Ahh, non-readers. Those odd, clueless species who are so bewildered when they see a reader crying over fictional characters, gushing about worlds that do not exist and cancelling plans because we’d like to finish one more incredible chapter. We know that our habits perplex them…even annoy them. All we do is read, and read, and read.
We understand their frustrations, of course, don’t we? In fact, we have our frustrations too, because non-readers do a lot of things too that annoys us and sometimes makes us want to smack their heads with those very heavy books we cherish. And here is a list of just 10 of those annoying things that non-readers do that seriously annoy me:
1. Asking me endless questions about the book I am reading WHEN I am reading it
Seriously. This is extremely annoying. Here I am, perfectly minding my own business and reading this super sexy scene between my OTP when out of nowhere some idiot who obviously cannot see that I am busy, pops in and starts asking me a million questions: Hey, what are you reading? What is this book about? Oh, it’s a YA? So, kinda like Twilight? It’s not like Twilight? Well what happens in this book?
2. Assuming I do not have a social life simply because I enjoy reading
While it is true that I am a very introverted person and therefore don’t really have an active social life, it is not because I enjoy reading. I am introverted and awkward for no other reason than the fact that it is just my personality. I can understand where this idea comes from–many bookworms are introverted–but it is honestly a very inaccurate stereotype. My sister for instance is an avid reader too, and she reads more books than I do, but she also has a huge circle of friends and is always busy going to different events, and parties and just simply socializing. Enjoying reading has nothing to do with enjoying or (not enjoying) socializing with people.
3. Asking me “but don’t you get bored reading so many books?”
Nope. I don’t. Do you get bored spending so many hours on Facebook? Do you get bored watching so many movies or listening to so many songs and binge watching so many TV shows? I didn’t think so. In fact, I read “so many books” because I get bored when I am not reading.
4. Assuming they know everything about a book because they watched the movie
It is a truth universally acknowledged that any film adaptation must not truly reflect the source material it is based on. And if you can’t recognize the quote that I just twisted for the purpose of this post, it is because you did not read the excellent classic known as Pride and Prejudice; you only watched the excellent 2005 movie.
5. Asking me to lend them some books SIMPLY because I have soooooo many books
Would you let someone borrow one of your children simply because you have sooooooo many kids? Yeah, I didn’t think so.
6. Assuming that I am showing off because I read in public, because I have a blog AND a bookstagram account, and because I share my Goodreads Reading Challenge progress on Instagram
Oh, how dare I painstakingly photograph books and post them on Instagram instead of painstakingly doing my makeup and posting selfies? Oh, how dare I read a book in front of you instead of talking to you about mundane things that do not interest me? Oh, how dare I?
7. Didn’t you already read this book?
Didn’t you already hear that song? Why are you listening to it again? God, you even have all the lyrics memorized. So weird.
8. Assuming that I am not practical because I am always reading fantasy and science fiction
My dear, I am well aware that teeth aren’t wishes, I am well aware that there are no flying magical crystals containing morally ambiguous sentient beings inside them, and I am well aware that if you jump through the mouth of a dead volcano you will probably die instead of reaching the center of the Earth where there is a surprisingly habitable world housing dinosaurs and other long dead creatures of the past.
Reading fantasy books does not blur the line between what is real and what isn’t.
Reading fantasy books does, however, help me have a deeper understanding about social issues that are plaguing the world today and have been plaguing us for years and years. All fantasy and science fiction books take inspirations from what has already happened in our history and what is happening in the world today.
Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale not only happened in the history of several countries and cultures, but is even happening today to a certain, dangerous extent in many countries worldwide.
N.K Jemisin’s The Broken Earth trilogy explores systematic oppression that happened in many cultures and races in this world.
Begum Rokeya’s feminist utopia Sultana’s Dream is science fiction, but it is science fiction that explores all the things that women are perfectly capable of, written in a time when women were forced to stay indoors and denied basic education. And these are just a few books that I mentioned in a long list of many, many fantasy and science fiction books that take inspiration from historical events and current social problems we face today.
So, no, reading fantasy and science fiction does not make me impractical. It actually makes me more knowledgeable about topics that everyone should try to understand and learn more about everyday.
9. Removing my bookmark even if it is for fun
Don’t. Seriously. Just don’t.
10. Assuming that I am not interested in makeup simply because I am a reader
I personally don’t like makeup because it simply does not interest me. It has nothing to do with me being a reader. I am so sick of this attitude that non-readers have! I am particularly sensitive about this stereotype because I often see people not taking my little sister seriously when she talks about books, SIMPLY BECAUSE SHE LOVES WEARING MAKEUP.
Believe it or not, I have actually heard people ask her how she finds the time and patience to read when she spends so much time doing makeup. It is so infuriating. Reading books and putting on makeup are not mutually exclusive activities. Human beings are multi-faceted and stereotypes like these limit people in a very negative way.
This was supposed to be a silly, fun post, and it is, but I think no. 8 and no. 9 should be taken a bit more seriously. The old cliche is true–books open worlds, no matter what the genre is. And don’t even get me started on how wrong it is to stereotype people–I could write several posts about that and still have a lot to say about it. Anyway, if you are a reader, what are some things that non-readers do that annoy you?