According to an article by Bookstr, there are 9 different types of readers. I’ve rearranged them a little bit from “doesn’t like to read” to “super reader”. A quick summary:
- The “Bookclub” reader
According to Bookstr, this is someone who’s part of a book club but only goes to drink wine and socialise and hasn’t actually. I wouldn’t necessarily call them readers since they don’t read, they just go to book clubs for company.
- The tentative reader
If asked, the tentative reader will say they like to read. But they don’t know what they like to read. When they’re reading a book, they are never sure if they like it or not. They don’t even know for sure that they like reading at all, but they keep on picking up books.
- The “Weekend Warrior” reader
Someone who likes to read, purely for pleasure. They don’t stress out about to-read lists and piles, they don’t carry books with them wherever they go, they just read when they can which is, in most cases, in the weekend, hence the name.
- The obsessive author-specific reader
Readers who read absolutely everything from their favourite author, no matter the genre, the audience, … They will buy and read everything from that author just because it’s their favourite author.
- The intellectual reader
Someone who doesn’t just read for pleasure but for knowledge. The intellectual reader is someone who loves to read for the sake of knowledge so naturally, they read mostly non-fiction.
- The snobby reader
Can the snobby reader be considered a reader? They say they’ve read a lot of books and want to impress others with it. They don’t really read for pleasure but for bragging rights. Also, a lot of them haven’t actually read what they say they have, so I don’t really consider them readers.
- The shy reader
Someone who loves to read but doesn’t like to talk about it. They don’t join book clubs or book platforms (like Bookstr and Goodreads). They keep their reading to themselves and see it as a private hobby.
- The die-hard “MUST READ EVERYTHING AND ANYTHING” reader
Well, this one kind of explains itself, right? Someone who absolutely loves to read, who will read anything and everything (not bound to a specific genre or author) and who is involved in everything book-related besides reading (book clubs, fandoms, …).
- The lifelong book lover
People who have grown up with their noses in books, who go to libraries every week, who have big bookcases and are proud to be carrying a book with them everywhere they go.
But I don’t think these are the only types of readers. First of all, book clubs really aren’t that much of a thing in Belgium. There are of course numerous online forums and communities, but actual, physical book clubs are quite rare. So that kind of reader doesn’t really exist in Belgium.
Besides the tentative reader, I think there are also quite a lot of readers that are afraid of admitting that they read. Not that they read at all, but what kind of books they read. For example, I know a lot of people that read romance novels, some almost exclusively, but that hide their books and never admit to it because they feel ashamed. Or because they want to keep it a private pleasure (probably a little bit like the shy reader).
As for the weekend reader, I would also add the vacation reader. A few of my friends and my mother never read during the year, but they only read at the pool while on vacation. They’ll have a specific genre they prefer, and only read it when relaxing on the beach, by the pool, or on very long trips by car or plane (if they don’t get sick doing so).
And last but not least: they don’t talk about the people who don’t read yet still boast an impressive book case. They usually fill up their bookcases with big tomes, encyclopaedias, a number of classics and all the books they’ve ever received as gifts. I’d class them with the snobby reader, although they don’t necessarily say they’ve read all of their books. Some do it because they like to look intelligent, some because they like it as a design element, some because they inherited/got the books from family/friends, …
As for me, I definitely consider myself a lifelong book lover, but I also consider myself a bit of a snobby reader. But with a caveat: I read mostly for pleasure, but also a little for knowledge. But what I say I’ve read, I have actually read. I don’t lie about it to seem more impressive! I occasionally like to impress people with the amount of books I’ve read, and of course: I adore my bookcases. I have three of them, where all of my books are nicely displayed and I love to see the shock on people’s faces when they realise I’ve read all of them (well, besides for the two shelves that are reserved for my to-read pile).