Over the years I’ve belonged to or visited a number of book clubs, which taught me there are many different reader styles. After posing this topic to my voracious-reader daughter, I decided to define the ones we’ve either been or encountered and list them here in no particular order. See if you can identify with any . . . or some . . .
The Peeker: This reader isn’t hesitant about reading the ending well before actually getting there. Some start out reading the end, others peek ahead once they’re sufficiently worried or confused about where the story is taking them.
The Dedicated Reader will finish every book they start, even if they’re not particularly enjoying it. They want to see how the reader wraps up the story, even if they complain about how it’s done.
The Wall-Banger has such well-defined standards that when it isn’t met they not only don’t finish the book, they toss it across the room in disgust.
The Skimmer would like to finish every book, but isn’t sufficiently engaged to want to spend the time it will take for a thorough read. They skip narrative, try to read most of the dialogue, and pick up just enough to see where the plot and characters go.
The Picky Reader never spends time finishing a book she’s either not enjoying or learning from.
The Juggler reads more than one book at the same time.
The Voracious Reader: Reads so many books in such close succession that when they shop for new ones they often end up purchasing ones they already own. It isn’t until they’re a quarter of the way into the novel that they realize they’ve not only already read it, but it’s sitting on their very full bookshelf.
The Hasty Review Reader is in a contest with others to see how many reviews they can get up online, for perks and prestige.
The Cliff Note and Reader’s Digest Reader: student’s favorite, but also known to attract those with more curiosity than time.
The Snail Pace Reader savors each and every word, re-reads paragraphs just for the enjoyment of particularly lyrical or imaginative prose.
Bathroom Reader: No matter how good the book is, this is the only spot for reading.
Exercise and audio reader: these readers have been known to extend their exercise time just to find a place in the book where they can put it down or push pause.
Travel and Vacation Reader: Beach readers, airport/airplane readers. This also includes those who don’t get carsick and can read while a passenger in the car.
The Giving Reader: only reads a book once, then passes it on. See next reader style for the opposite style.
Re-Readers: They can read a book twenty times but still enjoy reading it again. Series books are sometimes re-read to refresh this reader’s memory. Or they’re just in the mood for “that kind of book”.
Series Readers are those who primarily read series books; this sometimes means the whole series must be published before purchasing and reading the first. Or they fall into the re-reader category and re-read the earlier books each time a new book is added to the series, so the books that went before are fresh in their mind.
Movie/Book Reader. This reader must read the book before seeing an upcoming movie, or else has already seen the movie but enjoyed it so much they now want to read the book for another, deeper perspective or to relive the movie.
Genre Readers are those readers who never venture outside their favorite genre. Loyal romance readers, sci-fi, mystery, etc.
The Matter-of-Fact Reader only reads non-fiction, biographies, autobiographies, or textbooks. If it didn’t actually happen, they’re not reading it. They have no desire to explore whether or not truth is stranger than fiction, because they only want the truth.
Chances are if you’ve been reading for very long you’ve practiced more than one of the reader styles listed above. I know I have! What about you?