Goodreads Blog

20 Problems Only Book Lovers Understand

Posted by Hayley Igarashi on March 15, 2017


Non-bibliophiles don't always feel your pain…but you're among friends here! We asked on Facebook and Twitter: What's a problem only book lovers understand? We got more than 1,000 amazing responses. Check out some of our favorites and share your own bookish struggles in the comments.


1. "The urge to buy books even though you still have too many books to read at home." Rie VdWarth

2. "Feeling sad for people who don't really exist." Kimberly Moniz

3. "RUNNING OUT OF SHELF SPACE!!!" Kim

4. "Getting interrupted when you are on the last few pages of a book." Sobe Daya

5. "The book hangover. When a good book finishes but you can't start a new one because you're still too immersed in the last book to move on." Meagan Lewis

6. "Wanting every book in a library section but knowing it is impossible to read all of them." Richard Azia

7. "Waiting so long for a sequel that you forget what happened in the first book." Jessica Luong

8. "When you're lying in bed and it's all cold in your room—and the hand holding the book freezes to death, even though the rest of you is warm under the blankets." Alina Marie Swan

9. "Finishing a book and having to wait a whole year to read the next in the series." Sarah Scanion

10. "Trying to keep the book dry while reading in the bath." Patricia Boland

11. "Ordering a book online and getting the book with the movie cover. A book with a movie cover just doesn't feel the same." Anna RN

12. "Not being able to read and eat lunch at the same time because you don't have a third arm." Bernadette

13. "When someone borrows your book and doesn't return it for ages!" Pallavi B

14. "Deciding. Which. Book. To. Read. First." Monique Balsamo

15. "Getting to a 'can't stop reading' spot in the book and it's 3:00am." Joan Chesley

16. "When you have a book with you, but it's not the one you wanted to read right then." Virginia Osborne

17. "Being forced to stop reading by other obligations, but choosing to ignore those obligations. Then getting in trouble." Feel Like Fangirling

18. "Packing for a trip and never being able to bring enough books." Erika Gallion

19. "Having a book fall on your face because you're reading on your back while holding the book up." Manuel Cedillo

20. And the ultimate book lovers' dilemma: "So many books, so little time." Navy Reading


Don't see your reader-specific problem? Share it with your fellow Goodreads members in the comments! Chances are you'll find someone (or many someones) who feel your book pain.

Check out more recent blogs:
7 Great Books Hitting Shelves This Week
Your Most Successful Book Club Picks
Readers to the Rescue: Your Best Book Club Tips

(Top image credit: Illustration by
Quentin Blake for Roald Dahl's Matilda.)

Comments (showing 1-50 of 929) (929 new)


message 1: by Felicia (new)

Felicia I have no shame in saying I suffer from all the above-stated problems.


message 2: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca Smith Felicia wrote: "I have no shame in saying I suffer from all the above-stated problems."

Thank god I'm not the only one. I thought maybe I was crazy ahah


message 3: by Francesca (new)

Francesca Felicia wrote: "I have no shame in saying I suffer from all the above-stated problems."

Same here! Proud member of bookaholics not-so-anonymous. These are all real problems that we suffer from.


message 4: by Mwanamali (new)

Mwanamali Mari Trying to keep the book dry while reading in the bath." Patricia Boland

FAVOURITE


message 5: by Miranda (new)

Miranda yup, I have experienced all of the above! :)


message 6: by Taryn (new)

Taryn My dilemma is closer to when I can't find a place to stop reading... and it's 6:00am, I have been binge reading a series, and I have a test that day that I should have been studying for.


message 7: by Vam (new)

Vam Count me in, especially the one with no more shelf space.


message 8: by Michelle (new)

Michelle Mwanamali wrote: "Trying to keep the book dry while reading in the bath." Patricia Boland

FAVOURITE"


this was me yesterday!! I've only ever dropped one in once. I was ashamed.


message 9: by Sonia189 (new)

Sonia189 For me, all are true dilemmas except #10. I never get my books close to the tub...


message 10: by Lauren Elizabeth (new)

Lauren Elizabeth When people ask "what are you reading" and then try and grab your books.


message 11: by Do Your Reading (new)

Do Your Reading My problem is starting too many books at the same time because I'll be in the middle of a good book but find something else that is so much more interesting that I have to start it even before I finish the current one. Needless to say my currently reading shelf is out of whack.


message 12: by Modesty_b (last edited Mar 15, 2017 07:11AM) (new)

Modesty_b Taryn wrote: "My dilemma is closer to when I can't find a place to stop reading... and it's 6:00am, I have been binge reading a series, and I have a test that day that I should have been studying for."

....and freaking out in the exam hall... I was actually surprised I passed some exams :P :D


message 13: by Fera (new)

Fera Been there, done that. Probably not #10 and #19.
For #11, I might skip buying the book if I couldn't find the one with original cover. Hunting for the used book will be better.
As for #18, just bring 1 physical book preferably mass market paperback edition and ebook/audiobook for other title.


message 14: by Laura (new)

Laura I have a few to add:
- Wanting to continue your book but you really can't because student responsibilities and deadlines
- 1 word: READING SLUMP
- Going on goodreads to look up a book someone recommended and ending up adding 10 new books to your to read list
- NO MONEY FOR NEW BOOKS


message 15: by Toni (new)

Toni L. I can relate to all 20.


message 16: by Atul (new)

Atul Anand Sonia189 wrote: "For me, all are true dilemmas except #10. I never get my books close to the tub..."

I love my books and keeping them away from danger is foremost.


message 17: by Stella (new)

Stella #8: Every. Single. Night. I end up lying on my stomach, but then my back hurts!


message 18: by Norma (last edited Mar 16, 2017 08:47AM) (new)

Norma Smith All the above. I am Classified as a Book Hoarder. Not enough time in one day to Just escape into a good storyline.


message 19: by cindy (last edited Mar 15, 2017 07:24AM) (new)

cindy 3, 7, 15. Those are my demons.
Oh, and 13, when they finally returned it, but with dog ears, food stains or worst, cracked spine. :(


message 20: by Steven (new)

Steven Allen I too suffer from most of the mentioned problems, most notably lack of shelf space. We have remodeled twice now to increase shelf space. Now we either need another, major remodel or a move to an already much-larger house with much more shelf acreage.

I have also gotten in trouble for ignoring my responsibilities because I was too immersed in a good book. Read well past my lunch hour at work (use an egg timer now to remind me), and reading when I am supposed to be doing something else.

My first ship in the US Navy, I lost several books because my supervisor busted me reading when I was not supposed to be and tossed my book over the side into the Pacific. Thank God that I did not have a Kindle Fire back then! Not only would I have lost several, but I would have spent much more money buying books.

I love my Kindle for reading convenience, but there is something about the tactile feel of a book that some fancy electronic gizmo cannot replace. Maybe that is a book problem unique to me, but I love the smell and feel of a book that no Kindle or other e-reader can replace.


message 21: by David (new)

David Rose When someone asks, "What are you reading now?" and you wonder which of the three books to tell them about.
Or, you tell them about all three, and watch their eyes glaze over...


message 22: by Krystle Grayson (new)

Krystle Grayson Literally, my entire life in one post!


message 23: by Tammy (new)

Tammy My other comment is needing to have all the book covers of your favourite book, resulting in multiple copies of the same book. Also, the book covers in a series need to match, so when they change the book covers half way through a series, it is disappointing lol


message 24: by David (new)

David Rose Oh yes, and that irresistible magnetic attraction to the bargain bookstore when you're leaving the supermarket and already carrying about 10kg of shopping (=22 pounds, for Americans).


message 25: by Tammy (new)

Tammy Atul wrote: "Sonia189 wrote: "For me, all are true dilemmas except #10. I never get my books close to the tub..."

I love my books and keeping them away from danger is foremost."


I also do not put my books anywhere near the tub lol


message 26: by Christine (new)

Christine As a teacher: papers to grade. . . .book. . . .papers to grade. . . book. So painful!


message 27: by Leah (new)

Leah cindy wrote: "3, 7, 15. Those are my demons.
Oh, and 13, when they finally returned it, but with dog ears, food stains or worst, cracked spine. :("

Yesss!! People don't understand that cracked spines are bad and I'm just like...... *crying in a corner* xD


message 28: by Michelle (new)

Michelle i used to hoard books, im much better now! well "better" because having endless amounts of books is wonderful. Now I only buy books that are my favs and that I know I will read again or even if I won't but I love them! Anything else I just get from the library, which is also a pleasure :)


message 29: by Seth (new)

Seth I have a ton of stuff on my Kindle, so I never experience "bring the wrong book" issue and I don't read in the tub. But otherwise, they all apply to me.


message 30: by Amr (new)

Amr One of my most annoying Problems/Nightmares is "Reading on the Bus, and the Station appears around the Corner, with 2 or 3 Pages still left on this Chapter"


message 31: by Vanessa (new)

Vanessa Going to the library and finding out they have the first 2 books in a trilogy but DONT HAVE THE LAST ONE!!!!


message 32: by MichelleJ (new)

MichelleJ "Ordering a book online and getting the book with the movie cover. A book with a movie cover just doesn't feel the same." Anna RN

SOMEONE WHO FINALLY GETS ME!!!!!


message 33: by MichelleJ (new)

MichelleJ The fact that, all boys in books are so much better than boys in reality.

(sigh)


message 34: by Jocelyn (new)

Jocelyn Ugh, I have all those problems


message 35: by Kira (new)

Kira K. "Problems of a Book Nerd" blog on tumblr has 980 problems if somebody wants more. (This is not an ad.)


message 36: by Tessa (new)

Tessa Bailey-Herren getting to many library books becasue they all look so good.


message 37: by Dina (new)

Dina I don't mind movie covers. I get almost all of my books second hand, so I actually tend to go for the movie tie-ins more often, because being newer editions they are usually in better condition.


message 38: by Souhaila (new)

Souhaila Njah being obliged to continue reading a book even though it bores you to death but not being able to stop because you HAVE to finish every book!


message 39: by Evelyn (new)

Evelyn Alvarez Seeing a complete stranger reading the same book you are reading and then there is that instant connection where you want to meet and talk with this person.


message 40: by Raiann (new)

Raiann I have just about all these problems from time to time, esp. number 1


message 41: by Janice (new)

Janice Bolick I agree with most of those, but I will not read a book that's boring, nor will I read a fiction book or series that has a sad ending. I often check the ending of the fiction book-- or the last book in a short series first, before I start reading it.


message 42: by Nerea (last edited Mar 15, 2017 08:01AM) (new)

Nerea I hate it when publishers change the covers of books in the middle of a saga.


message 43: by Rainbow (new)

Rainbow Laura wrote: "I have a few to add:
- Wanting to continue your book but you really can't because student responsibilities and deadlines
- 1 word: READING SLUMP
- Going on goodreads to look up a book someone recommended and ending up adding 10 new books to your to read list
- NO MONEY FOR NEW BOOKS "


Ugh, responsibilities and other obligations getting in the way of your reading can really suck sometimes, not to mention annoying. Yeah, adding more books to your shelves than you're planning happens to me as well. EXACTLY! I'VE ALREADY BOUGHT TOO MANY!

Do Your Reading wrote: "My problem is starting too many books at the same time because I'll be in the middle of a good book but find something else that is so much more interesting that I have to start it even before I finish the current one. Needless to say my currently reading shelf is out of whack."

I've never had that problem - I don't tend to read two or three books at once because it's hard to keep track of them all, especially when you don't have loads of time to read every day. But I understand you well enough.

I relate to pretty much all the twenty problems listed above. The only thing I would like to add is ROMANCE IN REAL LIFE IS TOTALLY DIFFERENT FROM THAT IN THE FICTIONAL WORLD. REAL LIFE RELATIONSHIPS IS NEVER AS INTERESTING AS IT IS IN BOOKS. Anybody agree?


message 44: by Mysgydid (new)

Mysgydid Do Your Reading wrote: "My problem is starting too many books at the same time because I'll be in the middle of a good book but find something else that is so much more interesting that I have to start it even before I fi..."

19 currently reading?! I thought I was bad with 6! I feel you though. At the end of the year last year I was at 12 currently reading. I made myself finish everything in my currently reading before I added anymore for the new year. I stuck to it, cleaned it out, and I'm back up to 6 again. But, hey... it's not 12! =D


message 45: by Anne (new)

Anne Nisker Felicia wrote: "I have no shame in saying I suffer from all the above-stated problems."

Me too!


message 46: by Beth (new)

Beth Tedford Knowing something bad is going to happen to your favorite character(s), so you close the book so you don't have to experience it with them, and then leave the book unfinished for a long time because if you go back to it the bad thing will happen.


message 47: by Rouan (new)

Rouan Vanessa wrote: "Going to the library and finding out they have the first 2 books in a trilogy but DONT HAVE THE LAST ONE!!!!"

Or, they have the last two but not the first one!


message 48: by Pamela (new)

Pamela Conticini I suffer from all of the above, the cold hand, wet book, the book on the face :) Taking the wrong book with one, then finding out it is better than the one you planned to read on the bus /train journey. All book characters are real, believe me, they live inside the book until they are released by opening the pages :) of the book


message 49: by Steven (new)

Steven Allen Leah wrote: "cindy wrote: "3, 7, 15. Those are my demons.
Oh, and 13, when they finally returned it, but with dog ears, food stains or worst, cracked spine. :("
Yesss!! People don't understand that cracked spin..."


Ugh! That drives me crazy when people destroy a book, especially a paperback. I watch how others read, it they fold the paperback in half, I never loan them a book.

Evil people who fold pages, eat carelessly over books, or abuse books are not favored with the privilege of borrowing books from our house library.

I also make sure when I loan a book that the person understands that I expect the book back in near the same condition as I loaned it.

I have had to purchase books again because some a-hole lost it or failed to return it because "it's only a book."

There is still one book that I cannot find a replacement because I made a mistake loaning it to someone who lost it somewhere in Iraq.


message 50: by Mysgydid (new)

Mysgydid Fera wrote: "Been there, done that. Probably not #10 and #19.
For #11, I might skip buying the book if I couldn't find the one with original cover. Hunting for the used book will be better.
As for #18, just b..."


This is me. I always have a mass market in my pocket, and my phone in the other, loaded with the iBook app, Kindle app and the Nook app, all 3 loaded with books.


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