Book talk: 7 Things I wish non-readers would stop saying to readers

To us bibliophiles, books are the thing that make us happiest. For a few hours, the world we become immersed in, takes us away from the everyday stresses of life. We become the characters in the book.

We live the lives they live and we experience the world through their eyes. And then real people intervene.

But not only do they interrupt our actual reading, (which in itself is very annoying to readers), they interrupt in ways that can be even more infuriating.

It’s time for them to stop.

So I did the only thing a kind book lover can do. I made a list of the things you need to stop telling (or asking) us, along with answers to your burning questions.

In no particular order, here they are:

1. Why do you read so much?

Because reading fuels the imagination, is the best form of escapism and provides us with the cheapest means of travel.

It’s also our way of switching off from the world when our grasp on reality is on the verge of disintegrating altogether.

And tell me you don’t want or need an escape from all the depressing news you see on a day-to-day basis? I don’t know about you, but reading keeps me from breaking down when everything becomes too much. 

2. Don’t you have a social life?

I do actually. I just don’t have one where you’re in it.  Also, what makes you think we don’t have lives?

We live several thousand, while you only live one.

To quote my writer friend, @hellioncat: “My social life takes me to grand balls, to thieves' dens, to brothels, to hell and the future and past. I'm sorted, thanks.”  

Believe it or not, I was asked this question while I was browsing for books AT THE LIBRARY.

To be fair, the rather obtuse person who asked me this was trying to sell me some wares of some sort.
I mean no literature lover would ask a fellow book addict this question, right? 

3. You have too many books. Why don’t you just give some away?

Never, ever say this to a bibliophile.

Firstly, you’re making the assumption that we don’t donate our books (which we do). Secondly, I bought most of my books, so I get to decide whether or not I should keep them or give them away.

My money. My books. 

4. How do you manage to read books that are so lengthy?

Oh, that’s easy. I turn the pages and read page by page, right until I’ve run out of book to read.  Frankly, for most readers, the case is the lengthier the read, the better.

It means we get to stay in the book universe that much longer. 

5. So, I bet you read because you have way too much time on your hands

Actually, many of us don’t. We simply make time. Just like you make time to do the things that you love. 

6. Didn’t you already read that book?

Yes I did. But I want to read it again. So what? Don’t you like doing things you love over and over again? 

7. Why do you buy paperbacks when you also have an e-reader?

Because loving something obviously means you can find different ways in which to appreciate it.

It turns out, I'm not the only one who feels this way. Check out this post from a reader on Bookriot who compiled her own list of 10 Obnoxious things people say to hardcore readers.

What is the most annoying thing a non-reader has ever said to you?I'd love to hear some of yours - grumble away. :)

This column originally appeared as part of Women24’s monthly book club newsletter. Keen to receive this as a monthly newsletter in your own inbox? You can subscribe here.


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