Midnight Chat: Reader Stereotypes- True for You?

So, we all know what people who love to read are often portrayed like: Dorky, nearsighted, afraid of their own shadow messes who are too scared of the world to do anything but read a book.

Well, we all know that we read because it is amazing. But how many of these stereotypes are true for you? I thought it’d be fun to test them out for me, and compare with you!

 We All Wear Glasses

Well, this one is a little hard to decide. Should be cut and dry, right? I don’t, in fact, wear glasses. But I did. For a long, long time. Since I was like, five, and had the same glasses as the lunch lady:

My vision was so bad that I got contacts at ten, because I couldn’t make it through swim practice without crashing into walls and junk. But I still wore glasses sometimes, right? Sure. Until…. Behold the power of LASIK. Actually, it was a similar procedure for people with extra-crappy eyes, but whatever. Let’s roll with it for the sake of the story. Now? No on the glasses. I assume someday, I’ll get old-lady vision, but for now, it’s a no!

We Hate the Outdoors

People have a tendency to think that all bookish folks like to sit in some librarious cavern and bury their heads in artificial light and fiction. I know for a fact that most of them do not do this. At all. But me?

Well… yeah. I kind of do. Unless it is like, in a pool, or like, an extra special occasion like touring some amazing international city, I am going to pass on outside activities. Camping? No. Hiking? Find another friend. Seriously, I even complain if I am at the beach for too long. I used to hide in a closet and read when my mom wanted me to go out and play.

We Have No Pop Culture Awareness

I confess, I don’t “get” this one. I kind of like to be well rounded in all kinds of things, and while I may pay attention to my lovely fictional worlds and fellow book lovers a bit more than the Kardashians, I still know who they are. Because I don’t live under a rock.

Also, I kind of love me some TV. In fact, I think quite a few of my fellow readers do! And obviously, we will fangirl over just about any book-to-movie adaptation. Wait, that doesn’t count? Fine, but I am still going to be watching trashy TV too, no worries.

We Don’t Have Any Friends

Obviously we want to read books because no humans talk to us. Right? Oh wait, you actually have a lovely group of friends and family? Oops. Seriously, who came up with this!? Fine, my friends and I up until like, seventh grade spent most of our time talking about The Baby-Sitters’ Club, but we did other stuff too.

I think we all know that this one is pretty ridiculous. And I mean, we have each other. Obviously.

We Are Socially Awkward

Obviously, we are completely uncouth and will start clucking like a chicken and rubbing on you in the middle of the mall. Right. That’s why I read. You know, to avoid the stares that my insane behavior warrants.

You’ll be pleasantly surprised that I don’t awkwardly gawk at people, or lick my shoes. Do I have anxiety? Sure thing. But that basically has zero to do with why I read.

 We’re Unathletic

Sure, I’d be willing to bet that quite a few of us would probably rather read a new book than say, do an Ironman. But, I also am willing to bet that there are those of us who can do both. I mean, I am not one of them, and my volleyball skills are totally that of the above pictured Raven-Symone. I cannot ride a bike, I am pretty much useless at catching or throwing things. Running leads to a full-fledged asthma attack. Oh, but wait. There’s this one thing….

Yeah, that is the extent of my physical prowess, but I have been doing it for a long time. College, high school, little kid… well, you get the idea.

Readers Are Really “Smart”
Well. I think this one is almost a common sense issue. Yes, readers, as a whole, are smart. Because you know, books. No matter what the reading material, I think there is some value in just about any book. So are readers smart because we read, or do we read because we’re smart? Maybe it is a combination. I do think people who read are more likely to think things through, which perhaps gives others the impression that they possess a higher intellect. But really, what is “smart” anyway? Everyone has strengths and weaknesses. Maybe some of our strengths lie a bit more in the academic arena, but I don’t think anyone should confine themselves to such a small definition of smartness.  
That was a weird little tangent. But yes, I do think that readers have opened up their minds a bit more. But I don’t think any group of people will ever be inherently “smarter” than another, because I simply don’t think such a thing is measurable. 

We Can’t Have Fun
We aren’t fun!? Come on people. I think we are a lovely amount of fun! I love fun. I know you all love fun. And seriously, books are fun. But I love social gatherings (of course, I like them most when I know all the people attending. But still) and I love to have fun. Who hates fun?

So, I obviously must know: Do any of these stereotypes apply to you? Have you heard any others? 

Posted September 26, 2014 by Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight in Discussion / 27 Comments

27 responses to “Midnight Chat: Reader Stereotypes- True for You?

  1. Weeeeell, a few of them definitely apply to me. A LOT. XD Hehe. But I don’t wear glasses (I wore them for about a year, just with a very slight vision correction, to stop my headaches…I started getting headaches again, so went to get stronger glasses but — boom — apparently I didn’t NEED glasses. Urghhhh. Not happy with those people. -_-) The pop culture one doesn’t really make sense! I think most readers I know are also very big on tv shows/movies. lol Socially awkward? YES. I VERY MUCH AM.

    • Hahah I think that a lot of them apply to me on SOME level, but it isn’t like, completely true. Basically, I am not as suave as Beyonce, but I am not exactly Steve Urkel either (please tell me you’re old enough to get an Urkel reference, or I am going to cry).

      And YES! The bookish community likes to flail about all sorts of things, especially TV and movies! I find this one to be so silly! And the glasses thing is infuriating! I find glasses to be evil.

  2. So…first of all I love this post!
    Now, I wear glasses, am socially awkward(so much so) and am unathletic. BUT I love to have fun(outside of reading too!). I’m fine with the outdoors, though I prefer it being something along the lines of camping or a road trip. I watch a lot of TV and movies plus I read comics(which is definitely not the same as books, and is a big(ish) part of pop culture). And I also have freinds(not many but enough).

    I’ve heard most of these more than once and like I just want to know where everyone gets these ideas about us from!?! =)

    • Aw thanks! I am awkward, just not at the level that I think people imagine us to be, and I don’t think in the same ways, if that makes sense. Like, I understand social mores, and socially acceptable behavior. I am nervous, but not like, inappropriate. Also, I would not go camping if you paid me ALL the money. And road trips are great fun, as long as the day concludes with a hotel stay 😉

  3. hahahaha I love these stereotypes. I used to not wear glasses but I think reading excessively has tired my eyes out… So I think it’s connected a bit. We are SO not socially awkward *stomps foot* Not in the least 😉 Lovely post!!

  4. So, if most of these apply to me, does that make me a walking stereotype?

    Glasses, check. No pop culture awareness, check. Few friends, check. 🙁 Socially Awkward, Big check. Nonathletic, check.

    I think you covered them all. Fun post. 🙂

    • I was actually planning to talk about how literally ALL of my actual friends live in other states (or at least 2 or 3 hours away). Like, after college, everyone just… scatters. So I am in the same boat, BUT I think it is a life stage more than a bookish thing? Let’s go with that.

  5. Hahaha. Okay, so a few of these totally apply to me. I wear glasses; I wish I didn’t. I’ve tried contacts, but I can’t get near my eye with anything or else I freak out. I’m also pretty socially awkward, even online. I have heard most of these stereotypes, especially the last 5. I can kind of understand the smarter one. Like you, I think there is value and knowledge in all books. My friends actually have to ask me what words mean sometimes because apparently I use “big” ones a lot. Haha. But the last one! That one just makes me mad. I’ve heard it so many times–I’ve heard that reading is lazy and boring and that I should go out and have fun. Like dude. Reading is fun. How dare you tell me I should be doing something else (granted, it’s much better. And my family and friends know my reading habit even if they don’t understand it, so I don’t feel bad when I wanna stay in instead of go out).

    Love your post!! 🙂

    • Thanks! And oh, I was SO scared of contacts too- It took like, a good month of trying. But it was definitely worth it- by the end I could just pop them in and out wherever- planes, my bed, didn’t matter. So you know, if you ever wanted to try 😉

      And yes! I could say that ANY hobby is useless and someone should be doing something else! Just because I prefer to do one thing over another doesn’t mean I’m wrong!

  6. I don’t wear glasses, maybe once I get older, but for now my eyesight is still good enough.

    I love nature, but I don’t like going out, I rather stay inside and to be honest there just isn’t that much to see if you go out there. I am not really social and rather stay at home then go out with friends (uhm which friends?) and to something.

    I don’t watch tv, I do watch some series with my boyfriend, but that’s something relatively recent. We’re currently watching Star Trek Voyager.

    Like I mentioned before I don’t have many friends, I have a few, but I don’t see them regulary or are close to them. There are some bloggers I consider friends and sometimes I feel like I know them better then people I know in real life.

    I am not sure whether I am socially awkward or just don’t have anything to say/ nothing in common with people I meet. I can carry a normal conversation, but I don’t really get enthousiastic about much except books. I think I just have different interests mostly.

    I am totally unathletic, I avoid a ball instead of catching one. Really it’s a wonder I even made it through gym classes.

    I am not sure what would be considered smart, I have a university degree. I didn’t found my study particulary difficult, but I did have to work for it. I struggled with some coruses in high school and had some big troubles with the languages courses. I really had to work hard to get through high school. University almost seemed easy after that as it was closer to my interests.

    My idea of fun is to stay home an read, snuggle with my boyfriend and pet rats. Going out and being around a lot of people is not my idea of fun, but that doesn’t mean I can’t have fun. It just looks different for everyone.

    • Hahah I LOVE that you pet rats! I really doubt you are socially awkward. I think shy/reserved and social awkwardness are two very different things.

      And I think the friend thing has a lot to do with our generation more than our personalities. I find that friendships for pretty much everyone I talk to tend to be very fleeting. I don’t understand why, but it seems like the norm, unfortunately. And I think the older we get, the harder it seems to get too!

  7. Hahahha my eyesight IS HORRIBLE. But it’s more due to genetics rather than reading books. And also, I’m super scared of getting LASIK, I think I’ll just stick to contacts. Also, I’M PRETTY ATHLETIC. I used to be a full time swimmer, but I’ve retired for college hahahah.

    And also, I think readers are smart hahahahah 😀 I’m so modest

    • Ohh, very cool, I did not know that you were a swimmer! So fun! Now I want to ask you all kinds of swimming questions 😉

      And LASIK is not scary. At all. I mean, sure, in theory it is, but the actual procedure? Like, less than a minute. I had something called PRK, which is a bit different than LASIK and has a long recovery, but my brother had LASIK and he was seeing 20/20 the next day! No pain, no problems. I highly recommend!


    Seriously, I’m just reading this post and nodding to myself the whole time!
    I don’t wear glasses, I don’t hate the outdoors(I just have an aversion to bugs!) and I know way too much than I care to know about the Kardasians than I care to know (thank you, buzzfeed and daily mail).

    I have BOTH bookish friends and friends who find the idea of sitting and reading a book deplorable. And I love them all despite their obviously flawed view of books! 😉

    I have terrible hand-to-eye coordination but I do love playing even if I’m terrible at it. And we can TOTALLY have fun. It’s just that our idea of fun is a little different than others! 😛

    Adore this post, Shannon! 😀

  9. Great post! For me many of this is true, though not all of them can be put down to reading.

    #1 – False-ish: I wear glasses, but only to see things afar. I can see perfectly well what’s near to me thank you very much. 😀

    #2 – True: I do hate outdoors. I prefer my little cosy cave I call my room.

    #3 – Seriously? Just…no comment. Really.

    #4 – False – I have a nice group of friends who admittedly love the way I can rant about books. They like them, too. (Thank you for being patient with me when I’m in fangirl mode and otherwise.:))

    #5 – True – I am so absolute socially awkward, it should be in the Guinness Records. It has nothing to do with me being a reading nevertheless. It has myriads of reasons, but no, it’s not one of them.

    #6 – False: I dance, I run, I ride and I would do tons of other sports if I had the opportunity. I might not be the best, but I’m not a coach potato either.

    #7 – Dunno: Yeah, readers generally possess and extended knowledge as they, like, read. But that doesn’t mean every one of us is a maths genius or speaks seventeen languages by the age of twenty.

    #8 – FALSE! – Again, no comments. Just sit down, please.

    • Hahah I LOVE that your friends tolerate your bookish ramblings. Mine love when they need a recommendation (I have a Google doc that I refer them to!) but otherwise, they want me to shut it 😉

      And yes, I think you’ve nailed #7- I mean, when it comes to math and science and such, I could not be more useless!

  10. Oh my God! I am as far away from stereotypes as I can be. If people didn’t know what I blog about, they surely wouldn’t guess about books. More like fashion or something similar. For example, I buy tons of clothes, and I go to shopping at least once or twice a week. I spend way much more time with my friends then I should have to be able to blog consistently. Weekend for me doesn’t mean that I’d get much reading done, it mostly means that I’d probably go out to a party or clubbing. But that doesn’t mean that I can’t love books, and that I can’t love reading and blogging about them. Or annoying the hell out of my friends when I’m raving about my last favorite read, or when I’m making them read a book I loved so I can discuss it with someone in person. I read and blog in my free time, and it works for me just fine. Btw, I hate stereotypes. 😀

    • Oh I agree, stereotypes are insanely ridiculous! I mean, come on! I never understood how they even came about- every single group of people who share ANY similar interest or trait are not the same! Ugh, people 😉

  11. Haha, funny. I wear glasses and big ones too, with a dark frame, so I totally fit that stereotype. I don’t hate the outdoors, but I do hate the bugs. Socially awkward: yes. Yes I am.. I wish I could change that though. I am very nonathletic too, haha. Well, I must not lie, I LOVE swimming and I was/am very good at it. I also had a couple of things I could do without feeling to embarrassed, but I’m not really a sport type. I have loads of fun, so definitely false 😀

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