As a little girl, I was often the funny kid in the corner who nearly grew cross-eyed from reading too much.
I was never a cool teenager. That is, I didn't experiment with cigarettes, wag school (much, only on one occasion and I got caught...of course) or even drink alcohol. Even at uni, my worst sins were missing lectures, drinking too much cheap beer, and spending my pitiful part-time wages on things like awful clothes and occasionally, when I was feeling rebellious, pretty tame recreational drugs.
All the above is a roundabout way of saying that I'm an introvert. Sure, I can be chatty and outgoing when need be. I work in a field that requires me to speak to other people and be personable. But my dream is to hide behind the anonymity of the computer screen.
I sneak away from social and after-work gatherings at grandma hours, enjoy nothing better than an early night in with a good book, and my favourite activity during weekends is to laze in bed surrounded by a pile of books and maybe some snacks and wine. From anecdotal experience, many dedicated readers feel the same way I do.
Which begs the question: is there something about reading that encourages people to be introverts?
I'm not making a value judgment on introverts vs extroverts, more like an observation - that perhaps the one thing most readers have in common is a tendency towards inwardness. Of course, I also suffer from the double whammy curse of being a writer, an occupation that if I succeed in making it full-time, has solitude as a pre-requisite.
I'm sure there are people who can write while bombs are falling behind their heads or ignore the siren call of wailing babies and domestic chaos while churning out Amazon bestsellers, but I'm not one of them.
The beauty of reading has always been, to me, that it allows me to shut out the world, to ignore the demands of others. Sometimes reading has been the only thing that saved me from being overwhelmed by the noise and simple drudgery of daily life.
Still, it has made me wonder. Did reading cause me to become an introvert, or was I always one and became drawn to reading because it is by nature a solitary activity? It's a chicken or egg question, not easily answered.
Do you think most readers are introverts?