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.
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).
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.