– Juliet Ashton, in The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
People who love to read get made fun of, sometimes. This is probably leftover from childhood, when the bookworms were thought of as kids who sat in the corner and had no friends, while the ‘cool kids’ boasted about how much of Animal Farm they didn’t read. So I would never, never make fun of anyone who loved to read. It’s too much of a life pleasure to make someone embarrassed about doing it.
This is probably why I cringe inside when someone tells me, “I never read,” or “I haven’t cracked open a book since junior high!” Because I am afraid they’re subtly trying to prove they’re superior to me. This is probably an entirely unfair way of reading this situation, and it’s highly likely no one is trying to insult me this way. It’s merely a knee-jerk reaction from my schooldays, in the same way I cringe when someone calls me “smart,” and I automatically insist I’m not (while looking over my shoulder in fear of being labelled “teacher’s pet” as well.) In the same way I try not to tell anyone my grades, even though getting a good grade in university has a lot less stigma attached.
But this works the other way too. When someone admits to me that they love books too, I feel a sudden kinship with them, as sharing a love of reading means we have a lot of other things in common too. I’ve discovered this is not always true, of course, but one of the fastest ways to get me to like a person is still for them to not be afraid to talk about the books they read.
I know, people who don’t like reading are sometimes looked down on by readers – the best solution would be for everyone to think twice before laughing at someone else. But since all of you lovely people are clearly readers, I have to ask you – do you ever feel looked down upon because of your reading habits? How do you feel when you meet a fellow reader?
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