I was wrecking my brain to come up with post ideas, and as usual I could come up with nothing. So! I decided to turn towards one of the age-old, tried-and0-tested ways to post something fun as well as interesting – lists! And this time, I’ll up for some ranty remarks about people who annoy the hell out of me by their comments about readers/books. [Okay, I’m really not that angry, I’m just trying to sound angry :D] But, there are some random things which people often say, and they do get to me, and here I am making a list about them!
1. ‘Oh, that book sucks.’
As much as you are entitled to your opinion, maintaining a basic amount of decorum actually always works! I really dislike people who downright express their hatred for books, without even explaining or justifying their dislike for it. You want to have a chat stating your reasons for hatred, come sit! Let’s talk and clear out everything and not make a generalized statement like ‘That book —-‘. And I’ve said this before, there’s a difference between saying ‘I hate The Mortal Instruments‘ and ‘The Mortal Instruments is a bad series’. One is your opinion, the other is an ignorant, offensive remark.
2. ‘You’re still reading that book? What are you, 10?’
I read Alice in Wonderland a few weeks ago (and I’m seventeen) and I didn’t find any problem with the matter. I don’t understand why people have to constantly berate others for reading beneath their level because according to me, there isn’t really any sort of boundary in reading. And this is just part of the problem. What I dislike even more is when people try to act oversmart and call really adult or mature books ‘childish’ or ‘kiddish’. For eg, imagine this scene (and this really happened with me)
Me : *quietly reading and enjoying Wuthering Heights*
(Obnoxious classmate enters)
Obnoxious Classmate : What’re you reading? Oh, Wuthering Heights?
Me : *looks up* Yeah, it’s my favorite classc! *all excited*
Classmate : Oh but it’s a book for children! Why are you reading it?
Me : *bewildered* Um…it’s a classic. An adult classic.
Classmate : But we read it in 5th grade!
Me : *really annoyed now* That was just one page out of this novel and it was massively abridged. *turns away*
3. Jumping into a conversation when I’m clearly reading. Hmph.
Me : *clearly engrossed in my book*
Some random classmate I’m not interested in : Hey! Do you know what so-and-so did and where so-and-so were making out?
Me : *despairs at my hard luck*
Okay, this might be something clearly my problem, but I find it amusing how people sometimes don’t even notice that I’m reading, or, how sometimes people don’t even get a hint that I’m not interested in talking to them right then. This might by a hugely antisocial behaviour on my part, but all the same such people are annoying :/
4. ‘I read that book ages ago. Huh‘
Oversmart people who really just want to show off get on my nerves every single time. You read that book? Okay great, let’s discuss! But, if you’re going to be snobbish about it, then I rather not talk to you :/ It’s alright with saying you’ve already read a book, but if you’re saying it with an intention to show off or ridicule,
5. Removing the bookmark, even if it’s just for fun.
I cannot tell you how many times people have done this to me! It’s really not funny, and I don’t even have the habit of looking at the page number and remembering it when I close the book. And once this happens, you basically have to sit looking for the page you left off and waste precious reading time -.-
6. Jumping to conclusions
People who like to assume and generalize and jump to conclusions? Oh my it is just so aggravating. The thing with books is you cannot really say anything about it without really reading it. No matter how it looks or sounds, unless you’ve read it, making judgements about it is really wrong. I’d still understand if people who have read that author’s books before pass out comments about the book, but when you’ve never heard of the author/the book, just because it sounds like something you hate, doesn’t mean it’s bad. This really horrible thing happened to me a couple of years back :
Me : *reading one of the books in the Vampire Academy series*
Random Person I Don’t Care About : What are you reading?!
Me : Vampire Academy! It’s a –
Random Person : Vampire Academy?! Ewww. Another Twilight huh?
Me : Oh no! It’s actually a really good series –
RP : Oh grow up, Anushka! I thought you hated Twilight! Why are you reading this?
–End of convo–
7. Jumping to conclusions (Part II – ‘Non-readers’ version)
This is actually worse, in some ways, but also understandable. Now, most non-readers wouldn’t have a detailed knowledge about book genres. That’s like, pretty obvious. The way I can explain different genres and sub-genres and probably give a mile-long list of examples, my non-readers friends would never be able to. But, still, sometimes the assumptions these people make are actually quite offensive and insulting. Like, this happened a few days ago,
Me : *reading Kafka on the Shore*
Non-Reader Friend : Hey Anushka! What are you reading?
Me : Kafka on the Shore. Murakami.
Friend : Oh! What’t that?!
Me : ….a book?
Friend : *rolls eyes* What’s the book about?
Me : Oh well, it’s magical realism. About a fifteen-year old who’s run away from home. And other stuff.
Friend : Magical realism! That’s like..magic in real life? Isn’t that not real?
Me : Well, it’s a genre. It’s basically a few magical elements interspersed in real life. Like, this book has a man who can speak to cats and and make fishes and leeches rain from the sky and –
Friend : Oh, you’re reading crazy shit again. Just like that stupid assassin thing you were reading some days ago, about a ninja trying to speak to a horse. Try something better. *saunters away*
8. Messing around my bookshelf/books
This is more of a personal pet peeve, but when someone touches or messes with my book, it really gets on my nerves. Like, well hello! You just touched my baby. So stop.
9. Situations like these :
Haha okay another situation-
Person : I like to read too!
Me : Great! What books do you like?!
Person : Just..about everything.
Me : Oh. What’s your favorite book?
Person : The Fault in Our Stars.
Okay so you might not know but around the time of TFiOS movie release, girls in my school went crazy. I had already read that book long before, and I did genuinely love it back then (not so much now) but I’m specifically talking about the people who suddenly became ‘intellectual readers’ when TFiOS came around. I think people who read just to be in the swim are the worst. Trying out a book because it’s popular and you’re genuinely interested is okay, I do it too, but reading it just to be able to say that you’ve read it, or to talk about it as if you’ve read it is really a terrible thing. To yourself, to the book, and to the person you talk about the book with. Biggest pet peeve.
So that was my list for things which annoy readers!