A woman in a bookstore

The Four Types of Readers

I love personality tests. I’m always curious to know which type of “human” I am. That’s why, when I came across The Four Types of Readers by Samuel Coleridge, my curiosity spiked.

Coleridge was an 19th century English poet, critic, and philosopher which helped the Romantic Movement, and was a member of the Lake Poets, which included William Wordsworth and Robert Southey.

In Robert Richardson’s book, First we Read, Then we Write, he tells us of Coleridge’s four types of readers which I found fascinating (8).

Type #1 – The Hourglass: A reader who gives back everything it takes in, unchanged.

Type #2 – The Sponge: You give back everything you take in, only a little dirtier.

Type #3 – The Jelly-Bag: A reader who squeezes out the valuable and keeps the worthless.

Type #4 – The Golconda: You run everything through a sieve, keeping only the nuggets.

I had to look up the word, Golconda. It means “A source of wealth,” and often refers to a mine with veins of rich minerals.

What type of reader will you be today?

Until tomorrow, read slowly – take notes – apply the ideas.



Works Cited

Richardson, Robert D. First We Read, Then We Write: Emerson on the Creative Process. University of Iowa Press, 2015.

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