The bookworm life is fraught with peril. Anyone who denies this fact is either a) not deep enough into the dark jungle that is bookworm culture, or b) in denial, or c) trying not to scare you away. But will I cushion the hard, cold truth for you? NO, I SHALL NOT. I am here to give you FACTS and tell you how it IS and warn you of aaaall the dreadful things that are likely to happen if you read too much.
“What do you define as ‘too much’, Cait?” you ask.
Which is an excellent question so my lordliness will allow it. According to the internet, the average person (I think this is actually an American statistic, tbh) reads 6 books a year. So if you’re reading, like, even just 7 books a year — YOU ARE AT GRAVE RISK.
1. YOU DEVELOP A TERRIBLE HABIT OF THINKING.
The unfortunate part of submitting your little grey brain to tons of author’s ideas is — you’ll think about them. IT’S REALLY RATHER HORRID IF YOU COME TO CONSIDER THIS DASTARDLY PHENOMENON. People who think too much always die. They do. Look at history. Tons of marvellous, innovative thinkers who changed the world. And where are they now? DEAD.
Plus thinking too much is rather stressful because you notice people who don’t think and it bothers you a lot. You can’t stand people who don’t think for themselves. You end up throwing books at them and — GASP — risk damaging books. (Maybe risk damaging people? But let’s face it, that’s not a really worrisome issue.)
2. YOU ARE DEVELOP A HORRIBLE HABIT OF HAVING OPINIONS.
This is directly related to thinking too much. Don’t do it. No one is kind to those who have copious opinions on all the things. I mean, how dare you really.
3. BOOKS OFTEN CRUELLY TRICK YOU INTO BEING PASSIONATE ABOUT EVERYDAY ISSUES.
If you are a perceiving of bookworm, you’ll notice how books often subtle critique society in the form of an exciting fantasy story. So you might be reading along, enjoying a dragon eating a village or girl kissing a frog … and then suddenly — BOOM — you’ve been knocked in the teeth by real feelings about real issues. Discrimination. Sexism. Normalising violence. Wars and genocide. Slavery. Plagues. Illness.
BOOKS WILL MAKE YOU THINK ABOUT DEEP ISSUES WHETHER YOU ASKED FOR IT OR NOT. #rude
4. BOOKS COMPROMISE YOUR SAFETY AND GENERAL HEALTH.
This is a rather obvious one, but it bears saying copiously. Because you know that harmless looking to-be-read pile you have? HAHAHAH. NO. It’s most likely plotting your demise. And even if it’s not gotten to the animated state yet (it will), then you’re still at risk from the mountains of unread books just spontaneously falling on your head.
Bookshelves could topple in the night. You could get a papercut. You could drop a book on your foot. You could try to lie on your bed only to realise it’s covered in books and therefore get a backache.
Books are BAD for general health.
5. TBRS GROW WITHOUT PERMISSION.
Have you ever seen ONE book? No. Books do not live solo. They are pack creatures and they specifically go around hunting for more of their kind to join them. WORSE: they force us into helping this pack-mentality.
At first you’re like, “Well it’s a series, so I really ought to buy the entire set.” And it’s all fun and games. And then — BOOM — 2 years later you have 500 books and MORE BANGING AT YOUR DOOR SCREAMING TO BE LET IN.
6. YOU WILL WILL ALMOST ENTIRELY DEFINITELY LOSE SLEEP.
“One more chapter?” the book whispers deviously. You give in. You are in its clutches till 2am.
And even staying up late aside, what about those times the book just gets into your brain and you can’t stop thinking about it? And you end up thinking about it FOR DAYS AND NIGHTS AND YOU DON’T SLEEP ANYMORE BECAUSE YOU’RE THINKING ABOUT THIS LIFE DESTROYING BOOK.
7. ALL OF YOUR FRIENDS WILL DIE.
Your fictional friends, definitely. No bookworm can stand before me without battle wounds and emotional scars from losing a BFF (best fictional friend).
But also your actual-flesh-and-blood friends? They’ll probably die too. OF NEGLECT. Because of the 9383 times you said “You know, Marge, I’d really love to have coffee with you, but there’s this book I have to finish…” Whilst poor Marge withers and dies with no coffee. #PoorMarge
8. YOU WILL MAKE BAD LIFE DECISIONS WITH YOUR MONEY.
At first it’s simple things like “I don’t need that $30 shirt when I could by that $30 book…I mean, I already have one shirt? How many more do I need?”
Then suddenly it’s all “I DON’T NEED A HOUSE. I CAN JUST LIVE IN A BOOK IGLOO.”
Some people find themselves even sacrificing food money to use it for more books. I would like to inform you that I wouldn’t fall to this. You need cake to survive, people.
9. YOU WILL HAVE A LIFE CRISIS OVER SMALL BUT HIGHLY STRESSFUL THINGS.
- Whether your series are matching.
- Should eat and read? Because food = yum. But potentially getting crumbs on your book = no.
- Ebook vs physical?
- Can you still socialise with people who dog-ear books or must you kill them and bury their body under the full moon of the autumn equinox?
- Can you buy that bag? Is it big enough for books?
- If you go to an author signing, how do you function? Do you take flashcards to remember WHAT WORDS ARE?
- What do you do when your bookshelves are full?
- How tall can you stack your TBR before you risk Eiffel Tower height?
The stress levels of the bookworm life are astronomically dreadful.
10. YOU WILL UNDOUBTEDLY FALL IN LOVE WITH PEOPLE AND PLACES THAT DON’T EXIST AND THIS THE MOST DREADFUL OF THEM ALL.
And how about the terrible, horrible moment when you relate to a character so so much that you either want to be their best friend, marry them, or adopt them (or all three, like, simultaneously) only to be punched in the feels with the realisation that THEY’RE NOT REAL, KATNISS. NONE OF THIS IS REAL.
(Cue gross sobbing.)
However! No matter how AWFUL and DREADFUL these things are…you can definitely avoid them.
Just don’t read too much! Simple! Be very careful about how many books you read and try not to be too emotional. Probably be a Vulcan. Take up another hobby too, like crocheting winter mittens for sharks. That’ll be best.
Safety first, fellow bookworms! Don’t let the books win this war or crush you flat!