I love books. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t have a book in my hand. For me, every unopened book provides the possibility of fantasy, adventure, and knowledge, making it impossible to not crack open the cover and begin the discovery.
However, on my journey from sipping tea with Jane Austen to hiding under the bed with Stephen King, I have met some along the way who don’t share my enthusiasm for reading. Those who consider reading fiction nothing more than a pastime.
So, as not only a writer but also a book lover, I wanted to share some of the comments that I have heard, which I know will baffle book lovers everywhere.
Although there have been many statements, ranging from mildly amusing to completely bewildering, I decided to only list my personal top ten.
I have also included the comments that have previously remained unsaid while I held my tongue, bit my lip, and listened (begrudgingly).
10. “Shakespeare is overrated.” I, at one point, also believed this, but then I learned more about him and realized he is underrated.
9. “I read texts and tweets so…” So, um, it counts as much for reading as walking to the kitchen counts for exercise.
8. “There isn’t really a point to reading fiction.” If you don’t see the point then you haven’t read the right fiction. Or, perhaps, understood it.
7. “I’ll wait until the movie version comes out.” There is a reason everyone who sees the movie always says the book is better. Discover that reason.
6. “Reading isn’t necessary for my career.” What career doesn’t benefit from critical thinking, analytical skills and a broadened perspective? It is necessary.
5. “Reading cliff notes is the same as reading the book but saves time.” Cliff noting books is like taking short cuts in life, you may get there faster but you’re bound to miss something incredible.
4. “I don’t have time to read a book.” Yet there is time to look through endless social media scrolls, play computer games and endlessly tweet (#thereistime)
3. “I read enough in high school.” When was a quota instituted? I ate enough at lunch, but I know I’ll be hungry by dinner time.
2. “I can never find a book that interest me.” There are an estimated 600,000 and 1,000,000 books published every year in the US alone. So…you’re not looking hard enough.
And the number one statement puzzling, mystifying, and baffling book lovers everywhere…
1. “I don’t like to read.” Stunned silence.
If you are among those who have uttered, thought, or agreed with one or more of these statements you are probably also an individual who views reading books as merely a hobby.
In this writer’s humble opinion, however, reading is much more than a hobby because good fiction has the ability to incite ideas, frame beliefs, and create dreams.
And when done really well, fiction broadens individuals’ perceptions of the world, changing perspectives so that previously held biases and prejudices are questioned and ultimately, changed.
When has knitting or flower arranging done that?
Thank you for reading. I’m excited to hear what you think.