What being an avid reader says about your personality

by Isabel Cabrera | December 16, 2023, 8:44 am

“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies . . . The man who never reads lives only one.” – George R.R Martin. 

Is there anything better than getting stuck into a gripping book, losing track of time, and being completely immersed in another world? 

An avid reader myself, I can usually tell when I speak to someone who also has a love for books. There are a few giveaway signs, from their creativity to how they speak. 

Here’s what being an avid reader says about your personality: 

1) You’re curious and open-minded 

Every single time you open a new book, you’re exposing yourself to new ideas. 

Whether it’s a non-fiction book that’s teaching you how to meditate or cultivate herbs, to exciting adventure novels, you’re soaking in a wealth of information.

That’s why I’ve often found that avid readers have a love for curiosity

You might not be able to travel the world, for example, but through the books you read you’re taken on a journey, exploring new perspectives and ways of life. 

And through this, you tend to be more open-minded…you learn that there isn’t one way to live life, there are thousands. 

2) You have empathy 

As a child, you read stories to learn about emotions and empathy. And that doesn’t change as an adult.

I remember reading A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini for the first time as a young teenager and crying my heart out for the main character, Mariam. 

In fact, all of his books were inspiring yet gut-wrenching, the way he connects the readers with the characters makes you feel like you know them.

And that’s what good books do. 

They draw you in and build an emotional connection…and although it may be fiction, the problems tackled are very real. 

Ultimately, reading about various situations, emotions, and relationships in books can help you better understand and empathize with similar situations in real life.

3) You might be introverted  

The word *might* is highly important, because not all avid readers are introverts. 

Personally, I sit in the middle of the spectrum, so as much as I enjoy curling up with a hot cup of tea and a book, I also enjoy being outside and socializing. 

Even better, I love discussing books with other people.

Each of us approaches the same story from a different perspective and understanding, and sharing those ideas can be thought-provoking and exciting. 

However, with that being said, if your world revolves around books, there’s a good chance you’re more introverted than extroverted

You’re perfectly content to be in solitude with nothing but the stories on the pages in front of you. The connection you make with the characters brings you comfort, and the time alone allows you to reflect on what you’re reading. 

And that’s not a bad thing at all!

You use this time to recharge your batteries and reconnect with yourself; something we all need to do from time to time. 

On that note, I leave you with this quote by Benjamin Franklin:

“The person who deserves most pity is a lonesome one on a rainy day who doesn’t know how to read.”

4) You’re patient and persistent 

Have you ever shown a non-reader a book you’re reading, only for them to gasp in amazement and exclaim, “I could never read such a long book!”

I usually chuckle at this point, because to an avid reader, the bigger the book, the better! 

But what this really says about your personality is that you aren’t afraid of a challenge. You’re patient enough to read a book, even if it takes you weeks, simply because you enjoy it. 

Not because you’re rushing to finish it just to tick it off your list. 

And when it comes to being persistent? 

Some books, especially academic books, can be complex to read. It takes a level of determination to get through it, especially if it’s not a subject that’s highly fascinating. 

But yet, some avid readers will plow through, never losing motivation or interest, spurred on by the thought that they’re adding to their skillset or learning something new. 

5) You have great communication skills 

As a former school teacher, I always knew which kids read at home and which preferred to play Xbox. 

Those with a love for reading generally had better vocabulary and sentence structure. They wrote with more flair and creativity, too. 

And the same can be said for adults. 

But that’s not all…

Reading is excellent for building comprehension skills, which in turn helps with things like:

  • Critical thinking 
  • Problem-solving skills 
  • Increased empathy and understanding 

As a result, avid readers tend to be better at expressing themselves and understanding others.  

6) You have a vast imagination 

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” – Dr Seuss

And finally, my favorite personality trait – creativity. 

If there’s one way to increase imagination, reading is it. 

Whether it’s fiction or a well-detailed, creative nonfiction read, your mind is constantly engaged in imagining the images of what you’re reading. 

From visualizing people and landscapes to reading about smells and sounds, it’s a workout for the mind to be exposed to so many different scenarios. 

And this comes through in normal, everyday life. 

I’ve often found that friends who love to read tend to go deeper into hypothetical situations. We can spend hours discussing something made up, creating our own storylines and twists and turns in events. 

That’s not to say that non-readers can’t be creative, but in my experience, avid readers take it to the next level!

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