Bookworms have to put up with a lot of nonsense.
And this ranges from anything from authors killing off our favourite characters to publishers printing stickers on books to dealing with non-bookworms and their ridiculous questions. Honestly why do we even have non-bookworms? They’ll be the first we’ll sacrifice in the apocalypse, I’m sure.
Because apparently if you see a bookworm you just get STRUCK by the heavens almighty with this desperate need to spout off annoying questions.
Today I shall list these frustrating questions we put up with. Then we can all whinge companionably. I’ll also add some suggested answers for when we’re struggling for replies.
I am helpful. I know.
This will also be a handy list to print out and fold into a paper airplane and then stuff in the mouths of those who are out to vex us sorely. Or you can fold it into an origami flower. There are options.
1. “OH YOU LIKE BOOKS? WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE?”
Excuse me did you just ask for a singular favourite?? What kind of SLAP-DASHING-NONSENSE IS THIS. I can’t even begin to explain how frustrating it is to be asked to pick one. Like, please pick ONE article of clothing you want to wear today. Please pick ONE food you want to eat. Or pick ONE favourite amongst all your children.
Do. YOU. SEE. HOW. THIS. IS. A. BAD. QUESTION.
Books are part of us. Multiple books. They create us and we relate and we find different books have expressed different parts of our innermost souls. We can’t pick one because WE ARE BUILT OF THEM ALL.
“How about you go fetch me an ostrich egg from the the darkest deserts and then see if you feel like asking that question.”
2. “AREN’T YOU TOO OLD TO READ THAT?”
This is just downright frustrating. For starters, it indicates that children’s books are lesser and that no one should want to read them. This is ridiculous. You can’t grow too old for a good book. Like, let me read Roald Dahl and VE Schwab, thanks. Go take your stigmas somewhere else.
The fact is: you’re never too old for children’s books or cupcakes with sprinkles.
“Oh excuse me, let me just put down HARRY POTTER and pick up WAR AND PEACE and then beat you with it like the title recommends.”
3. “HAVEN’T YOU ALREADY READ THAT BOOK BEFORE?”
RE-READING IS LIKE VISITING AND OLD FRIEND!! And it’s especially fun for those of us who remember exactly 2% of what we read three days later. It’s like visiting and an old friend for the first time.
Yes I love my logic too. Also my brain is broken and I’m trying to order a new one from Etsy so we’ll see how that goes. I may ask for it to be gift-wrapped to surprise myself since I won’t remember what I ordered by the time it arrives.
Sometimes, when a bookworm gets asked this, their eye starts to twitch and it’s possible they might combust.
“Haven’t you breathed oxygen before? You could stop, I don’t know, just throwing ideas out there.”
4. “WHERE DO YOU GET ALL THAT FREE TIME TO READ?”
I actually get asked this BY BOOKWORMS and honestly, those bookworms are failing the bookwormhood code. It’s really condescending, actually, because it basically says that you’re slacking off like a dead snail for work/school/life in order to read more.
Bookworms have time to read because we make SACRIFICES. It’s not free. We sacrifice outings, and TV watching, we sacrifice teenage boys and socialising, we sacrifice sleep and the occasional soul under the blood orange moon. Voracious readers (like myself) don’t just lounge around and read all day, trustttttt me.
“If you eat the souls of the lost, you can consume their remaining lives and use that for extra reading time.”
5. “WHY DO YOU KEEP ALL THESE BOOKS ANYWAY? YOU CAN’T SEE YOUR FLOOR?”
First of all, who needs to see the floor? I know the general direction of it. The carpet is dull. I WANT A SEA OF BOOKS TO SWIM IN, THANK YOU ALL THE SAME.
Some bookworms are fond of collections and this is a fantastic thing! Most people collect things and aren’t judged for it. Like why do bookworms get so much judgement for book collections!?? We want to be a library when we grow up. This is not hard to grasp. Other humans collect clothes or, like, teaspoons. My parents collected kids and it doesn’t get any more ridiculously deluded than that.
Books > collecting humans. Obviously.
“Collecting books is better than collecting the teeth of the Orcs I’ve slain in battle, isn’t it?”
6. “WHY ARE YOU FREAKING OUT? IT’S JUST A BOOK.”
The reasons books often feel so so real is because WE’RE IN THEM. We’re experiencing the emotions of the characters all compounded into like 3hrs of reading time. So you know, we get to experience the action! adventure! pain! torment! sacrifice! love! family! hunger! general confusion! and also bloody finale of OUR ENTIRE LIFE — all really fast and compacted into 350pgs.
Try having your life flash before your eyes so fast, sheesh. We are allowed to freak out.
Also if an author mangles the alphabet into mismatched pleasing shapes and makes us FEEL AND FREAK OUT over it??!?? Then that’s just some kind of special wizardry right there.
“I CAN’T HEAR YOU OVER THE SOUND OF MY FAVOURITE CHARACTERS AND I SCREAMING. SPEAK UP.”
7. “ISN’T IT UNHEALTHY TO READ SO MANY BOOKS? YOU’LL DAMAGE YOUR EYES WON’T YOU?”
I get so many hits to my blog with people asking “is reading bad for you” which is the most heartbreaking search result, right after being called Paper Furry * 89 times.
Reading is not bad for you. Unless by “bad” you mean it makes you a more intelligent and educated person who probably has less tolerance for injustice and bigotry and also has new life goals to be rich and famous so they can afford that library with sliding ladders?
And does reading damage your eyes…pfft. Obviously. So does the sun. So does being stabbed in the eye with a spoon. So does looking at Umbridge’s outfit.
It’s a risk you take by existing.
* This might be actually me typoing this search??
“It’s ok I have 7 spare eyeballs in my pocket, would you like mE TO SHOW THEM TO YOU. THEY’RE A BIT SLIMY BUT HAVE GOOD INTENTIONS.”
8. “IF YOU DON’T REMEMBER THE BOOK, THEN WHAT’S THE POINT OF READING IT?”
I don’t know, do you remember every single meal you’ve ever eaten? NO. But did they change your life? YES. You grew from a smol gnarly toddler into a tol gnarly human. So those meals mattered!! All books are building our brains!! Books are like dozens of lovely little Legos, colourful and deadly and stored somewhere deep in our subconscious.
And who cares if you forget? You can reread. Or wander in confused circles.
I….ok, I tend to wander around in confused circles.
“Well I suppose you don’t need to eat that cupcake then, fren, because obviously you mIGHT NOT REMEMBER IT IN 2075. I’ll just eat it for you.”
9. “WHY DOES IT MATTER IF YOUR BOOKS MATCH, HAHA, I MEAN WHAT’S THE BIG DEAL?”
For some people: nothing! And that’s awesome! For other people: IT MEANS FREAKING EVERYTHING AND YOU NEED TO ACCEPT THAT AND NOT JUDGE.
I hate mid-cover-changes in series. I hate weird sized books that sit strangely on my shelf. I don’t like spines with multiple colours that ruiiiiiiiin my rainbow. And you know what? Who cares how I want my books to look! When you put on an outfit you like, you care that it looks nice. If you were at a restaurant and they gave you a gross looking meal, you’d care. If you were decorating your house, you’d pick things that look nice together, like that portrait of a dragon + your really epic longswords from that Viking battle in late 8th century.
Noooo judgement for preferring your books well loved or pristine.
Just like books, mate. Stop putting rules around here or I’ll sneeze.
“If I have unmatching book series will it start of the apocalypse? I don’t know. Do you know? Let’s not take this risk.”
10. “WOULDN’T YOU RATHER EXPERIENCE THE WORLD INSTEAD OF JUST READ ABOUT IT?”
Look experiences are good. They’re great. I 10/10 would prefer to experience chocolate covered pretzels instead of just read about them. But the fact is not everyone can have all the experiences. Maybe due to money reasons, travel reasons, health reasons, mental health reasons, or that fact that some deranged moron in history scared away aLL THE DRAGONS so now we can’t play with them anymore.
Look I can’t go learn how to sword fight. Like no one does that where I live, and I don’t have a sword, and I’m about as coordinated as dead limpet in the ocean. However I can read about it and have a great time. There is literally no downside. Except for the part where I don’t own a sword…
(I would really like to own a sword.)
I don’t think reading = not living. Whoever invented that idea needs to be stuffed in a dark barrel. It’s living. I’m breathing oxygen. It’s enjoying words and poetry and prose and art. Looking at a painting is living, touring France is living, reading a book is living.
IF YOU’RE LIVING IN A WAY YOU ENJOY, THEN YOU’RE LIVING NICELY. YOU DON’T HAVE TO VISIT THE MOON AND HAVE 67 FRIENDS AND JUMP INTO THE OCEAN FROM A TALL CLIFF IN ORDER TO LIVE.
“Sorry did my book just fall on your head and wipe you out? R U LIVING STILL, M8??”