There are, however, a handful of irksome situations that book lovers have to face. When is it okay to abandon a so-so novel? What’s the most efficient method of bookshelf organization? Is it snobby to dump someone on the basis of his or her dislike of reading? These and other quirky conundrums are perhaps the only downside to loving books with all of your heart and soul.
1. Finding a comfortable reading position is a never-ending quest. Chair or bed? Side or back? In a box? With a fox?
2. On airplanes, you hesitantly flick on the overhead light while everyone else is napping.
3. Paper cuts may look like minor injuries, but the pain can be excruciating.
4. Walking and reading at the same time requires hand-eye coordination only professional athletes have been endowed with.
5. What on earth are you supposed to do with the jacket on a hardcover while you’re reading it? Keep it on and risk damaging it? Take it off and store it in a weird nook, never to find it again?
6. Deciding what to read is a choice that presents you with an embarrassment of riches.
7. The typeface and page length of a book can seriously impact your reading experience, sometimes for the worse (sans-serif font is a huge no-no).
8. A book can be composed of the worst drivel you’ve ever laid eyes on, you’re still afflicted with major guilt when you banish it to the “I Will Never Ever Ever Finish This. Like, Ever.” shelf.
9. You lament time that you’ve wasted in the past; all of those hours scouring celebrity Twitters could have been put towards finally reading Moby Dick!
10. Some people count down the minutes until their lunch hour; you count down the minutes until Jeffery Eugenides or Donna Tartt releases their next book (roughly 5 million for Tartt, but who’s counting?!)
11. Finishing a book you loved is like saying goodbye to a good friend. You’ve been through so much together! And while you may see each other again, it won’t be quite the same.
12. Forget finding roommates; the most stressful thing about moving is figuring out a way to transport boxes upon boxes of heavy books.
13. You’re constantly rethinking your bookshelf strategy. Should you color-coordinate, or take a more practical approach, such as publication date or alphabetization? Or, if you’re feeling ambitious, should you tackle the autobiographical bookshelf, à la Rob Gordon from High Fidelity?
14. Your mood is directly impacted by the mood of the book that you’re reading; your friends have learned to avoid you during Dostoyevsky months or Bret Easton Ellis weeks.
15. You take found books home like abandoned puppies, chirping, “Can we keep it?!” That’d be well and good if it didn’t happen once a day.
16. One does not simply walk by a bookstore. One must poke around, at the very least, and one usually ends up filling one’s tote bag with more books than one can carry.
17. “I don’t read” is a relationship death knell, akin to “I loathe my mother” or “I enjoy upsetting kittens.”
18. You may or may not own two (or three or four) copies of a beloved book. You can’t help it, the redesigned covers are irresistible!
19. Laundry day and other important obligations get completely overlooked when you’re in the middle of a great, un-put-downable book. “Same shirt Saturday”? Sorry you’re not sorry.