The Habits of Bibliophiles: Observations

 

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The distribution of these omnivorous mammals does not discriminate between gender, sex, culture, race and geographical location. They pop up anywhere and everywhere (though there are larger concentrations near places like bookstores). One way to identify a bibliophile is by the book bags they carry or if you are lucky enough to gain an invitation into their inner sanctum (devilishly difficult to achieve), by the books you will find cluttering up all available surfaces. Sometimes, they will have more than one e-reader because one is full of books they cannot bear to delete. Another way to identify a bibliophile is to check their browser history (if you do not care about being taken as a stalker and having charges pressed against you by the law enforcement). Most bibliophiles lurk around sites such as Goodreads, Amazon, Bookoutlet, library websites. See the frequency with which they access the sites; peek into their bookmarks. The internet will reveal all.

Eating Habits

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Bibliophiles take food seriously–as long as it doesn’t interfere with their reading. Pastries are consumed in huge amounts as are other easy to make goods. Sometimes spouses and roommates find themselves in the unenviable position of being the designated cook for the entirety of the time they spend in close contact with the bibliophile. As for beverages, most bibliophiles drink tea by the gallon though many others prefer coffee. Then again, bibliophiles are not known to be too discriminating–as long as there is a beverage within easy reach, they will consume it.

Socializing Habits

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Bibliophiles tend to stick together and rarely venture out into the “real world.” There are three reasons for this:

1. Most of their free time is occupied with the reading of books.
2. What socializing time there is left after the books have been read are spent discussing the books that were read. It is difficult to discuss a book with someone who hasn’t read it. (I have tried it.)
3. The art of Conversation with Non-Readers is very difficult to learn and most bibliophiles would much rather read another book.

Mating Habits

There are many bibliophiles who enjoy happy and fulfilling relationships with their partners who may or may not be bibliophiles. Sometimes, the partner may not start out as a bibliophile but after long-term exposure to the bibliophile, he/she/they has/have no choice but to commit to becoming a bibliophile.

For the rest of the the tribe, there are what the bibliophiles call “book boyfriends.” The “real world” keeps on insisting that book boyfriends are figments of imagination and do not have a 3D existence. They have yet to convince the bibliophiles of the veracity of their words.

romance novels

Working Life

Bibliophiles work. They have jobs. The lucky ones work in the business of creating books and perpetuating the life-blood of bibliophiles: books. The unlucky ones work at work with the singular purpose of earning money to buy books first and food second. Sometimes there is even enough money left to pay rent. Money is also needed to go to signings and other events such as Book Expo America and any ALA event where there will be books.

A much more pleasurable job, though not one that pays, is blogging/vlogging about books. Bibliophiles show more passion doing this job than any others they actually get paid for.

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Reading

Bibliophiles read in many different ways. Some savour books for weeks and week, reading each word over and over again. Others tear through books in stormy ferocity, leaving librarians whirling from the swiftness with which they cycle through library books. Bookstore clerks are ready with masks and shields for the hordes that descend upon their stores when a new book is released. The police, firemen and ambulatory services are all on tenterhooks during these times, waiting for calls to announce book casualties. Other bibliophiles read at a steady pace, completing anywhere from ten to twenty books a month.

Notable Illnesses

Empty Mailbox Syndrome
This is a fairly common sadness occurring among bibliophiles when their mailboxes remain empty for extended periods of time. Symptoms may include sighing and glaring at the empty mailbox, postmen, postmen’s vehicles and other package delivering service workers.

Out of Control TBR Pile
This is an indication of severe book-specific shopaholicism. Treat immediately.

Weaknesses

Book sales.

Strengths

Book sales.

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