A Book Lover Is A Rude Reader

Hey website checkers! Here is another entry from my book. My book is going to be a series of life stories, mixed with musing, mantras, and thoughts compiled in essays. The stories and the musings inform each other, but aren’t necessarily connected. I attempt to put the lessons learned in the experiences in separate entries. I like to describe it as David Sedaris meets Fran Lebowitz meets Lena Dunham but you like me. This next excerpt is more my thoughts on reading, and if you’re a reader like me, I hope you enjoy.

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A Book Lover Is A Rude Reader

I am a rude reader. I love to read, and I read fast. I still read actual books. I still like to hold books in my hand and get readers arthritis from holding it open with my thumb, index finger and pinky too long. But I don’t wait to be alone to read. If I am engrossed in a book, I will ignore you, even if I invited you over. Anyone who was near me during the 17 hours it took me to read Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows will be able to tell you how little I heard of them and how much I ignored them during that time. I wasn’t polite about it either. “Can’t you see I’m reading. Does Harry live or die?! Is Snape good or evil? These are things I have to know.”

What I should have said was “thank you so much for being my friends and wanting to come over to my apartment. Please forgive my rudeness for preferring to live in an imaginary world rather than a real one, and humor me for the remainder of this book. Perhaps come back in 2 days when I am finished and need the serotonin required from human companionship that the Harry Potter series will never again provide for me.”

No, that’s not how it works. I believe a good book is a book you finish, and a great book is a book you don’t put down until it is finished. It ends and you feel hunger for another book equally as readable. So if you are around me during the magical time (for me) and the unbearable time (for you) when you can tell I would rather read than interact, please don’t take it personally. I’ll let you read it and ignore me when I’m done with it.

Reading is a dangerous thing for me that must be seriously monitored if I have shit to do, or even worse, if I have to make serious life decisions. Any actions that must be taken will have to wait until I am done with my book, because reading = paralysis. There are several moments in my life where I will have to cut myself off from reading.

1- if I have to work that day, and all of the preparation that comes from going to work. Eating, showering, getting ready. This will all suffer as will my work performance that day if I have a good book to read.

2- If I am at a crossroads in my life and would love to procrastinate moving forward. Once, instead of deciding how I was going to get a dollar to my name, get out of my parents house, get my life together and figure out how to achieve even a moment’s happiness, I read the first book from the Game of Thrones Series (yes I know its the Fire and Ice series. suck it). I had already seen the show, known what would happen in the first book. I did achieve some relaxation and relief from reading it, but it cost me a week of  decision making. I cut myself off from starting the second book until I have one million dollars in the bank. Today it sits on the shelf (and it doesn’t even belong to me. More on that in a moment.)

3- Those are the only 2 times I can think of where I will actually not allow myself to read. More times, I will trick myself into believing that I don’t love voracious reading as much as I do, why not just watch some TV instead. I have also tricked myself into believing if I want to read a book, I must own it and add it to the collection. And therefore, if I don’t have money to buy a book, I will not read a book. This is doubly true because even though I read fast, I have always hated the time imposition a library will put on me, and have never in my life returned a book on time. I always end up paying the price of the book or more to the library in late fees. And then I keep the book that’s been marked by the library like it’s been through the prison system.

4-I will not allow myself to walk into any bookstore, at any time for any reason other than for gifts during christmas or my birthday. It is a physical impossibility for me to walk out of a bookstore without spending 50$ or more (make it 100$ if it’s barnes and noble, due both to prices and selection).

Books are the one accumulation I will never get rid of. If I had to keep all of my possessions in my car, it would be a library, and the same 5 shirts and 2 pairs of jeans I wear every day. Everything in my life can go and I am fine with that, but I will not dwindle my library by even one page. Instead I will continue to build my empiric home until there is enough space for all. There may even be two rooms for books already read and books not yet read.

There is one way I will get rid of books. I will give them to people to read, knowing 9 out of 10 times I will never see them again. I cope with this loss by not making a list of names or titles. If it’s gone, I will miss it for a day, then forget which book I lent to whom, and I sincerely hope it was enjoyed. I have also accumulated books in this way, and I don’t mind because at the end of the day, they are meant to be read. If they are, then their aim is achieved, and better they be read by myself, then someone else, than perched on a shelf and forgotten.

That being said, I just finished a great book, and am in need of another. I’m open to suggestions.

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