Humor

The 42 Traits of The Perfect Reader

Jeff O'Neal

CEO and co-founder

Jeff O'Neal is the executive editor of Book Riot and Panels. He also co-hosts The Book Riot Podcast. Follow him on Twitter: @thejeffoneal.

Jeff O'Neal

CEO and co-founder

Jeff O'Neal is the executive editor of Book Riot and Panels. He also co-hosts The Book Riot Podcast. Follow him on Twitter: @thejeffoneal.

 

  1. The perfect reader reads in translation, but prefers to read in the original language.
  2. The perfect reader reads 50% books by women and 50% books by men.
  3. The perfect reader buys exclusively hardbacks from independent bookstores.
  • The perfect reader prefers print.
  • The perfect reader likes plot but doesn’t need it.
  • The perfect reader reads every line.
  • The perfect reader makes their reading decisions based on professional reviews.
  • The perfect reader did the book club reading.
  • The perfect reader likes a little genre, but not enough to hurt them.
  • The perfect reader is thrilled that kids are reading YA and hopes it leads them to pick up some serious literature eventually.
  • The perfect reader saw the movie and thought it had some strong points, but preferred the book.
  • The perfect reader worries about the future of the American novel.
  • The perfect reader knew of the work of the most recent Nobel Laureate already.
  • The perfect reader appreciates an ambiguous ending.
  • The perfect reader tweets something nice about every book he/she reads, but knows that when you have nothing nice to say it’s better to say nothing at all.
  • The perfect reader understood Ulysses.
  • The perfect reader doesn’t let their personal beliefs and experience interfere with their reading of a book.
  • The perfect reader remembers when literature was at the center of cultural life. 
  • The perfect reader can keep the Brontes straight.
  • The perfect reader doesn’t crease the spine.
  • The perfect reader reads every book they are given as gifts.
  • The perfect reader got the allusion.
  • The perfect reader thinks that reading romance is really great for some people.
  • The perfect reader doesn’t care what other people think of their reading. 
  • The perfect reader is interested in and fully grasps the complexity of the publishing industry.
  • The perfect reader cares what the author meant.
  • The perfect reader wishes poetry were more popular.
  • The perfect reader appreciates an hour-long author reading.
  • The perfect reader always looks up the word.
  • The perfect reader knows which one was proud and which one was prejudiced.
  • The perfect reader never hesitates to loan their books. 
  • The perfect reader is happy to discuss the book they are reading with the person in the seat beside them.
  • The perfect reader always makes it to the end.
  • The perfect reader gets over the misogyny, homophobia, and sexism of the classics, because hey those were the times.
  • The perfect reader is beginning to think about maybe trying a graphic novel.
  • The perfect reader would never ban a book. 
  • The perfect reader never reads the last chapter first just to know what happens.
  • The perfect reader actually sort of prefers the extended whaling descriptions in Moby-Dick, to be honest.
  • The perfect reader really misses all those newspaper book reviews.
  • The perfect reader never gets a new book until they have finished all of the ones they already have. 
  • The perfect reader gets the star-rating exactly right.
  • The perfect reader is such a keen thinker that they immediately pick up on satire and congratulate the writer’s insight, insouciance, and devilish ingenuity.

     

    (Thanks also to a bunch of Book Riot contributors for ideas. Perfect readers, all).

     

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