Nerds Who Read: Bookworms, Literary Nerds, and Beyond!


By: Angela Russo (@NerdGirlForever)

There’s something so infinitely beautiful about books. The potential buried in the countless tomes out there just waiting for you to flip through their pages is limitless. No matter how many stories are written, there is never a cap on the creation of others. There will always be a new story, a new world to explore, a new adventure to be had, a new mystery to be solved, and nerds who read make it their ongoing mission to ceaselessly seek out these literary epics.

Sects of Book-Lover-Hood


These individuals love reading for pleasure…to be entertained, transported, and swept away by the emotions and adventures of the content. Oftentimes bookworms will have a very strong visual sense that enhances the depth and vibrancy of the reading experience. Most have multiple genres of preference, but in general they appreciate the beauty of an enthralling and immersive reading experience. To read is to travel, explore exotic new worlds, and to walk arm in arm with a wide variety of endearing and inspiring characters. It is to be a participant in the story not just an onlooker.


Generally speaking, these are your English majors and creative writing junkies. They love to read for all the same reasons as bookworms, but they also love getting lost in the literary lusciousness of it all, harboring a deep appreciation for the components that make up a truly delicious story. Their passion extends to delight in the crafting and brilliance an author imbues into the narrative and exposition of a story. Lit-nerds are far more prone to be well-versed in the cultural aspects behind certain genres of books as well as the history, personality traits, and inspirations of the author themselves. All of these things unlock another world that digs them deeper into the reading thrall.

The Joy of Reading

There may be some key differences between Bookworms and Lit-Nerds, but both sects are staunchly united in a fellowship unique to those whose love of reading is a definitive aspect of their Nerdom. The bond runs deep amongst us bibliophiles, sharing a considerable appetite for literature, and a craving for the wealth of varied experiences offered by the pastime of reading as a whole. These experiences fan the flames of a fiery passion for reading.

Bibliophilic insomnia:

A lack of or inability to sleep due to an unquenchable need to continue reading. Often spurred by reading a particularly climactic scene too close to bedtime. Also known as Nocturnal Next-Chapter Syndrome.


Post-Book Melancholia:

The sense of depression and wistfulness experienced once the reader has finished a particularly good book. This stems from two sources: sadness over finishing the book and the initial reality check when one realizes that it is fictional, and things of this fantasy realm do not exist. If a book is part of a series that is still in the process of being written, this phenomenon can develop into Delayed Serial Gratification: the frustration and impatience experienced mid-series when the author has yet to announce the release date of the next installment.

Transitional-Book Guilt:

The guilt that a reader feels a day or two after finishing a good book. They’re still experiencing lingering post-book melancholia, but are getting the inevitable itch to start a new story… and have the irrational sensation that to begin another book this soon would be synonymous with cheating on the previous book.

Hyper-Empathic Character Affinity:

Occurs when a reader’s emotional bond with a character is so real and relatable that they become personally invested in their well-being to the point that it begins to affect their mood in real life. Symptoms may include increased daydreaming, and unexplained bouts of emotion such as anxiety, elation, sadness, or anger. When this experience occurs while reading, it may be accompanied by sudden verbal outbursts where the reader tries to reason with the characters in the book — or potentially — the author.

Literary Rage:

The blazing wrath and righteous indignation that a reader experiences when the movie version obliterates, rewrites, or miscommunicates the original storyline of the book. Symptoms may include irate ejaculations, imploring the heavens, and heated debates on fan forums.

Book-Induced Agoraphobia:

A phenomenon where the reader becomes so deeply engrossed in reading that they simply cannot justify leaving the house to do anything practical or social. Individuals become deeply entrenched in a metaphorical reading bubble and may even be deaf to conversations that occur in close proximity to them.

Storyline Euphoria:

When a book or series is fulfilling all your wildest, fondest literary fantasies. Readers experiencing this may feel particularly optimistic, elated, and be walking on air. They may smile or sigh, daydream frequently, or seem deeply pensive. The power of the book that has induced this joy is so intense that they may even find their dreams are positively affected, bringing the adventure, thrill, or excitement of the book to life even in slumber.

“We read to know we are not alone.” – C.S. Lewis”

The greatest joy of reading often comes not from the adventure itself, but in sharing the story with others. Reading may seem like a solitary pastime but in truth, it’s a vast community of people enjoying a mutual passion. Each new series and genre has the potential to create numerous fandoms and forges lifelong friendships. Ultimately any avid reader knows that when you find one of your fellow book-lovers has fallen under the spell of one of the above book-induced phenomena, there is only one thing that you must do… find out what book they’re reading and devour it ASAP! Within the pages lies a whole new realm to be explored, soon to be a beloved cast of characters, and an experience you’ll never forget.

    One Comment

  1. Naomi W.November 10th, 2017 at 5:05 am

    My 10 year old daughter loves the Wings of Fire series by Tui T. Sutherland. She has read the entire series, done many beautiful pieces of fanart, and been talking to her friends and family about it since about a few months ago. It would mean so much to her to get one of your super builds. She is truly a big Wings of Fire fan.

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