10 ways to spot an undercover book nerd

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Before I was comfortable sharing my book nerdiness with the world, I did my best to blend in with my less-than-literary surroundings. My “best” wasn’t all that great though. Even though my mom was aware that reading had been soothing my nerves and stimulating my mind since I was a toddler, the outside world had no idea. I spent much of my teenage years hiding my love of books. When everyone else was scoffing at the language and length of The Scarlet Letter, I was scoffing with them. Only I’d go home and pull out my copy of The Scarlet Letter and read it with a goofy grin on my face, underlining all my favorite old English phrases. 

And then one day I decided enough was enough. I am a book nerd, and I don’t care who knows. Do you have a suspicion that someone close to you is a closet book nerd? Here are a couple of ways to spot them:

  1. You notice a book in their car. (Always. There’s always a book in the car. Even if the car has just been cleaned.)
  2. Their library card is really worn out (I mean, yeah, its on the key ring, but so is the gym membership card, and that one looks next to new.)
  3. They have subtle bookish trinkets around the house, though the unsuspecting visitor might think them just a collector of random things.  (is that a Vintage 1930’s Royal Quiet Deluxe?!)
  4. They know literary references better than movie references (They probably haven’t even seen most of the movies you reference.)
  5. They get really annoyed when you try to talk to them while they’re reading… even if it’s just the newspaper or a flyer.
  6. Their bookshelf-or shelves, look like a masterpiece of ordered chaos (And that random stack on the third shelf is anything but random. All books sitting there probably pertain to the same theme or genre, in case you were wondering).
  7. They own a typewriter… or have a typewriter app (Could totally be a booknerd if they own an actual typewriter— the older the more serious the nerd— or if they’re soothed to the sounds of the keys on the Hanx Writer app)
  8. They would rather read an actual book instead of an eBook (They complain about tablets everywhere and lament about the demise of the traditional book? Book nerd. All day.)
  9. They own a really, really old book. And they won’t let you touch it.
  10. They have a million rules for loaning books (no dog ears, don’t leave in the heat, careful with the cover, return in 1 month max).

Any of these ring a bell? These are definitely signs of an undercover book nerd. Have any other characteristics to add? Share in the comments below!

Photo credit: flickr user Pedro Ribeiro Simões

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