Funny (And Obnoxious) Things Non-Readers Say

Sunday, August 17, 2014

If you're a reader, you may know what I mean by those comments made by non-readers who don't understand the many joys and wonders that can be found within the pages of a book!  They don't know what they're missing.

1. "You're reading for fun?"

Is that so hard to believe?  Yes, I'm reading Faulkner in the summer and a biography of Dietrich Bonhoeffer during school breaks.  No, it's not assigned for class.  Scientifically speaking, reading every day has extreme benefits for your health and intellectual engagement.  You gain knowledge and "experiences", have greater vocabulary exposure, memory improvement, better analytical thinking skills and (of course) better writing!

2. "I've seen the movie but never heard of the book."

True story: I was attending a play called "Anne Frank And Me" as an educational field trip for my little brother.  Outside the theatre, there was a display on the Holocaust and the real story behind the play.  One woman leaned over to me and said, "I've seen the movie The Diary Of Anne Frank.  But I'm confused.  Is there a book by the same name?"

It was a face palm worthy moment.

3. "Wait, so there is a book?  Is it better than the movie?"

(Do I even have to answer this?)

In short: There's probably a book.  And if there is a book, it's most definitely better.

4. "Does it have any pictures?"

Probably not.  Except, I will say, that I do like pictures for non-fiction books that I use for book research.  When I was writing The Time Racers, I used several history and alchemy text books for resources and it was so helpful to see pictures and diagrams of things like herb charts and town layouts in the the 1600s.

But for novels, I prefer when there aren't pictures because it leaves more to the reader's imagination!

5. "Books are boring. There's no adventure."

Well then, what books are you reading?

Books are nothing but adventurous. You can be abandoned with the Swiss Family Robinson, fall in love with the romantic world of the Bennett sisters or experience the quaint lifestyle of Little House On The Prairie.  There are books for everyone.  Find one that's your cup of tea. :)

6. "I haven't read a book since high school."

Now this is just plain depressing, but common.

In fact, if you want to be thoroughly depressed as a book-lover, check out this chart on surprising book facts regarding reading rates in America. 33% of high school graduates and 42% of college grads never read another book the rest of their lives.  What a waste!

7. "Why don't you do something actually important with your time? You know, like Instagram."

Ahem.  Next year, you won't remember what so-and-so posted on Instagram.  But you will remember the book you read and how it influenced you.  How do you determine what's "actually important"?  I would argue that importance should be based on influence and significance to your life.  And what can influence you more than a poignant book?

8. "Oh, yeah, I read books all the time.  Comic books."

Let me just say, comic books have their place and I do love Marvel.  But it's not a substitute for actual reading.

9. "Books are a thing of the past."

1) Don't make me sad by telling me of the inevitable downfall of our world!

2) Even if books will soon be online, we'll still be reading! You can read on your Kindle or Nook or any online source you choose.  That's fine.  I personally prefer a real book because it's old fashioned and special to hold it in my hands with a cup of Earl Gray.

10. "What are you, a nerd?" 

(Why yes, yes I am.)

But none of these things are quite as spine tinglingly terrible, so aggravatingly vexing as this quote by the ever controversial Kanye West:

"Sometimes people write novels and they just be so wordy and so self-absorbed. I am not a fan of books. I would never want a book's autograph. I am a proud non-reader of books."

This unfortunate quote was recently brought to my attention and I simply had to share with all of my bookish friends!  I think I gagged when I read it.  I'll leave you all to muse about the current state of the American literary scene, for which I am very much concerned.

What's the worst thing you've heard said?  And do you think this is an accurate representation of the reading culture in America?


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  1. Ah yes. I have heard most of these comments many a times. Great post.