“So Do You Also Read Real Books?” And Other Outrageously Annoying Things People Tell Readers {Top Ten Tuesday}

190409 Outrageous things people tell readers

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

Welcome to a new Top Ten Tuesday!

Today I’m deviating a tad (a lot) from the original topic, which should have been ‘Outrageous things I’ve done as a reader’ because honestly, I’m quite boring and not very outrageous. The most outrageous thing I could come up with was reading an entire day and sneaking reads during family gatherings. Not so outrageous, now is it?

But then I thought about outrageous things other people have said to me as a reader. And to other readers. Because really, sometimes people can say really outrageously annoying things to readers. So that’s my post for today. Get ready for some annoyed rants and a lots of tea being served.

So do you also read real books?

Let’s start with this one, because this one happened to me not too long ago and it annoyed the crap out of me. First of all, there is no such thing as a “real” book and for you to claim some books are better than others is annoying and pretentious as hell. So what if someone reads fiction? So what if someone reads young adult? So what if someone reads fantasy? So what if someone reads romance? So what if someone reads comics? So what if someone just listens to audiobooks? Guess what – they’re still readers and they’s still fabulous and your comment just revealed your inner pretentious snob.

Why are you reading again? That’s so anti-social of you!

Let me get this straight, reading is not the same as being anti-social. Quite the opposite in fact, as reading has allowed me to discover this amazing community full of other book lovers that I regularly interact with and talk about books and other things. That’s not anti-social at all! And by the way, Susan, you’re always glued to your phone so don’t go calling me anti-social okay?

Reading? Lucky you, I don’t have time to read.

Oh wow, it still astonishes me how often someone whips out this age-old comment and it raises my hackles every single time. Reading is a hobby. It makes me happy so I find time for it. When I don’t have time, I make time for it. We’re all busy, so don’t go implying that you’re busier than anyone else (and what is up with this society glorifying being busy anyway?). It’s about choosing what to spend your available time on and I like spending my time reading. You do your thing, I’ll do mine, jeez.

Wait, you mean you haven’t even read *insert stuffy old book only mentioned for bragging points*?

Oh boy, people really can be pretentious assholes, can’t they? This is another one of those  insults often thrown at book lovers for not having read some book that the other person thinks is the Holy Grail of books. Often it’s a stuffy old classic written by a dead dude, because of bragging points. Hey, I’m all for reading classics as they’re classics for a reason, but I’m even more for reading things you enjoy and relate too. And just because someone read that one book once, it doesn’t give them the right to belittle people who haven’t.

Why do you always have your nose in a book? Don’t you have anything better to do?

Here we go again. I like reading. I enjoy reading and it makes me feel happy and content. It’s a perfectly good and valid way to spend my time and it is not up to anyone else to decide what’s a good way to spend my time for me.

oh no you didn't gif

You know, it’s just a book.

It’s not just a book. For the duration of these pages I went on a journey with these characters. I grew attached to them and considered them my own friends. I felt what they felt. I saw things from a different perspective and in doing so, my world expanded. Perhaps I even related to them and learned I was not alone in my thoughts after all. And then the book ended and I was dropped back into reality. So when I want to share my thoughts and feelings with you, and if you tell me it’s just a book, it hurts and diminishes everything I feel. So please never tell me it’s just a  book.

Aren’t you too old to be reading that?

Well there really is no end to all the different way people can make pretentious comments about reading, is there? And the answer is no, I’m never too old for reading anything. If I’m in the mood to read middle grade, I’ll read middle grade. If I want to read YA, I’ll read YA. And if I want adult fiction, I’ll read adult fiction. It’s my choice and also, there is a different wonder to be found in each age group, whether it’s the magic of first times or the wisdom and relatability of adult experiences.

Why don’t you just watch the movie?

I like movies, I do. But even though it’s true that most times I prefer the book to a movie, I’ll never tell someone to just read the book instead. (Tell them to do both, yes) Why?  Because they are two very different story mediums and really shouldn’t be compared. Sometimes the book gives you more depth and makes the build-up to a character more clear. But sometimes the movie is visually appealing and helps bring the story to life better than words on a paper could. So don’t tell me to just watch the movie. I’l decide how I want to consume the story (and often it’s both).

both is good

Your favorite book? I hated it and you should too.

Now, we all have different tastes and opinions. But I don’t think it’s right to go telling other people what they can and can’t like. When it comes to our favorites, it’s extremely personal and also often has to do with the right story at the right time. So while you can respectfully disagree, nobody should go telling me I should hate a book because they did.
On a sidenote though, I do think we should definitely be aware that some of our favorites can be (seriously) flawed. So yes, we can absolutely talk about that. If my favorite has some flaws I wasn’t aware of, it’s perfectly okay to tell me. And there’s a good chance I’ll change my mind about it. But don’t tell me I should hate it. I can be aware of the flaws and it can still hold a place in my heart. I’m thinking for example of Harry Potter. It’ll always be one of my favorites but it is flawed and J.K. Rowling really isn’t making it any better. So yes, tell me if a story I love has serious flaws and I missed them somehow. I need to be aware and understand. Just understand that it doesn’t mean I can’t still like the story for what it means to me.

Why are you reading a book about *insert marginalized group here*? Do you have a fetish or something?

Seriously, what is wrong with people who make this comment? What’s the problem with reading about cultures and experiences other than your own? It’s called diversity and it’s CRUCIAL to the world we live in. Books are an important part of that, of making sure everybody all over the world is able to see themselves in a character and relate to them, to not feel alone. Plus it helps spread empathy and understanding. And reading about other races, religions or sexualities other than my own does not mean I have a fetish. It means I’m a person who lives in a diverse world and likes to see it reflected in what I read.

you're exhausting me

Tell Me:
What’s an annoying thing someone once told you as a reader? Did any of the above happen to you and if so, how did you respond to it?

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33 thoughts on ““So Do You Also Read Real Books?” And Other Outrageously Annoying Things People Tell Readers {Top Ten Tuesday}

    • Lindsey Habets says:

      Exactly, why are people like that? I haven’t read any Stephen King yet, but he’s not the only author out there. I’d definitely be amazed by all the books though haha 🙂

  1. Melanie Parker says:

    Oh god so much yes to this. The one I probably get the most that makes me side eye is “I wish I had that kind of time.” I’ve even gotten comments like that on Goodreads – like what even?!?!? I do get comments about reading middle-grade and YA from time to time *eye roll*

  2. Jess @ Jessticulates says:

    Yeeeees, I LOVE your spin on this week’s topic! When I was younger, especially, I used to get so frustrated at being told I was being antisocial at family gatherings when I took a book. I’m a bit of a weird age in my family; my oldest sister is 10 years my senior and my oldest cousin is 20 years my senior and also my godfather! So my sisters and our cousins were all around the same age and now their children are all around the same age, but there was no one my age in the family so if I didn’t take a book I’d literally just be sat there twiddling my thumbs.

    I also completely agree with you about favourite books – it’s a really good thing for people to acknowledge stuff that’s problematic, and we can have really interesting discussions about that kind of thing, but that doesn’t we have to hate it. If we hated everything problematic, we’d hate everything! Great list. 🙂
    Jess @ Jessticulates recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday | #OwnVoices SFF #booktubesffbabblesMy Profile

    • Lindsey Habets says:

      I totally understand. It especially baffles me at family gatherings when people spend so much time on their phone and nobody bats an eye, but if I were to pick up a book, I’d be anti-social… While I think it’s super cozy to read with people around me, haha. And totally, we can’t hate everything problematic or we’d hate everything 🙂

  3. Poinsettia says:

    Great take on this week’s topic! I’ve definitely heard some of these comments, especially the “real books” or “it’s just a book” comments. I hate hearing those so much! I’ll admit I’m a little sensitive when it comes to my favorite books, but I can admit they have flaws. Usually people aren’t interested in discussing the flaws in an intelligent way. Most of the time they just want to bash a book. I find this extremely annoying. Here is our Top Ten Tuesday

  4. Kyra Morris says:

    This is such a great post! *_* I can relate to a LOT of these. I’ve been judged for reading fiction not non-fiction, comics…just books in general. It’s so frustrating!

  5. Damaris says:

    I loved the spin! Sad to say the most common one thats been said to me “It’s just a book” It’s incredibly frustrating to hear this and makes me want to fight someone. I either chose to ignore what they say or depending on the person make a smart-ass comment about something they love. Not very mature but it’s one of those things I feel bad not defending.

  6. Nicole @ Thoughts Stained With Ink says:

    Gosh, I loved this post! I mean, I’m sorry you’ve had to deal with these kinds of responses, but I totally understand where you’re coming from, too. It is definitely really annoying to have to deal with all of these responses, for just having a passion for BOOKS. I definitely was nodding throughout most of these, having encountered almost all of them. *sigh*
    Nicole @ Thoughts Stained With Ink recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday: For The Love Of BooksMy Profile

  7. Brooke Lorren says:

    I’m lucky in that people generally don’t have negative things to say about me reading. The worst thing I can think of is people trying to talk to me when I’m clearly reading a book.

    And for the people that say they have no time to read… I bet they watch TV sometimes. I haven’t really watched TV since February of 2018. I just prefer books.
    Brooke Lorren recently posted…Outrageous Things I’ve Done for the Love of Books (Top Ten Tuesday)My Profile

  8. Angela says:

    I HATE when people say they don’t have time to read. Everyone can find 10 minutes a day to read. I know people who say they want to read more but they don’t have time, but then they’re on social media all day – ok, so get off FB and you’ll have time to read!

  9. ShootingStarsMag says:

    I love the graphic you made for this! And yea, these are all awful comments to make. If someone reads, they’re a reader – it doesn’t matter what they read or what medium. And just because you like a book, or don’t like a book, doesn’t mean someone else has to agree with you. Like – different opinions. Get over it. LOL

    -Lauren
    ShootingStarsMag recently posted…Mini Movie Reviews: Captain Marvel and Shazam!My Profile

  10. Cam @ Camillea Reads says:

    I dislike it when people assume being a “real” reader means you should have read a particular book. Like, I can go all my life without reading War & Peace and still be a true reader.

    I don’t really get annoyed when people tell me they don’t have time to read. While I understand some are too busy for it, I push to make time for reading whether it be before bed or while eating. It’s more than a hobby. Sometimes it’s work for the blog. Either way, it is good for my mental health.

    This is a great post, by the way!
    Cam @ Camillea Reads recently posted…BOOKS, SHELVES, AND ALL THE WAYS MY LIBRARY WAS BUILT!My Profile

  11. Lin @ The Reader of A Thousand Stars says:

    Oh my gosh, “Have you read any REAL books” is such a common one. But I don’t know why?
    I haven’t read really read many classics beyond some Charles Dickens but I don’t see how that can make anyone less of a reader? Who even decides these things??

    I don’t get why people can’t just… not say horrible things about something that we so clearly love?? It’s not hard.
    Great post! <3 These things are sadly something that most readers (if not all) can relate to. Luckily our love for books is so much more powerful than that. 😀
    Lin @ The Reader of A Thousand Stars recently posted…Oh, The Things I’ve Done For The Love Of BooksMy Profile

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