Book addicts have long lists of lovers. Of course, they’re not always real. Many of our crushes are fictional, but just because they only exist in books doesn’t mean we don’t love them and need them more than our flesh-and-blood partners. We’re definitely addicted, and just because our drug of choice is books, don’t think it’s not a powerful one. If you happen to fall for one of us, there are a few things you’ll need to know in order to make the relationship work.
1. True book addicts live in their own worlds. You’re just visiting.
That’s not entirely true. We like the real world and we like you in it—we just like our ever-changing fictional world better. Don’t be surprised if we bust out with some variation of “there’s a scene for that” when you’re talking about everyday life. Literally, there’s a scene in some book that mirrors your experience and we book addicts are happy to make the comparison. After all, it’s SO obvious.
“Oh, that same thing totally happened to Hazel Grace and Augustus, minus the whole prosthetic leg/oxygen tube getting in the way thing.”
2. The good news is we are the easiest people to shop for.
Unless you’re a complete idiot, you’ll never screw up birthdays or holidays again. We’re totally smitten with gift cards, as long as it’s not from Old Navy or Sephora. Not that there’s anything wrong with those cards, but you might as well feed our book addiction and make us happy. Go for a Barnes & Noble card or an Amazon card or any card that allows us to buy books. That way we’ll know that you “get us” and you’ve been paying attention. If you’re really good, you’ll look for that one book we talk about—there’s always one—, whether it’s the new one coming out or that first edition that’s been getting us so hot and bothered. Find THAT book and you just might get a gift back.
3. Warning: We sniff books.
Get over it. It’s creepy, we know, but we’ll never, ever, stop. Books smell good. New ones, old ones, hardcover, paperback—doesn’t matter. They smell good and book addicts love the olfactory sensation. We’d rather smell books than food.
4. If you’re brave enough to see the movie version of a book, be prepared for the endless conversations afterwards.
Book addicts are notorious for hating the movie versions of books. We can’t help it. We’ve already made the movie in our heads—that’s how bookies read. We create scenes in our heads and directors just screw things up. Or they leave scenes out. Or they change scenes to make sure the movie lasts approximately one hour and forty five minutes. Don’t even get me started on the Twilight series. It’s hard enough dealing with actors who don’t live up to the characters you’ve built in your head. Just know that dating a book addict means seeing movies. Any book-to-movie date means signing up for a four-hour conversation about the differences between the book and the film. Good luck with that!
5. We won’t call you “Boo.”
That’s because we all know the original Boo is Boo Radley. If I have to explain further, you’d better not be dating a book addict or you’re in serious trouble.
6. You can never say that we have too many books.
Contrary to what it looks like—books on the floor, the side tables, the kitchen counter, the toilet—we don’t have too many books. We have a lack of shelves. Don’t ever make the mistake of saying, “You have too many books.” Instead, say this, “Honey, I noticed your wonderful collection of literature doesn’t have a proper display system. Can I fix that for you?”
Can you say grand romantic gesture? Moves like this are always rewarded.
7. Make some room in your suitcase for our books.
We bring books on vacation because, let’s face it, the whole point of vacation is to relax and the best way to relax is to settle down with a great book. When we’re not busy reading, we like to explore new areas. Some of our favorite tourist stops are off-the-grid, locals-only bookstores. Who doesn’t want copies of The Hunger Games from four different countries in four different languages? Don’t forget to pick up an adorable new carryon for the newly acquired literary gems.
8. Don’t expect us to just walk by a bookstore.
It’s not in our nature. It’s not in our blood. It’s not within our self-control. Unless we’ve taken a heavy dose of anti-anxiety medications or have a serious case of love going on, we can’t walk by a bookstore without at least stopping to stare at the window display. Looking at new releases and best sellers is like charging our renewable batteries. It’s like smelling salts after fainting. It’s what chocolate is to a chocoholic. Yes, it’s that good. There’s only one thing better than stopping to look.
9. Breakfast at Barne’s & Noble is better than Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
Bonus points for anyone who watches Breakfast at Tiffany’s with a significant other as part of a night of romance. Who can forget the moment that gorgeous Audrey Hepburn hops out of the cab in the rain to search for “cat,” or how you feel inside when you finally hear that meow?
If you really want to rack up the points with your book-addicted lover, take them on an impromptu trip to the bookstore, but be willing to stick around for a while. There’s nothing better than hanging with someone who lets us get completely lost within aisles of books, wouldn’t dream of rushing us, and even points out the pretties in the store—by “pretties,” we’re ALWAYS referring to books. Don’t even think about pointing out pretty people. Ah, who are we kidding, we probably wouldn’t notice or care about any hotties in the bookstore anyway. Especially if said hot person was standing in front of something as amazing as, say, a new release of the Harry Potter series in which Harry is all grown-up—Seriously, just the thought of this makes us shake with anticipation.
Disclaimer: We would, however, care about you, because you’re our date and you thought enough to bring us to the Promised Land (otherwise known as “the bookstore”).
10. We’d go broke buying books.
Long-term savings plans are always squelched by our addiction. We can’t help it. Blame Goodreads or Twitter. Authors, publishers, and fellow addicts are enablers. They reel us in. We have access to covers, back covers, front pages, and taglines. We can participate in blog hops, we can “talk” to authors, we can tweet publishers and editors—we’re practically authors. Heck, one click on your Amazon Prime account and and voilà! You’ve got a stack of books on your doorstep in two days. It’s the closest thing there is to magic. Book addicts would give up food if it meant buying more books. Priorities, people.
11. Do not dare to touch or rearrange our bookshelves.
This is our special place. Every book addict has their own method, but we all do it. We all arrange and rearrange the books on our shelves. It’s a constant effort because there is a constant influx of new property. Like little kids with their toys, we’ll know in an instant if one book’s been moved or misplaced. You can look. You can admire. You can’t touch, unless you ask (and even then…).
12. Moving in with your book addict means moving books, books, and more books.
The good news is moving our furniture, clothes, and other belongings will be a piece of cake.
The bad news is once you think you’re done and you’re ready for that pizza and (insert drink of choice), we’ll inform you that there are about seventeen additional boxes of books you didn’t know even existed because you thought you already moved ALL the books. We’ll grin and promise some kind of reward for your efforts.
13. Speaking of moving, if space is limited in the new digs, don’t expect us to get rid of our books.
This isn’t even an option. Obviously, you’ll be expected to pare down your belongings to make room in the newly shared home. Seriously, what were you thinking?
14. Dating a book addict is an adventure.
That’s because at any given point we’re not who we say we are, not where we say we are, and not doing what we say we’re doing. We’re other characters, with other characters, in other parts of the world, or in completely other worlds, doing all kinds of magical, mythical, miraculous, or maniacal things. Okay, that’s not entirely true. We do live in the real world and we do enjoy real relationships. If you’re willing to live with our quirky bookish selves, we just might put you before any of our fictional crushes. And hey—that’s huge!
Featured photo credit: John Nakamura Remy via flickr.com