I would never make fun of anyone who loved to read.
– 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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3 responses to “Making Fun of Readers?”
Oh I loved “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society” ! Such a nice read.
I don’t really feel looked down upon because of my reading habits, but sometimes, when people see my books everywhere, they react like I have too much of them. Like it makes me weird for having that many. Or maybe it’s because they don’t see the point, I don’t know. Some people even ask me “But you’ve read ALL of them ?” like it’s somewhat shocking. It’s annoying in a way, because I don’t feel like I have that much books. If anything, I don’t have nearly enough lol.
I was given “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society” by my aunt, and put off reading it for a really long time, but now I’m glad I did!
Personally, I love visiting people’s houses when they have lots of books, and snooping through their shelves (I hope my friends don’t mind!) It gives me a funny feeling to visit someone that has no books, or a lot of shelves filled with other stuff besides books. Though, of course, like I said above – everyone is different!
It’s a good book. I wanted to read it as soon as I heard about it. For some reason, I always associate it with a German book called “The Taste of Apple Seeds” by Katharina Hagena that I really like too. Maybe because they both have food in their titles. Lol, the strange associations the brain makes sometimes.
Oh yeah, me too, sometimes I even make a note if I see a book I don’t know that I think I’d like to read. I don’t think my friends care. I know a few people who have bookshelves but never read. They just think it looks nice. I don’t really get it, but you know, to each his own.