Okay, I want to try to keep off of my high horse – and I do admit that I own one – but I’m a little upset about how some non-readers see us. I guarantee the majority of the time, we’re not trying to be rude or antisocial or ignore you. We just want to be left alone to read in peace. Grrrrrrrrrr
Anyway, here are some of the top scenarios that really bother me. I have been in each of these, and I’ve seen them happen to other readers. You have my sympathy if you have ever had similar experiences.
Scenario #1 –
You’re sitting in a room where many people are staring at their phone. You quickly grow bored and decide to sit down and pull out your book. Someone walks into the room and signals you out for “being rude” and “ignoring people.”
Okay, this one really bothers me. First of all, no one else really looked like they wanted to talk. And second, everyone else is on their phones! I know it’s kind of clique to point this out, but why is it rude to pull out a book and not rude to pull out a phone?
You’re reading a book that you’re really into. The hero is just about to face the dragon and…someone else walks into the room. They immediately start to talk about their day. You hold up your “one minute, I’m reading” finger. They continue talking. When you verbally ask them to just hold on one minute, they call you rude and walk away. Or worse, they just keep talking.
First of all, let me say that I’m not suggesting that it’s okay to read while other people are talking, especially since something important may have just happened. However, I think that the “one minute, I’m reading” finger is something that should be respected. Someone has entered another world through a book and might need a minute to return to this world so they can actively listen to you. I don’t think that’s too much to ask for.
You’re leaning against a wall, enjoying a new book that you got from the library. There are people walking down the hall and talking loudly. No one is really bothering you…until, out of the corner of your eye, you see a guy lean against the wall next to you. Slowly, he inches closer to you until he is barrrrely touching you arm and then, oh so non-conspicuously, he leans in and cranes his neck sideways to try to see what you are reading. Except that you totally know that he’s there, because he’s blocking the page.
Rude! If you want to know what I’m reading, either try to actually ask me or bend down and read the cover. That might at least get a half smile and a raising of the book from me. Just because a reader has temporarily stopped paying attention to their surroundings, doesn’t mean that you can invade their bubble. Readers are really into personal bubbles! I don’t think it’s rude to point that out.
Have you experienced any similar scenarios? If you could put together a list of rules that non-readers should understand about what is considered rude/not rude, what would you write down? I think I’ve chosen my top three!