If you’re reading this, chances are you were a bookworm kid. Goodness knows, I was. And if you were a bookworm kid, chances are that you’re raising, or hoping to raise, your own bookworm kids (I know that, speaking for myself, my greatest parenting moment so far was the day my first-grader came home from the school book fair and announced that he wanted Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone). But being a bookworm kid isn’t always easy, and neither is having one of your own. Here’s a look at some of the very real struggles we all faced as bookworm kids and that we’ll have to face again with our own.
1. They’d Rather Read Than Play Outside
You know the drill— you’d been sitting inside all day, ensconced in a book, oblivious to the sunshine and fresh air, when your mom exasperatedly shooed you outside because “it’s a beautiful day and you need some exercise!” So you dutifully put on your shoes and trekked outside…only to sit down under a tree and resume reading. Because that totally counts, mom!
2. Their Lives Revolve Around The Book Fair And Scholastic Newsletters
Oh, the book fair…the best day of the year! Was there anything better than strolling through the book-laden tables and putting together a mile-long wish list? The only thing that came close was when your teacher handed out the Scholastic newsletters and you painstakingly pored over every page, circling all the books you wanted. And the day those books actually arrived? It was Christmas all over again!
3. They Don’t Mind Being Alone
If you were anything like me, not only did you not mind being alone, you actually spent a good deal of time wishing you were alone so you could just read already! The adults around you were getting concerned because you were always shut up in your room and your little brother was annoyed because you wouldn’t play with him, but come on, those books weren’t going to read themselves! Besides, it’s not like you were really alone— you were constantly surrounded by characters from all your favorite books, so what were they so worried about?
4. They Bump Into Things While Reading
Yes, I know I have strange bruises all over my shins. No, I wasn’t the victim of a particularly brutal game of dodgeball, I was just reading and someone moved the ottoman without telling me. Yes, of course I was reading while walking, doesn’t everyone? I mean, how are you going to get through that whole stack of books if you don’t multitask?
5. Their Sense Of Direction May Suffer
This ties in to the one above, and it’s something that affects me to this day. When you’ve previously spent all your time in the car reading, it can come as a bit of a shock to get your driver’s license and suddenly realize you don’t actually know how to get anywhere— even the grocery store that’s two blocks away. Until such time as we all have self-driving cars (and can go back to reading on the road!), let’s be thankful for the miracle that is GPS.
6. They May Feel Isolated From Their Peers
In fourth or fifth grade, a friend of mine told me that back in kindergarten she had really hated me because she and the other kids were just learning how to read, while I was already plowing through The Indian in the Cupboard. Bookworm kids are often isolated from their peers— they’re reading at a higher grade level, they’ve already finished all the books on the school reading list, or they’ve simply learned about things their classmates haven’t yet. And so you end up at the archery range at summer camp trying to convince the other kids that you should all pretend you’re English archers at the Battle of Agincourt while they look at you like you have three heads (not that that ever happened to me or anything like that…).
7. They May Have…Creative Pronunciation
It’s the bane of every bookworm: you see a word, you can spell it, you know what it means…but you can’t actually pronounce it because you’ve only encountered it in print and never heard anyone say it out loud. And then the time comes to use it in conversation and you try to bust it out but you completely mangle it and you feel so awkward. It’s even worse when you’re a kid and your vocabulary is already markedly different from that of your peers because of all your reading. There’s probably some very long and wonderfully fitting German word for this phenomenon, but you wouldn’t be able to pronounce that, either.
8. Their Test Scores Will Benefit
Even if you couldn’t pronounce them correctly, all those extra vocabulary words still came in handy, as did the extra knowledge you soaked up from your extensive reading. When it came time to take tests, you aced them, getting super high scores with time to spare. Let’s face it, if gym class had had less hand-eye coordination and more paper-and-pencil tests, a lot of us bookworm kids would have done a lot better.
9. You’ll Catch Them Reading At Weird Times…And Places
It was a constant battle— you were always trying to read and adults were always trying to make you do something else, like eat or sleep or learn algebra. You had to get creative, and, like all bookworm kids before and since, you did. Whether it’s the “tucking my novel inside my textbook” fake-out or the old “flashlight under the covers” trick, book-loving kids are constantly finding new ways to sneak more reading into their day. And we love them for it.
Here’s to you, bookworm kids— may your love of reading never die!
YouTube Channel: the World of a Bookworm
Featured image via Unremarkable Files
h/t/ Huffington Post