"I Love to Read" by Carlos Porto

One of the requests I get most often from my friends is to use smaller words. Now I’m not whipping words like “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” out a daily basis (and that is how you spell that, I checked). But I have been known to use some more obscure words. like morass and, well, actually, most of them escape me right now. Anyways, this happened just the other day and my reply was (as always), “Sorry, I read a lot.” (To which most people tell me to get a life, I usually disagree.) But that got me started thinking about other signs that a person read a LOT! So here’s my list of ten:

  1. Vocabulary- As I said before, when you devour books like me and some of my friends do, it affects how you talk. You use more intelligent words and more complete sentences. People notice. My mother actually had people thinking that she had a college degree before she got a college degree, all because of how she talked. And she talked like she did (does) because she read.
  2. People make you leave the book at home or in the car- This has literally happened to me. I have had friends that told me to leave the book in the car. I have decided with other friends to leave the book in the car so that we would actually hang out. That’s a rare occurrence, but I always get grief for carrying a book with me everywhere. But hey, you never know. There have also been times that I’ve had to hid a book (as is now the case with City of Fallen Angels) because I know I will get nothing done until the book is finished.
  3. You use phrases only fans would know- Not only do you use more difficult words, but you’re also prone to use words that only insiders would get. For example, when was the last time that you told someone you’d “ping” them later. Now to you, all this may entice is a scratch of your noggin, unless of course, you’re a fan of Scott Westerfeld’s Uglies series. Then you know that a ping is basically a phone call (For more on how Westerfeld has affected my vocab, click on his name in my tag cloud and read the reviews). You can tell what book I’m reading (or what kind of book) by how I talk. If I start referring to people as mots and gixies and coves, you know I’m reading Beka Cooper.
  4. You acquire an inner narrator- This happens to me every time, I read a book. The characters come live in my head even when the book is closed and they comment about everything. Which can sometimes be fun, but try having Katniss in your head 24/7. It wasn’t always pretty.
  5. You randomly burst out laughing- Just admit it. We’ve all done it. A friend or family member will say something and even though it had nothing to with whatever you were talking about, it will remind you about a funny moment in a book (any book). And then comes the staring, and the shaking of the heads and the comments about your sanity. There was one series that had me giggling every time I heard the word “eyeballs” for weeks. Actually, it still kind makes me laugh when I hear that word. Or, you read something funny and start laughing…in a silent, crowded room.
  6. You compare your friends 9or yourself) to characters in books- For example, I recently compared a friend of mine with Mr. Collins from Pride & Predjudice. I’m not proud of it, but he just reminded me of the little guy. More often, while I’m reading a book or a series, I’ll start analyzing all of my friends and deciding who they’d be if I were to cast them in the book. Not sure why I do this, because I’ll never use it, but I do.
  7. You have a big purse- Or in the case of guys, you always have a backpack with you (or man bag if you’re brave wnough to use that phrase). Now I do have one…maybe two purses that are small for when I’m just carting barest essentials. However, the first criteria that has to be met when I go purse shopping is: Will a book fit in this bag or not? If the answer is no, then it had better be a really cute purse. And on sale.
  8. Bookstores/libraries make you happy- So as you may (or may not) know I went to UF my first time through college. One of my favorite places on campus was the giant, huge, mind-blowing main library (they had several). It didn’t matter that I probably wasn’t interested in most of those books. Or that I would never, ever in my life be able to read that much. Just the fact that I was surrounded by thousands, if not millions, of books brightened my day. So does walking into my local Barnes and Noble (RIP Borders), whether or not I’m going to buy anything. I just love walking the stacks and indulging in a little book lust. It gives me a warm, fuzzy feeling where my brain is.
  9. You try to get all of your friends to read- It doesn’t matter if they even like books; you tell them that they should read (it also happens to be your cure-all for everything from break-ups to the flu to plain boredom). You belittle them on occasion for not reading. You entice them with fun or easy books. And you get really excited when they do read, especially if they don’t like reading. In my opinion, there is a book for everyone. Now not everyone’s brain is built for fiction, but if my Dad can find something that he enjoys reading, then anyone can…unless their dead, but hopefully, they enjoyed reading while they were alive.
  10. You start to narrate your own life- This is a step up from #4, where you got your own inner narrator. You can tell that you read a LOT when you start to narrate your life…in third person. Or start talking about yourself in the third person. Doesn’t matter if it’s third person limited or omniscient, you just do it. You say “[insert name] is going to blah blah blah” or “[Insert name] thinks this, that and the other thing”. And people look at you weird. Or better yet, they join in.

So there you have it. My list of traits that I have acquired (oh, there’s one of those words I was talking about earlier) because I read. Or at least, I blame it on reading. Because otherwise, I’m crazy. This way, I’m just eccentric.