New Genre Personality: The Erudite

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My “What’s Your Genre Personality?” Quiz update debuts TODAY on TPT and in the MrsReaderPants blog store. This is a major update that includes four new Genre Personalities, updated bookmarks, updated profiles, new silhouettes (MS/HS version only), a new digital version, and 2020 titles added to all the read-alike bookmarks. If you have already purchased the Quiz, you can get the update FREE by simply re-downloading it.

Read more about the June 30 update.

I have already introduced you to three of my four new Genre Personalities, The ArtistThe Sports Fan, and The Naturalist. Today, let’s meet the last of the four new Personalities…

Say hello to The Erudite!

WHAT MAKES SOMEONE AN ERUDITE?

Erudites are a really interesting bunch! First and foremost, Erudites are smart. They tend to be quirky and have niche interests, which may make social interactions challenging for Erudites. If you need someone who is full of random facts, call your friendly neighborhood Erudite!

This is my favorite new Genre Personality because I have several Erudites very close to me in my life. While it’s probably the least-common Genre Personality, its ridiculously easy to spot an Erudite. As you read the character traits listed below, you will likely picture Erudites at your school or in your family. If you know an Erudite well, I guarantee you will be nodding along with the description below!

MORE ABOUT THE ERUDITE:

  • They are smart. Really smart.
  • They are articulate and have a good vocabulary.
  • Their grades do not reflect their intelligence. School is easy but boring for Erudites. They are perfectly happy with mediocre or even failing grades even though they will be the first to admit that they could do much better.
  • They know a lot of information about a narrow niche. This may include anything from video games to comic books to computer technology to artificial intelligence to sharks. If The Erudite is “into” it, they are driven to learn everything about it.
  • They have difficulty making new friends…unless the new friend is also an Erudite and into the same topic. If this is the case, the two Erudites will click instantly and become fast friends. They are not incapable of friendship; they just don’t find many kindred spirits among their peers.
  • They don’t mind being solitary. Yes, they would like to make friends, but they are not interested in forcing a friendship. They would rather be alone with their niche than with someone they don’t relate to.
  • They love puzzles, trivia, crosswords, Sudoku, and other mental challenges.
  • The niche topic may seem like an obsession to people who know and care about The Erudite. Whatever the niche is, The Erudite does it every single day, probably for hours.
  • Erudites talk about their niche topic constantly, even when others are clearly not interested. This inability to “read the room” further causes The Erudite to struggle socially.
  • Erudites with an academic niche (math, science, technology, etc.) may seem like “know-it-alls” to the people around them.
  • They feel more comfortable talking to adults than to their peers.
  • They dislike group work and prefer to work alone or not do the project at all.
  • School is something they tolerate. They go because they have to, not because they really want to. The exception to this is for academic-niche Erudites, who may love their math class or their science class or whatever subject is their niche. In these cases, they love the subject or the teacher but still do not love school.
  • Chores and responsibility are especially annoying to Erudites. They need constant reminders and will put them off as long as possible.
  • They remember everything.
  • They like to do things in a certain order. This could be alphabetical order or order of release or something else specific to the niche.
  • They keep up with the latest trends and advancements in their niche.
  • They do not care at all about their own fashion or clothing choices. For Erudites whose niche is fashion-related, they still tend to care less about their own clothing and more about the design, art, and style of fashion.
  • In my experience, Erudites tend to be boys. I actually cannot think of a single female Erudite student. Surely, Erudites can be female, but I do think male Erudites will outnumber female Erudites.

 

BOOKS FOR ERUDITES

Erudites are probably already reading the books that are perfect for them. How do you think they got to know so much about their niche? Erudites get information about their niche from books, magazines, social media, and various online sources.

For this reason, Erudites are likely strong readers. While they may choose to read only about a certain topic, The Erudite is smart and does not struggle with the ability to read. They may, however, struggle with the motivation to read outside their niche. That’s probably most everything they are required to read for school.

Some Erudites, particularly younger ones, will find that they love fact books, world record books, puzzle books, and search-and-find books (like I Spy). Popular fiction choices might include books like Stead’s When You Reach Me or Grabenstein’s Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library.

WHO IS THE ERUDITE BASED ON?

KYLE

Kyle is my 15-year old son. Even when Kyle was just a toddler, adults commented on his vocabulary, his ease of talking with adults, and his incredible aptitude with jigsaw puzzles. His teachers frequently comment on Kyle’s adult sense of humor and maturity. To this day, Kyle still loves crosswords, Sudoku, and game apps like Seven Little Words and Trivia Crack.

Kyle is meticulously organized. His room is spotless. His shoes are side-by-side in his closet, and his clothes are hung in a specific order. He doesn’t care one lick about his appearance and prefers a simple haircut. His clothing choices are polo shirts in various darker colors and basketball shorts or sweatpants. His shoes are one pair of sneakers and one pair of flip flops. Simple, predictable, organized.

Kyle’s niche is comic books. He got into comics a couple of years ago and has become quite the walking encyclopedia of all things DC and Marvel. While Kyle does also love video games, they are not a niche for him. He sucks down comic books like I suck down coffee in the mornings. When I say he lives and breathes comics, I am totally serious.

School has not been fun for Kyle for many years. He tolerates it, gets Bs and Cs, and makes his teachers laugh. He has a few friends from school, but he’s not all that close with any of them. When the friends move to a new country (common in international schools), Kyle doesn’t worry about staying connected with them. He does his classwork and homework, keeps his teachers happy (teachers love Kyle!), and keeps his head down. He stays out of trouble and complains about how other boys his age are immature.

 

OSCAR

When we first moved to our last school, Oscar was the first boy to befriend Kyle. He was a sweet boy from Spain who was really into ballet. He was already a ballet professional at age 12 (Kyle was also 12 at that time). Like Kyle, Oscar’s appearance was neat and clean-cut. He was clearly more comfortable with his teachers than with his peers, and even though English was his second language, he was articulate and happy to talk.

Oscar and Kyle both tended to hang out with the girls in their grade rather than the boys. I know Oscar experienced verbal bullying from the boys because both Oscar and Kyle told me so. Both boys complained about the immature boys in their grade. The bullying did get to Oscar sometimes, but he also knew that the other boys’ bad behavior was about more the other boys than it was about Oscar.

The library was very much a safe haven for Oscar at lunch and before school. Oscar and I had many, many chats about all kinds of things. He was an honest, self-reflective, confident young man who I am so proud to have known. I feel tears in my eyes talking about him now because we lost touch after Kyle and I left the school. I hope he is still dancing and being as “Oscar” as he can be.

 

IVAN

This boy, y’all. He is going to be a household name one day. But for now, he’s only 12 and has just finished seventh grade.

I’ve known Ivan his whole life, and since he was about eight, I’ve been saying he’s the smartest person I know. Ivan fits The Erudite personality to a T. Along with my son Kyle, Ivan is the first person I think of when I think of The Erudite.

Ivan has gone through a few niches in his life. There was the jellyfish niche, the microscope/germs niche, and now the fashion design niche. He reads everything he can about fashion and designers. He creates his own designs and comments on runway fashion on his Instagram feed. For Easter, he asked his mom for a Coco Chanel biography.

Like Kyle and Oscar, Ivan also finds social situations challenging and prefers to be alone or with other Erudites. If you were to read his Instagram feed, you would have no idea he’s only a 12-year old boy. He speaks and writes like a college-educated adult. I’ve changed his name here to protect his identity, but trust me, y’all, one day, you will know this kid’s name. Even I forget he’s only 12 when I talk to him.

 

TIPS FOR LIBRARIANS, TEACHERS, AND PARENTS OF ERUDITES

Because Erudites do so well with adults, it’s very easy to forget their young age when we talk to them. Erudites find school easy but boring, and they don’t get into trouble very often (if at all).

So what can we do to help Erudites in school and at home?

1. Encourage their niche. Do you realize how lucky Erudites are to be so passionate about a topic at such a young age? Not everyone has a passion like that. Let them dive into it and enjoy it.

2. Worried about their social lives? It may not be as bad as you think. My husband is an Erudite. He says that as a kid, he always worried that there was “something wrong with him” because he didn’t really worry or care about making lots of friends. His lack of a strong social life didn’t bother him, but it did bother the adults around him. My son Kyle says the same thing whenever I bring up meeting new people or reaching out to old friends. He doesn’t want me to micromanage his social life, which he is just fine with, thank you very much. It’s hard as a mom, but it really does not seem to bother him in the least. So I choose to let it go.

3. Give homeschool a try. We have homeschooled Kyle and his 13-year old brother for two years now. We’ve gone through many ups and downs and different ways to do it, but through it all, it’s been great for both of them. Kyle especially doesn’t miss the drama and immaturity that came with dealing with school peers. He also found most of his assignments meaningless and did just enough on them to keep everyone off his back about it (this also extends to homeschool, but to a lesser extent). We recognize entrepreneurial skills in Kyle, so we focus on how he can combine that with his love of comic books. How awesome would Kyle be as a comic store owner?

4. Show an interest in their niche. No, it may not be very interesting to you, but it is fascinating to them. Erudites love talking about their niche. When you show an interest in the niche, you show an interest in them.

5. Support their niche financially if you are able. My husband and I recently had a series of discussions about Kyle’s purchases of digital comics. $3-$4 a comic doesn’t sound like much until you realize that he reads one comic book in about 20 minutes and never goes back to it again. We’ve done all kinds of things to make Kyle earn his comics money rather than just giving it to him, but it seems any chore or job he has to do to earn money, he does it and asks for more.

Kyle spends about $120/month on digital comics through Comixology Unlimited. He gets some of that as his book allowance (which both boys get, just for books), and some through household chores and walking (we pay him $1/mile that can only be used for reading). But $120/month! For something he doesn’t even physically own?!

But when we thought about it, we decided that we’re actually getting off kind of cheap. Kyle doesn’t ask for much. His clothes aren’t fancy or expensive. He gets a $10 haircut. He doesn’t play any sports or have any other expensive hobbies or activities. I have friends whose high schoolers are into sports or music or theater, and they are spending WAY more than $120/month on their activities. He’s homeschooled, so there’s no money needed for uniforms and school lunches and field trips.

On top of that, I do see a future in comics for Kyle. Whether that’s in comic book store ownership or creating his own digital comics or becoming a social media personality, I have confidence that my smart, articulate, quirky Erudite will figure it out.

By the way, Kyle walked eight miles yesterday. He cut the weeds in the backyard, cleaned the cobwebs from the walls and corners, and cleaned the dust off the ceiling fan. All for reading. As a librarian, how can I complain about that?

 

Tell me about your Erudites! Who did you think of when you read the description?

 

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