Bookworms are peculiar creatures who often struggle to communicate. This is probably because they’re forever buried in books. Why talk when you can read? Hmm? That is why I am kindly here to help. I have a list of phrases your resident bookworm might splutter from time to time — along with this incredibly useful translation guide.
I KNOW. I KNOW. HOW KIND AND THOUGHTFUL AM I????
You might remember my translation guide for writers that I published last year? Brush up on that, too, if you have a writer creature lurking nearby.
Now behold! Read! Understand your bookworm creature! And don’t forget to occasionally pet them (because they need hugs; they’re usually traumatised) and feed them chocolate fudge brownies.
“I HAVE ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO READ AND I’M DYING.”
This is a difficult phrase and you must take into account tone inflection and whether or not the bookworm is lying face down on the floor sobbing while they say it. If they utter this phrase while staring at their bookshelf, it probably translates to “I have too many books and I cannot decide and I have no idea what I’m in the mood for help me I’m dying”. But if they’re lying face down on the floor…it probably translates to “The only book I want to read in this universe is not published yet and I’m dying”. Both are equally distressful times.
“THIS IS MY FAVOURITE BOOK IN THE HISTORY OF EVER!”
Some bookworms utter this and you can accept it at face value. But for most bookworms this translates to, “I have at least a dozen books I would marry at dawn but this is my favourite of this particular second and I’m willing to talk about it for 54 minutes so just stand there yes.” Try to humour them if you can. Don’t twitch too much or have a stroke during the oncoming 54 minute monologue.
“I THINK I NEED A NEW BOOKSHELF.”
This is just the bookworm trying to be polite and not overly needy. It 100% translates to “I absolutely need a bookshelf, I have zero percent of room left. This is actually AN EMERGENCY SITUATION BECAUSE I CAN’T EVEN SEE MY FLOOR ANYMORE.” When your bookworm utters this phrase do not, and I repeat DO NOT respond with “get rid of books then” because you will die and do you want to make your poor little resident bookworm responsible for murder??? Be considerate. Safety first. Buy them a shelf.
“MY HOBBY AND PASSION IS BOOKS, BASICALLY.”
This translates to, “My life is consumed by books, I eat books for breakfast, my brain is constantly going BOOK! BOOK! BOOK! and I am in love with fictional worlds and people and omg all the books.” Sometimes bookworms act cool and nonchalant about it around people who might not understand, but this is ACTUALLY what they’re saying. Trust me. I know what’s up.
“THAT BOOK MADE ME CRY.”
For those who don’t know better, this usually translates to, “This book RIPPED OUT MY HEART AND STOMPED ON IT and gave me such intense emotions that I ran about under the midnight moon in polka dot socks screaming my love for this fantastic beast of a book and it is precious beyond everything and look my face is leaking.” It’s so important to read between the lines here or else you’ll just think the bookworm got sad over a book. It’s so much more than sad. “Destroyed” is also a handy word. “Permanently feels damaged” is another. And somehow they enjoy it. Don’t…just…just don’t ask. Accept.
“I’M ON A BOOK BUYING BAN.”
This translates to “I’ve got too many books to read and am feeling slightly overwhelmed so I’m attempting not to collect to many more EXCEPT FOR LIKE ONE OR TWO HERE AND THERE so basically I’m like on 6% of a book ban.” I think like 4% of bookworms actually STICK to their book-acquiring bans. If they tell you they’re on one, what they actually want you to do is give them cake for the effort and then more cake to comfort them when they fail.
“I WOULD SELL MY LEFT KIDNEY FOR THAT BOOK.”
This just translates to, “I would sell my left kidney for that book.” If you’re worried about your resident bookworm’s imminent lack of kidneys (they actually need at least one), I suggest you make sure they’re not selling anything on ebay. The danger is real, folks.
“BOOKS ARE BETTER THAN PEOPLE.”
Sometimes this phrase seems confusing because aren’t books about people??? Well my deluded pineapple of a friend, let me explain all. This phrase clearly translates to “Books are very low maintenance and don’t require energy from me, just love or indignation. Also if they get too annoying I can throw them at a wall, whereas humans are slightly too heavy to complete that feat with.” Plus you can tuck your favourite books in your bag and take them EVERYWHERE as a delightful security comfort and it’s slightly illegal to do that to people too. This is why books are better.
“I’M ACTUALLY GOING TO CONQUER MY TBR! LOOK AT ME! ALL CONQUERY!”
This absolutely translates to “I’m going to read like 2 backlist titles I’ve had forever and then I’m going straight back to my bad habits of acquiring more books then I can read and then complaining about it.” Most bookworms who fancy themselves Literary Napoleans just should be petted lightly on the head and given encouraging (but pitying) smiles. Let ’em at it. Hopefully they won’t hurt themselves.
“I WANT TO LIVE IN THIS BOOKSTORE.”
This actually translates to “I want to OWN this bookstore so that every book is mine mine mine and I shall set up my bed in the middle there and live in this nest of books and let no one else in ever.” Because while we bookworms would (and do) make good booksellers, behind the smiles, the bookworms are actually thinking of absconding with ALL THE BOOKS OF EVER. Some bookworms are good at sharing. Most are not. If you’re local bookstore ever vanishes, this is what happened. Just sayin’.