The Spectator The Spectator Book Club
The other day – let’s be real, this was months ago — I was reading “Crooked Kingdom” by Leigh Bardugo.
Netflix had just released their adaptation of “Shadow and Bone,” and I ate it up — licked my plate clean, smacking my lips all the while.
Having thoroughly enjoyed myself, much of which I attribute to the lovely Ben Barnes, I found myself tearing through the Grishaverse books. It was one of “you mean you’ve been here all along?” kind of moments.
One sunny, summer afternoon, I was laying in bed, squealing over Jesper and Wylan (“No, not just girls.”), incoherently sobbing over their sweet, torturous slow burn of a love story — second only to Kaz and Inej, the reigning champions of that title.
Needing desperately to take a break, I left my hovel to grab a snack and a glass of water, too — the number of tears I’ve shed over this book is concerning. I ran into my sister while on my way and immediately began to barrage her with details, theories and that snarky joke a character made that only makes sense if you’ve read the book (which she hadn’t, just so we’re clear).
She, of course, couldn’t care less and instead said, “You talk to yourself a lot when you read.”
This is very true. It got me thinking — what other kinds of readers are out there?
Crying and shaking and screaming and throwing up
We’re starting off strong here, folks.
This reader is up to date on all the BookTok drama; they have screenshotted — if not already bought and read – “The Love Hypothesis” by Ali Hazelwood; they will watch or even create content surrounding books; and will attempt readathons for clout.
Their title comes from the comments they post under any genre of romance book: Contemporary? Crying. High fantasy? Shaking. Enemies to lovers? Screaming. Mafia boss? Throwing up.
Beware of this reader: They will make fun of you to the point of tears if provoked.
What do you mean you haven’t read (incredibly niche title)
Otherwise known as “Pretentious with a capital P,” these are the type of people non-readers think we’re all like.
Not to be sexist but, the majority of male-identifying readers I’ve met fall into this category. You can usually find one of these fun-suckers prowling about the Sci-Fi/Fantasy aisle of your local bookstore. Expect them to be wearing wire-framed glasses, a sweater, and even have a leather satchel bag in tow.
They’re the self-proclaimed “nice guys” who read “Dune” and anything by Brandon Sanderson just to feel something other than their own self-loathing.
Scholastic book fair queen
Don’t let the title fool you, look out for them. Scholastic book fair queens are one of the most powerful — and dangerous — of the readers. They will openly read smutty romances in public, shamelessly and without remorse.
Do not teasingly ask them what they’re reading. They will read chapter 23 of “A Court of Silver Flames” aloud, and you will rue the day you crossed their path.
As in, sterile.
I’m not entirely sure this reader exists or not, but these are the ones that only read for class or while on the toilet. For them, reading is “just okay” — even if they did choose to read for pleasure, they wouldn’t seek out others who’d read the book to discuss and share thoughts on it.
The more I think about it, the more disturbed I feel. But, live your life, I guess.
The 3 in AO3 stands for mentally healthy and has a great relationship with both parents
For the fanfic readers, the best hours are logged in the wee hours of the morning. If done in the daylight – or, godforbid, in public – the whole world would be subjected to their constant breaking-of-the-fourth-wall-move, made popular by Jim from “The Office.”
Is there a camera to look into? No. Do they do it anyway? Definitely.
The theatrics don’t end there, though. It is not unheard of for these readers to perform Oscar-worthy performances, recreating the most explosive scenes from their blanket burrito confinement. How one person can create such chemistry while playing both Ebony and Draco is beyond me.
Schutte can be reached at [email protected].