Dreaming Novel Things: Common Misconceptions of Bookworms

Posted April 8, 2014 in Dreaming Novel Things, Features / 17 Comments

© The Day Dreamer and Candy Eater

Dreaming Novel Things is a feature in which I discuss book related subjects, but in a creative way. I’ll use interviews, narratives and lists to talk about book trends, book opinions and bookish matters. If you have any book related subjects you’d like to see me discuss just leave me a comment below!


We bookworms are typical of many things: often reading, obsessing over fictional characters and gushing over our literary friends. But have you ever encountered stereotypical assumptions? When I say ‘bookworm’ what pops into your head? Here are some common misconceptions of bookworms.

Misconceptions of Bookworms
© The Day Dreamer and Candy Eater

WRONG! Reading and glasses are not interrelated people, one is not dependant on the other (unless you need glasses to read of course). However, somewhere down the line of history glasses became associated with books and book became associated with glasses. MANY bookworms don’t need glasses to read, take Belle from Beauty and the Beast and Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter series– these are two of the biggest bookworms in fiction, do either one own a pair of specs? NOPE.

Misconceptions of Bookworms
© The Day Dreamer and Candy Eater

This one is a HUGE misconception because anyone who actually lives with a bookworm knows for a fact that we are not ‘quiet’. We would gush, gab and rage 24/7 if we had the time but since we are almost always reading, it usually only happens about a quarter of the time. Don’t mistake our reading time for ‘quiet’, just because we’re not currently talking your ear off does not mean we are meek creatures. You want proof? Ask us what our favorite book is, you’ll be there all day.

Misconceptions of Bookworms
© The Day Dreamer and Candy Eater

Listen up, people read for different reasons. Some read to escape, some do it to learn and some do it because their mom makes them. No matter the reason, reading is reading. I often come across references to stereotypes that the word ‘bookworm’ is synonymous with ‘well-educated’. This my friends, is false. Not all bookworms went to college, heck my neighbor is a HUGE bookworm and she dropped out of high school. Just because we like to read doesn’t mean we like school. We are normal human beings, you know.

Misconceptions of Bookworms
© The Day Dreamer and Candy Eater

For some reason Hollywood likes to paint us bookworms as feeble creatures. I’m tired of seeing us misrepresented. We don’t all have scrawny legs and arms and some of us do have skin that has actually seen the sun. I, myself love to play tennis. Now, am I good at it? No, but I do get out and play sports now and then and do not appreciate the stereotypes. I had one friend in high school who liked reading about as much as I did and she was on varsity for the girls basketball team. So there.


Do you often feel misrepresented as a bookworm? Share below and happy reading!

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17 responses to “Dreaming Novel Things: Common Misconceptions of Bookworms

  1. One of the best bookworms I know is goofy and works on an eviction crew. I love, LOVE talking to him at parties, and we almost always talk about books. He’s the one who insisted I read some more modern literature. He’s the reason I finally read some Vonnegut. But you’d never know it by looking at him.

  2. You make great points about all of these, but especially the one about bookworms being quiet!

    Another I would add is that bookworms have not read EVERYTHING. The amount of times people have asked me if I read said book because I read a lot and are baffled when I haven’t. Like, HELLO, how many books are there on the planet?

    • Oh good one Becky! I get that same look all the time too! Another one I though of is that we bookworms actually do enjoy other things BESIDES reading. I mean, don’t get me wrong, we loooooove reading, but like the average joe we enjoy a variety of hobbies SO STOP WITH THE SURPRISED FACES PEOPLE! 😉

  3. A huge YES to all of these! I wear glasses (contacts now, actually) because I’m ridiculously sightless and will run into things if I don’t. I’m educated, because my love for reading stems from a huge need to learn about anything and everything.

    Although I will admit that I’m not nor ever have been a very athletic person xD Although I’ve recently started pilates – I think that counts?

    • Pilates totally counts (I have the officially ‘say so’)! 😉 While writing the bit about glasses I was bit conflicted because I JUST got glasses, but its only a COINCIDENCE! Thanks for reading Kayla! 🙂

  4. I’ve always been a fairly confident person, so I’ve never really worried about the misconceptions of me being a bookworm, but I totally agree with your list – it seems like if someone were to describe a bookworm, these are the points they would use, despite strong outspoken bookworms like Hermoine Granger (who doesn’t wear glasses)!

    • Yes Kelly, I’m glad you agree! I usually wear my bookworm badge with pride too but this post was inspired by a moment on the bus when I was reading and I was literally asked, “Where were my glasses?” by a total stranger, because obviously people who read also wear glasses. 😉 Thanks for reading Kelly!

  5. YES! Reading is a hobby like any other enjoyed by a myriad of people! And stereotypes like these don’t help promote reading in the least bit. And I especially agree with your fourth point. I’ve been involved in some form or sports ever since I was five and fell in love with reading when I was eight. These things are not mutually exclusive. Ever.

    • Thank you Josephine! It bugs the heck out of me when people make these assumptions of bookworms. Bookworms are PEOPLE just like everyone else! Thanks for reading! 🙂

  6. I almost go against all of these stereotypes, and I never even realised it!
    I don’t wear glasses – though If I keep reading in semi darkness, I just might. Very soon.
    A lot of people call me quite, but I’m not. You’re so right – just ask me about my favourite book! And I like to think I’m athletic. Gym and pilates totally counts.
    This is a great post, Lindsey! I found your blog through a fiends, so I thought I’d introduce myself! I’m Brea and another book blogger, and I’m totally excited about discovering your blog! I’m really starting to LOVE this community!

    • That reading in semi darkness is a serious thing because I use to have eyes like a hawk until I read in semi darkness and now I need glasses! (It’s okay though because I love them)! 🙂 I’m so glad you introduced yourself Brea, I love meeting new book bloggers, our community really is a wonderful thing! Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

  7. Yea the glasses-wearing braniac is such an overused cliche describing bookworms. While I’m not really athletic and am pretty quiet, and yes I do wear glasses and have a bachelor’s degree, that doesn’t mean they’re true for all bookworms! LOL. I love your examples of Belle and Hermione 🙂 Anyway the only stereotype that is true about bookworms is we all have a to-read list longer than any amount we can actually read in our lifetimes.

    • Haha well it’s all just conveniences, you are definitely NOT a stereotype! 😉 The never ending to-read list is our kryptonite, thanks for reading Julie! 🙂

  8. Hahaha. I think it’s kind of funny that I actually AM all of these things. I’ve had glasses since I was five, I can be extremely quiet and un-interactive, I am well educated (*waves at thesis*), and I am terribly inactive. XD
    So while I find it annoying that people can assume these things, I cannot get too huffy since I am practically the epitome of the assumptive bookworm. ^.^