100 Happy Bookish Feelings

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Deepali Agarwal

Staff Writer

Deepali Agarwal has a Master’s in literary linguistics, which means that every person she’s ever known has, at some point, asked her to ‘edit a thing’ for them-- ‘just see if it reads okay?’ She doesn’t mind, because she believes that the world can be fixed one oxford comma at a time. Deepali lives in Delhi, the capital of India, where cows are sacred, but authors and poets exist and write brilliant things. She works as an editor with OUP India’s School ELT division, where she moves apostrophes, looks up pictures of cats, and talks about children’s books for eight hours. The rest of her day is spent reading, thinking about Parks and Recreation, and wondering if there exist jobs for English majors that pay more than peanuts. Twitter: @DeepaliAgarwal_

Loving books with a ferocious intensity is not always easy. Sometimes your favourite authors do some problematic things, or book Twitter is unnecessarily mean; sometimes your favourite book’s adaptation ruins everything you love and hold dear. But the next day, you wear your favourite t-shirt with a bookish reference, and a complete stranger looks at you, nods, and smiles knowingly. So here’s to happy bookish feelings; 99 more of them:

  1. Receiving book mail you didn’t order (or in some cases, ordered and forgot about)
  2. Buying a book you know you’ll never get to, but you need on your bookshelf
  3. When a book you’ve loved for ages starts getting the hype it deserves
  4. Someone coming back to you to say they loved your book recommendation
  5. Books and good coffee
  6. The heady smell of a good bookstore
  7. Looking up from a book and wondering where you arevia GIPHY
  8. Adding books to your Amazon cart (sometimes it really doesn’t matter if you really plan on buying them)
  9. Falling asleep on a book
  10. When someone asks you how you know that and you reply with “I read it in a book”
  11. Unboxing a squeal-worthy bookish subscription
  12. When a book podcast episode leads you to new bookish obsessions
  13. Finding a kickass feminist lead in a book or comic (preferably a comic, so that you can swoon over the art as well)
  14. Book swaps, whether with friends online or IRL
  15. When you’re scrolling the Internetz and some great bookish merch appears
  16. Meeting a favourite author IRL, and they turn out to not be problematic ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
  17. Books and dessert, preferably doughnuts or ice cream
  18. Finding your reading game after a long break
  19. A good bookstore in an unfamiliar city
  20. Scrolling through some good bookish Instagram
  21. Discovering new authors/artists/creators of colour
  22. Feeling special when you receive some secret bookish stuff through an author’s Patreon
  23. A satisfactory book pile (often teetering, always tall)via GIPHY
  24. Finding hidden jokes and/or easter eggs in comics
  25. Bookish newsletters which lead you down endless bookish rabbit-holes
  26. Reorganizing your bookshelves
  27. Discovering books you’d forgotten you owned while reorganizing your bookshelves
  28. Watching a toddler engrossed in a book
  29. Sneakily listening to a bookish podcast while pretending to work
  30. (booksellers/librarians only, please) Finding a new book for the picky 12-year-old who has read everything
  31. Spying someone reading a book you like in public
  32. Advance reading copies
  33. The accomplished feeling that comes with finishing a book in one sitting
    via GIPHY
  34. Bookish memes: all day, every day
  35. A truly excellent movie/TV adaptation that doesn’t ruin everything you’d imagined
  36. Rereading a childhood favourite, and it still holds up/is not racist!
  37. Coming across dog-eared, scribbled-upon copies of your childhood faves, which you refuse to part with
  38. Completing a bookish DIY project (from a bookmark to a bookshelf)
  39. Finding an unexpectedly good book deal online
  40. Discovering that your new favourite author has an entire body of unread work
  41. Reading a tweet from your favourite author and feeling like you know them now
  42. Unexpected finds in bookstores (last week I found a copy of The Hate U Give at a tiny bookstore, which I didn’t even know had been released in India, so I’m good on bookish fuzzies for a month now)
  43. Owning multiple copies of the same book, because that is a legitimate thing to do, okay?via GIPHY
  44. When someone gifts you a book with a great inscription
  45. All the feels from strangers’ loving inscriptions in second-hand books, brownie points for when they’re decades old
  46. Receiving news of your favourite comic book series not getting cancelled (*side-eyes Marvel*)
  47. Falling in love with a comic’s art, or as Susie puts it, finding a comic whose art you GROOVE on
  48. Good, smart bookish conversation at a gathering
  49. When a comic book series ends, or is on break for a while, and then suddenly you see it in your stack of pull list for the month when it’s returned
  50. Seeing yourself represented in a book (especially in a genre where you’ve never before gotten to identify with anyone/anything) because diversity matters
  51. Getting word on New Comic Book Day that stuff from your hold list came in
  52. A gift-wrapped book with neat edges
  53. Furiously texting your BFF about a bookish happeningvia GIPHY
  54. Carrying some familiar, loved books with you to a new city
  55. Authors reading their audiobooks
  56. Meeting someone with the same favorite book as you
  57. Book sales. Period.
  58. Book fairs which give you giddy feelings, because all you can see for miles are books
  59. People of colour on book covers
  60. When a book unexpectedly becomes an exercise in self-help
  61. Uninterrupted reading on an airplane/a secluded vacation spot because the internet doesn’t exist
  62. Browsing bookshelves with someone in comfortable silence
  63. DNFing a book that has been irking you for a whilevia GIPHY
  64. Passing books on to younger siblings or cousins
  65. Buying a pretty box set of your favourite series specifically for display purposes
  66. Making book lists of all kinds, from thematically-sorted TBR lists to giant Excel sheets tracking your reading life
  67. Getting your Goodreads account up-to-date after a hiatus (full disclosure, it’s been months since I updated mine)
  68. When someone gifts you a book you’ve been wanting to buy for a long while
  69. A happily-ever-after
  70. Being able to read for pleasure after a long bout of academia
  71. Writing about a book you’ve loved, and want to shout from the mountaintops about
  72. (booksellers/librarians only, please) When a customer comes back in to tell you how much they loved the book you recommended
  73. Discovering an unexpected author interview at the end of an audiobook
    via GIPHY
  74. Getting a reluctant reader to enjoy a book
  75. An unexpectedly great read outside your preferred genres
  76. When book club makes you completely rethink a novel
  77. When you have to stay in your car in the driveway, even though you’re home, so you can listen to just one more chapter
  78. Owning a piece of bookish jewellery you’ve coveted forever
  79. Finding out a narrator you love is recording/recorded a book you’re excited about
  80. Finding a secret reading nook in a library
  81. Discovering a long-sought book for your TBR in a Little Free Library
  82. Swoon-worthy bookish art on Pinterest/Tumblr
  83. (this one is for the good days gone by) Sneakily reading the latest Harry Potter when you’re supposed to be studyingvia GIPHY
  84. The joy of a graphic novel adaptation of a loved book, where a character looks just the way you imagined them
  85. Truly cathartic fanfiction
  86. Reading an article/blog post (sometimes even just a tweet) which echoes your feelings for a book
  87. Reading outside on a good-weather day (no bugs, please)
  88. Packing just the right number of books for your holiday
  89. Spending a gift card/birthday money solely on books (no regrets)
  90. TV characters who are book nerds and make for guaranteed bookish references in every episode
  91. Vast, gorgeous public librariesvia GIPHY
  92. Flipping a book so that all the spines line up on a bookshelf in a bookstore or library
  93. (let’s be real for a second) Lying to someone about being busy so that you can stay in and finish a book
  94. …On a related note, how great is reading in a cozy blanket on a winter day, with your body at optimum temperature?
  95. Donating books to good causes
  96. Managing to stay spoiler-free about a buzz-y book and enjoying the full effects of that surprising twist
  97. Absurd bookish quizzes with very satisfactory results (not you, Pottermore’s Patronus quiz)
  98. The thrill of standing in line outside a bookstore for a much-anticipated book release
  99. A bookish soulmate (could be a community or person, online or IRL)via GIPHY