Bookworm Origin Story

Blogging, Life

What makes someone a bookworm? Can you quantify it? Is there a bookworm checklist?

I couldn’t tell you the exact moment where I realized I was a bookworm, but it probably came from someone using that word to describe me. I don’t know how many books I needed to read before the adjective stuck, or how much time I needed to spend on reading before everyone around me started to consider me a bookworm. Maybe it was when I started trying to teach my cat english and I’d read to her all the time. Or maybe it was when I ran out of books to read on the classroom book shelf in second grade. Regardless, I noticed that when I was younger people would use ‘bookworm’ in place of ‘introvert’ in a lot of instances. I think being a bookworm went along hand in hand with being an introvert, and for the longest time, I would tell people that I wasn’t an ‘introvert’ I was a ‘bookworm’, not really understanding my personality myself. In fact, for a while I told people I was an extrovert! (HAHA!) I don’t think I actually understood what that word meant. I preferred staying alone at home, I preferred books to hanging out with people, I read intensely as a child overflowing bookshelves in my bedroom and taking over the bookshelves in the family room. I read way above my level with a dictionary at my side so I could look up words I didn’t know. I buy purses based on if I can fit a book in them. I’m a bookworm and an introvert…and that’s okay!

The bookworm started with a few key series that I LOVED when I was a child. I still remember these fondly to this day.

  • The Berenstain Bears books
  • The Boxcar Children
  • Babysitters Club
  • Nancy Drew
  • Pee Wee Scout books

I don’t know if anyone else remembers/read these as a child, but they were amazing! I most certainly used the Berenstain Bears books to try and teach my cat to speak english, which sadly didn’t work, but she was def a super smart cat. (RIP Marble, you were the most wonderful cat) Going into later life, I was still constantly reading books, overfilling book shelves, and getting to the point where my parents had to limit the amount of books I could get when we went shopping at Borders. (RIP Borders, you were also great) It probably felt weird to have to tell your teenager to put back 3 of those 7 books because God forbid how can you read so much? Go outside Jess! Make friends with 3D people your age! Though, of course being a teen my main rebuttal was something along the lines of “At least I’m buying books and not drugs.” Because you know, that made total sense.

I don’t think I really fully owned the bookworm moniker until late high school or early college, when a lot more people began calling me a ‘bookworm’. With multiple hard back books in my bag and a wall full of bookshelves, I grabbed the name ‘bookworm’ by the reigns and decided that “yes, that is me! And I am going to OWN IT!” so I did.

I surrounded myself with more people who enjoyed reading, people that I could talk to about books, and people that liked different genres than me so that I could broaden my interests. I got into manga and comics, which opened up a whole new world. I met Alex, who reads high fantasy, sci-fi, or non-fiction about math/science and read more books about those subjects that I had never really read before. I love that books open new doors. I love that every time I read I feel like I learn something new. Books help me, an introvert, connect to new people through reading.

So, hello fellow bookworms! I’m glad that my blog has allowed me to meet many new friends through books & blogging who have so many similar interests to mine!



By Jess

A bookworm since the tender age of whenever I stopped chewing on books and started actually reading them. A cat-mom, graphic designer, and introvert originally from Pittsburgh, but now resides in the humid, hot, state of Texas. Cheers!