TEST: Are you a hopeless bookworm? 7

Editors are bookworms. Hopeless bookworms. Take this 13-question self-diagnostic test, created by hopeless—but happy—bookworm Frank Karabotsos, to determine exactly how “hopeless” your book-loving condition is.

You know how it is. You approach a bookstore and resolutely tell yourself, I’ll only go in for five minutes, buy the book I want, and make my escape. Yeah, right. When does it ever happen that way? I used to feel guilty about this, but my only worry now is, how bookish am I, really? Perhaps you’ve asked yourself the same question. Well, you’re about to find out.

If you answer Yes to more than 11 of the following statements, you’re a Bibliolater: you’d sell your house for a first edition; between 6 and 10, you’re a Bibliomaniac: you’d read a book while skydiving; between 1 and 5, you’re a Bibliophile: you probably carry reading material with you into the bath.

Only if you answer No to all of the questions are you truly safe, able to resist the temptation of books when circumstances warrant.

Take the test to find out how “hopeless” your book-loving condition is.

DOES THIS DESCRIBE YOU?
You judge a book by its spine, that is, by how well it will look sandwiched between other books on your shelves.
You change the arrangement of the books on your shelves to give them a refreshing new look, the same way others rearrange their furniture.
You wince when you hear a crack after someone bends a hardback more than 180 degrees.
You have at least three copies of War and Peace (or another famous work) in three different translations.
You know the difference between bibliophily, bibliomania, and bibliolatry.
You have an urge to remove the dust covers from your books and display them as posters in your office.
You use a steam iron to smooth out the wrinkles in the satin ribbon markers of your books.
You purchase two copies of the same book: a paperback for reading on the beach, and a hardback for reading at home.
To avoid your spouse’s cry of “Not another book!” when a parcel arrives, you have your orders sent to your work address or to a sympathetic non-bookish friend (someone who won’t be tempted to open the box).
You have multiple copies of a favourite novel, one with a cool cover, one with illustrations, and one with scholarly notes.
You buy Brodart plastic covers to protect your books, just as libraries do.
You start reading a paperback in the store, but then order the hardback since you want a copy with nicer paper and wider margins for notes.
You wish you had never heard of The Folio Society.

Now it’s your turn. What other symptoms of obsessive bookishness do you (or others you know) exhibit?

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7 comments

  1. When I was preparing to move to Vancouver from Ottawa seven years ago, I swore I would finally pare down my book collection. Who’d be crazy enough to pay hundreds if not thousands of dollars to ship a bunch of stuff they’ve already read clear across the country?

    Turns out, I would. After much soul searching, I managed to part with fourteen books, donated (not without regret) to friends and charities. The rest of my “pared-down” collection filled dozens of boxes, so many that I had to ship them separately on an industrial pallet. It depleted my bank account but saved some of my dearest friends.

  2. Ah, you are speaking of people who love books as objects: when I call myself a bookworm it’s because I am voracious for the content of the books. Covers and spines are largely irrelevant to me. I love the feel of a real book but would never turn my nose up at an e-version. Bookstores are a danger to me, but it’s libraries I haunt. I might not sell my house for a first edition, but I’ll bring an iPod to my child’s solo concert in order to finish reading a book I’m loving.

  3. Only 4/10, but I do have Brodart covers on my Shorter Oxford. Although I read a lot and I feel like I own a lot of books (14 file boxes as of my last move), I don’t seem to buy that many books. New-book stores in particular, with their ranks of hardcover bestsellers, are pretty safe from me.

  4. I thought I was a bookworm until I read this article. But having scored 0/10 on this quiz, I feel like a failure, and realize that I’m good company with EAC-BC!
    The worst book-related habit I have is to leave library books in Starbucks after only reading a couple of pages while waiting for my custom drink to be concocted.

    • Scoring 0/10 is actually a good thing, Nancy! According to the test, “only if you answer No to all of the questions are you truly safe, able to resist the temptation of books when circumstances warrant.”

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