Sunday, September 09, 2012

"What Kind of Reader Are You?" with slight editorial changes from The Atlantic Wire

For as many books as exist, there are also any number of different reading types a book lover (or even a book hater) might demonstrate. What kind are you? The Hate Reader. If you are a hate reader you will finish each hate read down to its very last word, and you may well close the covers and toss the volume across the room, but you will do it with a great, secret frisson of satisfaction because it feels so good. You may be an aspiring, disgruntled novelist yourself. Suggested hate reads: Twilight; Fifty Shades of Grey; any much-celebrated novelist's latest offering that's bound to be arguably less than all the hype. The Chronological Reader. You may not remember where you began, what the first book that kicked it all off was, and you likely have no idea where you'll end, but the point is, you will go through each book methodically and reasonably, until it is done. You might discard a book, but only if there is very good cause, and it will bring you a sense of deep unease, so you'll probably pick it back up and finish it anyway. Suggested chronological reads: It doesn't matter; you'll get to them all, eventually. The Book-Buster. Is your home strewn with books scattered about, this way and that, their pages turned, their covers folded over, their backs broken and their limbs splayed out on either side? t a paperback with a huge chunk pulled out of it, or a first edition that's suddenly waterlogged from bath water. You take your books out into the sun and their pages bleach away to nothing, but you keep them anyway, because they are books and you love books. Suggested book-buster reads: Whatever you like, but buy a Kindle. Delayed Onset Reader. You are without a doubt a book lover, and when you walk into a bookstore or any place books are available, you can't help yourself, you buy one or many. When you get home you put them aside, often reverently, as if they were art; When you finally do read, you are amazed that you waited so long to ever open it. Suggested delayed onset suggestions: The Imperfectionists, by Tom Rachman; The Princess Bride, by William Goldman; Lolita by Nabokov; Anne of Green Gables, by L.M. Montgomery. The Bookophile. More than reading, you just love books. You like books rescued from the street as much as signed first editions. Suggested bookophile reads: Anything you can get your hands on. The Cross-Under. You are a grown-up who reads Y.A. or kids books, or a kid who reads adult books; you are not ruled by categories; you are a free thinker. When you were in elementary school a librarian told you a book was "Too old for you." You read it anyway, and there's been no going back. Suggested cross-under reads: For kids, Dickens, Fitzgerald, Salinger, Vonnegut, Harper Lee. For adults: Collins, Rowling, Alexie, Chbosky, Lowry. The Multi-Tasker. You are a promiscuous reader, and all in all, you've got quite a lot of irons in the fire all at the same time. Do you confuse characters or plots? Do you give more attention to some books than to others? Perhaps. The point is, you're not ready for a book commitment just yet. Suggested multi-tasking reads: Short story and essay collections, novellas. The Sleepy Bedtime Reader. Do you feel the only time you have to read is when you're about to go to sleep? You tote your book into bed with you and it's so very comfortable and the book is so deliciously good... Suggested sleepy bedtime reads: Whatever you like, you like falling asleep with a book on your face. The Book Snob. You only read books that are well reviewed by critics that you have determined to be of the highest caliber. You would never stoop to read something on a best-seller list, or something sold in a discount department store. Paperbacks offend you; you only touch hardcover—preferably, award-winning in some form or fashion. Suggested book snob reads: Pulitzer nominees, even if no Pulitzer was awarded. The Hopelessly Devoted. You stick to the authors you like, and you read them, pretty much exclusively, whatever they write, good or bad. Suggested devoted reads: This really depends on you. For me, it's Doris Lessing. The Audiobook Listener. There's a place for you, person whose ears are essentially eyes. Suggested listens: Refer to types per visual readers. The Conscientious Reader. It's nonfiction or nothing for you. You like reporting, true tales, and journalism. If it is fiction, make it by Chinua Achebe. Suggested conscientious reads: Books by presidents; stuff about OccupyWall Street; Unbroken, by Laura Hillenbrand. The Critic. You love something that you can sink your teeth into and discuss. But only with those of a similar intellectual bent. Suggested critic reads: Janet Malcolm's The Journalist and the Murderer; anything by Haruki Murakami. The Easily Influenced Reader. You enjoy reading in group settings. Suggested easily influenced reads: Cheryl Strayed's Wild; Michael Chabon's Telegraph Avenue; Caitlin Moran's How to Be a Woman; Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. Just because a lot of people recommend them doesn't mean they're not great! The All-the-Timer/Compulsive/Voracious/Anything Goes Reader. Wherever you go, whatever you do, there's a book with you. It doesn't matter what it is, really, so long as there are pages with words on them, or an e-reader with words on it. We can't really suggested anything here because you took it with you to the grocery store or subway or library or laundromat or coffee shop, and you're standing in line or sitting down and reading it right now. The Sharer. You loan people booksand tha t is a good quality. We like you, book sharer. Suggested sharables: Anything you read and liked, obviously, but also stuff you don't like, because you might as well pass it along to someone who might enjoy it more than you did. The Re-Reader. You know what you like, and instead of branching out and possibly finding something new that you don't like, you focus on what you do. You read the same books over and over again, returning to them as if they're old friends. Suggested re-readables: You already know. The "It's Complicated" Reader. You are a combination of many of these things and yet completely different, too. Each book means a new type of reader exists in your soul; you refuse to be defined or categorized. You are a freeform, wild, woolly entity. You do whatever you want. You're probably a Pisces. You're definitely a reader. Suggested "it's complicated" reads: We dare not to go there. The Cat. You creep around the house all day and sneak peeks at all those large, paper things that your owner leaves lying about. Sometimes, if you're lucky, your owner has left one open, and you lie on top of it and let its smooth pages touch your whiskers. It is oddly comfortable, and deeply satisfying, particularly if it's in a spot in the sun, where you enjoy whiling away a whimsical afternoon. Your owner, who is an "It's Complicated" Bookophile type, fancies that you're actually reading the pages, but you're not. You're just lying on them. Humans are so weird. Suggested cat reads: This one looks nice and flat.