Book lovers vs. nonreaders

I’ve always wondered why some people love to read books (myself included) while others would rather do anything else but that in their free time. I realize that if a person does a lot of work related reading, the last thing they want to do is open a book in their time off. But what about everyone else?
What is different in people who love to read vs. people who don’t? Are they more imaginative? More introverted? Just looking for an escape?
I have one family member that can literally read the covers off of books that she loves (she can re-read the same book many times) and another that would be bored to death to sit down and have to read anything.
Anyone have thoughts on this?

There is neither book lover or nonreader, nerd or geek, fatty or skinny, loner or lonee, for all are one in Christ Jesus.

it can change over time. as a child and until the last 10 years or so I literally had my head in a book anytime I was not actually working, eating, sleeping, or doing some other task. Lately however my tastes and inclinations have changed, I no longer visit the bookstore or library every week and bring home sacks of books, seldom read a mystery or history book any more, which I used to devour. There was a time when I read every spiritual work I could find. Any more I work on one book at a time, and it is usually something recommended by a trusted spiritual director, and it might take me several months to work through it.

I think the taste for reading as recreation is formed in childhood. Our home was literally wall to wall (and floor to floor) books, and in our family they are considered normal accountrements of a room, not clutter. It is common to enter any of our homes and find all the adults and children occupied in reading, not on the computer or playing video games.

We may be all one on Christ, but we still retain our individual personalities and consciousnesses and identities. Being one in Him doesn’t make us either clones of Him or part of some kind of energy being/primordial soup that goes by the name of Christ (unless one subscribes to Teilhard de Chardin’s weird ideas about what heaven will be like…)

On topic: I’ve found hyperactive people seem to be less inclined to sit and read a book. My mother and I used to babysit a girl who was clinically hyperactive (not just an active kid: this one literally couldn’t sit still at all), and we had a heck of a time trying to get her to sit still to read her a story.

I love books but I’ve always been a one for reference. I have read encyclopedias and atlas since I was 5. I am now a fan of apologetics.

I love GOOD novels and hate it when I wade through something which is very badly written but have to know the end.

My favourite novels are:

Jane Eyre
Gone with the Wind
Silas Marner
A Town like Alice
Watership Down
In this House of Brede

and many other obscure works. I can’t remember. The first novel I read was Little Women and I still love it.

I agree with PuzzleAnnie. I think a lot of it has to do with how books were viewed in your home. My parents were both readers, my mom more than my dad. Honesly I read all the time, in the bath, while eating breakfast and when I was supposed to be asleep. I got “busted” all the time for reading with a flashlight under the covers after lights out at night.

Both were very well educated and education was always stressed as well. I remember my parents bringing home books from the library and introducing us to reading even before we went to school. In contrast some of my friends had virtually no books in the house and very little emphasis on reading. So needless to say they weren’t the ones who loved reading in school. To me it was as good as recess!

OTOH inspite of a parent’s influence, I think part of being a book/reading lover is the ability to read and comprehend without difficulty. I know many very intelligent people who for whatever reason are slow readers. To a one they said they hated reading and considered it a chore. It may be some had undiagonosed learning disabilities or maybe didn’t have the benefit of a good teacher. But reading slowly, having difficulty retaining what is read both seem to be characteristics of people who just do not like reading. And in today’s cyber society with blogs, Twitter and Facebook posts taking the place of books, letters and other media, they are probably right at home.

Lisa A

Sorry, I just went of talking about myself, as usual.

Is there a difference between people who read and who don’t?

Some people just cannot read as quickly as most. Some just can’t read at all. It’s like math. I can read and write but I can only do simple arithmetic. I can read and write and understand and I know that I am quite intelligent.

Personally, I find it hard to understand how anyone couldn’t get lost in a good book. But I’m just me.

Is this true?

'Cause (reading habits aside, I’ve been a voracious reader since practically birth) I am having a really hard time with this above concept.

Well it’s me too :slight_smile: I also loved to read my set of Children’s Encyclopedia and because my parents were scientists I loved anything about animals, plants, etc. Oddly for a girl, I particularly liked learning about dinosaurs, snakes, lizards etc. I still probably read more nonfiction than fiction but these days it’s mostly history, politics, spiritual/religious books or even cookbooks. I love a good novel though!

Lisa A

I think that if you’re looking for a difference between the voracious readers and the one-book-a-year readers, the answer might be that the voracious readers are better at using small chunks of time to read.

E.g., I read while I’m peeing. I can finish a page with each potty stop. I read while I’m stirring pasta. I read while I’m stuck in a line. I read while I’m sitting in the audience waiting for the play or concert to start. I read during the commercials of the football games (and during the boring moments of the game)!

My husband, OTOH, reads only when he has the entire afternoon free for reading. Of course, this means that he only reads a few times a year because he only has a few times a year when he has an entire afternoon free for reading! And when he does have that free afternoon, he usually falls asleep after the first page!

My older daughter reads several novels and books a week, and she does it in small chunks. She even reads when she drives (YIKES!)–mainly during those big traffic jams.

The other difference, I think, is that voracious readers are willing to sit quietly and read rather than chatting with pals. At work, there are several of us who read. Instead of sitting with co-workers during breaks and lunch, we spread ourselves around the cafeteria and sit ALONE, with our books propped open in front of us while we eat. I personally love going out to eat ALONE with a book! (I’m not alone when I have a book.)

I agree with the posters who say that non-readers sometimes have problems reading. I think that for some people, they can’t see the print because they either need glasses, or their glasses are poorly-adjusted for their vision.

I think that some non-readers just don’t find books entertaining. They would rather pursue some other recreational activity, e.g., sports, gardening, needlework (it’s hard to read while you’re working with a needle!), travelling, etc.

And sadly, I think that some Christians are afraid to read. Almost every book has some hint of “sin” in it, and I think some Christians are so afraid that they might expose themselves to “sin” that they just avoid all fiction entirely, and much non-fiction also. And they don’t want to pay money to companies like Barnes and Noble that sell objectionable material. etc. IMO, Christians can sometimes go too far in trying to avoid contamination by “the world.”

Another voracious reader here. I can’t imagine what it would be like to live a normal life (i.e. without a book going in every room) or why anyone would want to. In grade school, I’d take my reader home on the first day of school, and have it polished off in one night. It was like being starved. Still is. I find that sooner or later I have a hard time communicating with people who aren’t readers. We’re just not on the same wavelength.

I like to read too!!!

Atlas and Encyclopedias when I was a child? yes!

Now I read a lot in Internet, sometimes in Books, but some Books I want aren’t near me

For Sailor Kenshin, yeah, that is one of the concepts of Teilhard of Chardin, The Omega Point, the next step of the Noosphere

God Bless You !!!

I think it all comes down to a persons personal taste, what they like to do in their spare time. My mom used to read to my brother and I alllll the time when we were young, but my brother nowadays doesn’t read much (unless it’s a Dan Brown book:shrug:). I on the other hand would literally go nuts if I didn’t have a book to read. I prefer it to tv or anything else. I’m 24 and I’ve probably read at least 500 books in the last 8 years (maybe more).

I’ve read five books out of your list and they are also among my favorites. Little Women is one of these. I first read it way back when I was 12 or 13 years old and it’s been with me ever since! I find that when I reread a book that I haven’t looked at for some years, I get something different from when I read it the first time. Different things pop out at you depending on what stage of life you’re in.

I feel the same way. I can go through periods of time without having a book to read, and have done this when I’m really busy, but after a while it almost feels like I’m going through withdrawals…something is missing!
I wonder if book lovers read more magazines and newspapers than other people do? Reading is an addictive habit, so it’s probably true.

I love books. I have a living room lined with book shelves, the office lined with book shelves and a “library” (a spare room lined floor to ceiling with book shelves…all full to overflowing.

I usually have two to three books going at a time. One fiction, one non-fiction. I like sci-fi/fantasy or a good mystery. I read books on spirituality and religious themes of all kinds. My favorite fiction authors are Raymond Feist, Jim Butcher, Zenna Henderson, Dan Brown, Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Mercedes Lackey, Katherine Kurtz to name a few.

My favorite non-fiction authors are Bart Erhman, Rufus Jones, Marcus Borg, Elton Trueblood, Huston Smith, Thich Nhat Hanh, Eilene Pagels, Joseph Campbell and John Dominic Crossan to name a few as well.

I read one or two books a week.

I grew up loving to read…an aunt gave me a set of Dr. Seuss when I was very young…too young to yet read…I excelled in 1st grade reading class almost 50 years ago…and never lost the love of a good book.

I learned to read on a set of books called The Children’s Classics in the 1950’s. I grew up seeing my parents reading and naturally grew to love the feel of a book in my hands. I don’t read much on the internet because it’s just not the same. Not really a magazine or newspaper reader, either; just books. From the time I was about 10 until I was in my 40’s, science fiction was my great love, esp. Arthur C. Clark and Philip Jose Farmer, with a little fantasy in the mix. Then I got hooked on Jewish literature, esp. Chaim Potok. Now I don’t read fiction very much; I love biographies and autobiographies of contemporary Christians who have done weird things like run off and lived with lepers or something. There are actually more protestant books like that than there are Catholic ones; I don’t really care what “brand” they are. They’re very inspiring. Oh, and I’ve also loved reading the dictionary all my life.

I’ve always loved to read and have a great desire to read many books. I check out bagfuls at the library and request as many as I dare for gifts and presents. I love skimming through each one and reading bits and pieces that appeal to me. I find a section that appeals to me and start right there.

That being said, I am a very S_L_O_W reader. I have OCD and it affects my concentration levels terribly. :frowning: I rarely ever finish a book or read cover to cover. If I DO finish a book it’s because I really wanted to and I because I was able to read it on my time. It can take weeks or months for me to finish reading depending on the number of pages and the difficulty of content. And we aren’t talking war and peace. Just your average sized book. :o

Assigned or timed reading was a horrible experience for me as a child and teen. Again, due to the OCD which wasn’t diagnosed until I was a young adult. It explained a ton of my life. Too bad they didn’t know as much about it then. I bet I would have loved reading even more and received the tools I needed to not only enjoy it, but be successful at it! :thumbsup:

Wow, what an interesting thread! I love the weight of a book in my hands. I feel lost without a book nearby, and like to carry one in my purse. I love the smell and crispness of the paper, and I’m always a little sad when the pages start to yellow. However, I don’t mind a well-worn book, because this means it’s well-loved. While I read a lot, I don’t tend to keep a lot of them, only a very select few. I love to pass along books to others. I absolutely love looking at others’ bookshelves.
As a reader, I don’t think I’m looking for an escape. That would sort of be like drinking with the sole purpose of becoming intoxicated.

I just love words.

**Attention all book lovers, y’all have got to read Stephen King’s On Writing. I immediately thought of that book while reading all these posts. **

I think there is nothing more pleasurable and luxurious than having an hour or two to curl up with a good book.

We grew up reading, with twice-monthly trips to the library. I’d read anything I could get my hands on and spent most nights hiding out, reading under the covers with a small flashlight. During summers I would read dozens of books, and even liked the books on our school reading lists (with the one distinct exception of something called “The Microbe Hunters”, which I loathed, as evidenced by the fact that I still remember the title.)

I loved histories, biographies, fiction, non-fiction…just about anything. These days, I especially enjoy non-fiction (just finished “My Life in France” by Julia Child and Alex Prud’homme.) We subscribe to a variety of magazines (news, travel, food) and two daily newspapers. I MUST have my paper and tea in the morning or my whole day is off.

Our younger daughter was diagnosed with ADD at 17, which explained why she had always found reading a chore. It was so difficult for her that she would literally get headaches when she tried to concentrate on a page. I always hated that she didn’t derive the same pleasure from reading that I had. She seems to have outgrown the headaches, and has now discovered several authors she loves; I’m delighted for her.

I’m not sure how I’ll adjust to technology like Kindle; I hope I won’t have to for a while.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit