Congratulations, You’re Moving In With A Reader!

Ashley Holstrom

Staff Writer

Ashley Holstrom helps make books at Sourcebooks. She lives near Chicago with her cat named after Hemingway and her bookshelves organized by color. Newsletter: Crooked Reads. Twitter: @alholstrom.

Congratulations! You’re moving in with a reader. Your life will never be the same. Whether you’re platonic or romantic roommates, you’re in for a real treat. There will be books everywhere, and it will be glorious.

These wise tidbits come from my experience as a reader (duh) and having roommates. One roommate was shocked at how often she found me curled up with a book. Another was a fellow reader and we told each other about every book we read, leaving me feeling like I’d read way more than I actually have, since she gave me all the highlights. My current roommate is my boyfriend, a sometimes-reader, and, well. We have a second bedroom that’s actually a library.

Here are just some of the perks of living with a reader. Prepare yourself for nerdery, and please, don’t be alarmed by all the books. They can smell your fear.

The Perks of Moving in With a Reader

Every surface will be covered in teetering piles of books. Coffee tables, windowsills, end tables, the floor, sleeping cats…any immobile surface is fair game.

Your conversations will require a preface: Are we talking fiction or nonfiction? This is especially important whenever your reader roommate is telling you a story.

You’ll also need to get familiar with the names of your reader’s favorite characters and authors, because they’ll talk about these people as if they’re intimate, real-life friends.

An entire room will probably have to be dedicated to only housing books, and it’ll never get old when either of you refer to it as the library and people think you mean you’re going outdoors to the public library, not the second door on the right.

Speaking of the home library, if you’re stressed about combining your books with your roommate’s, let Tracy’s story of blending bookshelves console you. It doesn’t have to be scary.

You’ll become acquainted with a unique set of rules about books that your reader roommate strictly upholds. For example: there are the books that are allowed outside of the house, the books that can be lent out, the books that can be read in the bath, and the books that no one else is allowed to touch, ever.

You’ll get to feel like you’re a well-read person while your reader roommate gives you a play-by-play of every book they read. Sometimes you ask for it (like saying “What?” when they gasp/scream/laugh/cry loudly at their book) and sometimes it’s thrust upon you (when something SO BIG happens that they just HAVE to tell someone about it). It’s a delight.

You’ll worry about what happens in an emergency. Will my roommate save me, or the books?

If you’re in a romantic relationship with your reader roommate, you’ll be pleased to read all these benefits of dating a reader. They’re more empathetic! They might be good at the sex, if they’re romance readers!

But also, be warned: There are some rules for living with a reader. Be sure to read through these do’s and don’ts of dating a reader.

Along with the massive amount of books, your home will also be filled with book-related items: bookmarks, book sleeves, book lights…The list goes on.

Your reader roommate needs quiet reading time. If they’re sitting quietly with a book in their hands, it’s not an invitation to talk. Respect the reading time.

And yes, they really do read that much.

Okay. I think those are all the big things you need to know before moving in with a reader. The most important thing is to accept that your floors may collapse under the weight of all the books. It’ll be fine. As long as the books don’t get hurt.