll take with you.
7. You buy a special book for your birthday each year so you know you’re guaranteed to have a pleasant day.
8. You know every section of wall in your home that could be used for more bookshelf space in the future. Book storage is one of the most important uses of your home.
9. You have trouble getting rid of books, even duplicates.
10. When called upon to choose between reading a good book and doing another activity, it is a really tough choice. (Or it’s an easy choice; of course you’d rather stay home and read.)
11. Your favorite gift to receive is a gift certificate to buy more books.
12. It is hard to leave a library or bookstore without a large stack of books.


13. You are pretty much always in the middle of at least one book.
14. Your most important criteria when purchasing a purse/bag is how big a book it will fit (the winners are the ones that will accommodate hardcovers).
15. You want to live forever because otherwise, think of all the books you’ll miss!

I love being a book worm. It brings me so much joy. What about you? Are you a book worm? Do any of the above behaviors sound like you too?

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