Sunday, March 15, 2009

How to spot a bibliophile

Bibliophiles, or book lovers, are intriguing persons. Most of my friends say that, being a book lover, I live in my own self-contained world. In a way, that's true. Every time I open a book, I immerse myself into the book's content, figuratively being transported into the author's imagined universe.

I think that bibliophiles are the most uncomplicated people in the world. It doesn't take that much to make us happy, and we think pretty much in black and white. Finding a bibliophile requires technique though. Here's how you can spot one.
  1. When we enter a bookstore, we immediately become silent. Everything else become irrelevant. Bookstores are sacred territories. Without them, we would be very very unhappy. The bookstore is where we also kill time before we meet people for dinner, a movie, etc.
  2. We carry larger tote bags than everybody else. Inside these bags are at least one book, which is usually read midway. If ever there are two books inside them, expect that the two books are somewhat unrelated with each other. I usually have a novel and a non-fiction book in my messenger bag.
  3. When in bookstores, we spend a longer time checking out the books in the new arrivals section than the ones in the usual shelves. Also, we prefer to browse by our lonesome. That doesn't mean we don't have company though. Usually, we join the people we're with when we're done and just about to leave the bookstore.
  4. We rarely check out the magazine section. We may check out the graphic novels section occasionally and perhaps buy one or two, but never the magazines. We can buy two decent books with the price of the latest Details, Vanity Fair, or GQ.
  5. We don't have too many credit cards in our wallets. What we really value getting are the bookstore discount cards. And we know when there's a sale.
  6. When we're in cafes, we read. We don't kill time by staring at empty space like other people, nor do we simply listen to our mp3 players and stare at the other customers. That's just rude and not to mention stupid.
  7. We love going to malls with at least two good bookstores. We bibliophiles love the small, neighborhood bookstores too, even though their books may cost higher than those found in big chains. We love the quaintness of small bookstores.
  8. We don't buy books with movie covers no matter how good the book is. We cringe at that. If ever you do find some of these in our bookshelves, they were given as gifts.
  9. We have a reading backlog. And this usually grows as we buy more books that we don't get to read immediately.
  10. We don't usually ask for help when we're looking for a particular book. We just don't trust those sales people in bookstores. We love the hunt. We hate it when we do need the assistance of bookstore personnel, especially when we're asked to spell out the book's title or the author's name.
  11. We know that Ethan Hawke is both an actor and an author.
Please feel free to add to this list in the comments section. Perhaps, I may have missed out one or two items that you feel passionately about.


Anonymous said...

I totally agree with #8. Movie covers scream capitalism.

I've also observed that in conversations, while most people make references to popular movies, bibliophiles would often start sentences with "I read in [book title] that..."

Belated happy birthday, by the way. :)

Peter Michael C. Sandico said...

Hahaha! Exactly!

lefthand said...

Amen to all of the above :D

"We carry larger tote bags than everybody else." -- I always buy bags big enough for at least 2 books to fit in.

I read in cafes, buses, trains, jeeps, while standing in line . . . and still my reading backlog is in the 100s.

callboi said...

Hi! Just browsed through your blog and read this entry. Totally, totally true. I laughed at the part where we bibliophiles become all silent upon entering a bookstore. That's so me.