Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Discussion Post-Do Your Real Life Friends Get Your Book Life?


Okay. So uh, I don’t really know how to do this whole discussion post thing…mostly I just wanted a venue to bitch about something that’s been bugging me lately. Is that what discussion posts usually are? A springboard from something that pisses you off so badly in real life that you have to find some outlet to let out your rage? Well, I don’t know about the rest of you but this is what I’m doing. PS-There may be a few curse words, so I beg your pardon in advance.

Before I started blogging I felt alone. I read obsessively and read so many fantastic books and would try and talk about them with my real life friends…and I was met with blank stares. They looked at me like I had 6 heads. Here’s me trying to exude my absolute love for a recent read and I get this: “it’s just a book.” *cough*sputter*spit* JUST A BOOK?! Pardon me?! So finally I just quit trying. I read and read and read and kept it all in. I wanted to explode with my insane love for certain books only to turn around and find nobody to share it with. I felt like an anomaly in a world full of people who did “normal” things. I thought I was the only one who loved reading that much…

…Since starting blogging I have found a fantastic network of friends and for the first time in my life I realized…I’m not alone. There are othesr like me out there! Oh my gosh, what have I been missing?! There are other people…who fall in love with words?...Who feel like certain books or passages speak directly to them?...Who fall in love with fictional characters and wish they were real?...Holy hell, I had a moment. It was glorious. I’ve loved every second of it.


So you might be wondering what spurned this sudden output of emotion from me? Several situations. The purpose of this post, besides venting, is to see if any of you experience the same thing with you IRL friends. One of my friends in particular really likes to get on my back for my love of reading. Why? I have no idea. I recently was hanging out with him and we got on the topic of reading. He recently started reading a book written comedian/celebrity and this was huge because he doesn't read by choice. But he decided to read this. Ok, cool. Not my cup of tea as far as topic goes but hey, you’re reading? Fantastic! So we start talking about reading and he says something to the effect of: “Well you need to stop reading all that trash and read a real book. When I read, I read non-fiction and real stuff.”……..Um, excuse me mother fucker? Are you serious right now?

My response was this: “Um…I read a lot of really good books. All the fantasy and dystopian books I read have an amazing amount themes and ideas about good and evil and--” This is when he started to laugh…he was laughing at me…I don’t think I’ve seen red so quickly in my life. He was laughing at me and cut me off while trying to explain how profound some of the themes are in the books I read. I was being honest and sincere and he laughed at me. To say my feelings were hurt is quite an understatement. Not only does he NOT read but now he’s judging ME on WHAT types of books I read. Like he’s the literary snob and only non-fiction books are literature. Fuck you, bro. I ignored him until he left. 
Another recent situation was a different friend telling me I need to stop reading so much and read the paper. I “need” to start caring about real world issues. I like to travel so much but I have “no idea what’s going on in those places.” Again…are you fucking kidding me? Like I am some uncultured swine. I read books about real life issues and themes that are completely relevant to our society today. I choose to spend my time reading...like it is such a horrible habit.

Further than that, who the fuck do you think you are to judge me? Bagging on my choice of hobbies. Like I’m selling crack out of my trunk, like I need to be lectured on my decision on how I spend my free time. Wanna know my real opinion on things? I think people that spend their free time zoning out in front of the television watching the 65th episode of Keeping Up With The Kardashians is a gross misuse of time. I think people who never travel out of their hometown are wasting the life God gave them and are ignoring the beauty of the world around them. I think people who choose not to read books are superficial and shallow because they are content to only live and experience the life in the immediate 10 feet around them. I told my friend one time about that quote by George R.R. Martin, the one that says “A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only once." He told me I was ungrateful. I should be grateful for the one life God gave me and I was ungrateful hoping for more. I told him people who don’t read or travel are ungrateful for refusing to experience the world around them or the obvious talents that writers bring to readers.


Somebody tell me I’m not crazy. I am not content with going through life working day to day and staying in one place. There is a lot of ugly in this world but there is a lot of beauty, too. The world is full of breathtaking sights and cities and the world of literature is filled with even more.

My question to you is this. Do any of you feel judged or crazy when trying to discuss your love of books with your real life friends?

PS- I would like to give a shoutout to all my fantastic friends who I’ve met through blogging (who I get to meet in real life soon by the way :) ). You all mean so much to me and there are times when I would rather talk to you about things going on than people in my real life. They just don’t understand the feels. :)

15 comments:

  1. YES! Somebody who understands me!! Do not worry, you are NOT alone! I have 2 friends that really like to read. But They both read a different genre than me so as awesome as it is to have somebody to introduce me to new books and talk about my love for reading with, I cannot actually debate and really discuss most of the books I read with them.

    And then theres the few people who get mad at me when I start reading. They actually go out of their way to get me to stop reading. Like if we are watching tv and they choose ESPN. Sorry, but I don't like sports and the last thing I want to spend my time doing, is watching people talk about sports 24/7. So I pull out my book. And they actually get upset that I am not watching the tv that they know I hate. Ugh, like really? Why do they care if I am keeping myself entertained while they do something I find boring?

    Whew, that turned into my own little rant.. sorry about that! But to answer your question, NO! YOU ARE NOT CRAZY! (or if you are you are not alone in the craziness haha)

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    2. EXACTLY!! You want to watch TV, go right ahead, I'll sit with my book. I do the same thing, to each their own!

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  2. So I will first admit that I have been exceedingly lucky in my life in terms of the reading people around me. My parents both ADORE fiction (and my mom reads my blog for new books she should try :D) and so have always encouraged and been excited about my reading. There were a lot of dinner conversations gushing about HP for instance (after everyone had read the latest book of course!). However, it wasn't until college that I found people besides my parents who loved sci-fi/fantasy in general and specifically books. I now in grad school am surrounded by nerds (and we are okay with that title, hehe), who might not like the exact same books as me (one gossiped about me reading horrible books, grumble grumble), but who do understand book love.

    As far as your friends go, and hopefully without overstepping boundaries, WTF? Anyone who treats a "friend" like that doesn't deserve your friendship in my opinion. It doesn't matter what the hobby is, if it isn't dangerous to yourself or others, you can do what you want with your free time and no friend would judge you for it. You might need to have one of those "When you do ______, I feel ______" conversations about how those two friends are jerks. And I honestly would think about if they are really leaving a positive impression on your life..... But I'll stop ranting and shoving my own opinions on you and just give you virtual hugs :D *hug*

    Anya @ On Starships and Dragonwings

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    1. Your family sounds amazing!! That is so cool you're able to have dinner discussion about HP (WHICH ARE MY FAV BOOKS OF ALL TIME). And I love nerds, that is so awesome you are always surrounded by book peeps :)

      And NO you are NOT overstepping boundaries. It is a definite WTF situation. We have those conversations...they don't help unfortunately. And right?! It's not dangerous or bad for me. Let me have my books! *Virtual hug back*

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  3. Wow, I can't believe your friends said those things to you! Screw them! If they're true friends they will realize that reading is an important part of your life, and act accordingly!

    I'm so glad I saw this post today, because I have a similar rant! I am lucky enough to have a group of reader friends, and we all formed a book club 3 years ago. I started my book blog a little over a year ago, and sometimes it feels like my book club friends don't get me as well as the book blogging community does.

    And here's the "Oh no they didn't" moment: they've been telling me that I need to stop buying books. My book club friends! And here's where I start ranting. Excuse me, but one of them has more books than I do, but apparently since she's read most of the books she owns and I have a lot on my shelf that I still have yet to read, I am the one who needs to stop buying books. I'm sorry that I'm not a super fast reader and can't get through a book a day. It just doesn't happen for me that way. Also, most of the time I go to a used bookstore where I buy 10 books and spend the same amount I would have spent on 3 books at a major chain store. And speaking of money--my bills are paid. My son wants for nothing (except toys--and he has too many as it is) and even goes to a Mother's Day Out program where I have to pay tuition. We just bought a new car. The only time I buy books is when we have extra money. Some women buy clothes or shoes, I buy books. So what? Yet my friends have the audacity to tell me that I need to stop buying books.

    Yes, I know it is a bit overboard that I have lots of books on my shelves that I need to read. But I am going to read them. I don't just buy them to buy them. I am not anywhere near hoarding status even though I do sometimes make fun of myself and call myself a book hoarder. The only good thing about all this--my husband is as angry about this as I am! At our last book club, one of the girls "threatened" to call my husband and tell him that I need to stop buying books, and I just said, "He won't listen to you." When I later told him about this, he said, "Oh, you should have told her to call. I would have gone off on her!"

    So luckily I have my wonderful, understanding husband and also this amazing book blogging community. I don't know what I would do without either one.

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    1. Oh my gosh, I can't believe they wanted to call your husband! But it sounds like your husband is pretty freakin' awesome :) And whatever, you're buying books, not drugs. Now you have them on hand whenever you want to read them! Thank you so much for your wonderful comment!

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  4. YES. Oh my gosh times a million YES. My IRL friends DO NOT GET IT. I haven't had as many infuriating experiences as you have (and thank GOD my boyfriend is so incredibly supportive of me & the blog) but I CANNOT talk to my friends about reading. And to be honest? I think it's actually a big reason I'm not close with a lot of them anymore. That's not to say that I stopped talking to them because they didn't read enough. To each his own! Each person will have their own hobbies. Who am I to judge? SO WHY DO THEY JUDGE ME. I should be able to talk to my friends about anything and everything and no one deserves to get laughed at, especially about something that they're so passionate about and something that is a GOOD habit to have.
    I agree -- at least we're not zoned in on the TV. Really. We could have WAY worse habits than reading all the time. I mean.... Aren't schools and administrators TRYING to get kids to read more? I'm sorry that I don't read non-fiction, but how much non-fiction were you taught in high school? Me? Very little, if any.
    I get so frustrated when people tell me I need to know what's going on in the world. You know what? There's a reason I don't read the paper. There's a reason I don't watch the news. I keep up with what I need to be informed about, but I don't WANT to read every terrible, depressing thing that's happening in the world. Yes, it's happening, but I rather like getting lost in books and wonderful stories and instead of being depressed by the news. Books make me happy and I like to stay happy! Sure, some people may call me ignorant and you know what... They might be right. But at least I'm happy and not concerning myself over things I can't change or complaining about things that I have no business judging.

    SORRY I ended up venting back to you hahaha. Great discussion post (or venting post!) and I really appreciate you putting your feelings out there! Even in the blogging community, somehow sometimes things turn harsh so I commend you for that! I'm too scared to say what I want to half the time. Loved this post! And thank you :)

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    1. YES!! I don't judge them so why are you judging me? And how about all the people who all they do is watch TV and go out and drink every night? Uh, in my opinion they need to find a better hobby and get their life right lol. I can't watch the news either, it is WAY to depressing. And I loved your vent! Thank you so much for taking the time :)

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  5. Love, love, LOVE this! First let's just give a big facepunch to those who make us question ourselves or see red or feel sads due to their own inadequacies. I enjoy watching some TV once in a while, but it's a crutch for some and that means they need the drama, drama, drama. Ain't nobody got time for that! Moving on...

    Some fun facts: my best friend from college NEVER read a book before she met me unless it was for school and she is so awesome that she felt that she wanted to connect with me more so she borrowed Daughter of Smoke and Bone about a year ago and guess what? She lives in the Caribbean now and we just FaceTimed to discuss how I need to read Days of Blood and Starlight "RIGHT NOW" because SHE read it before me and LOVED IT. The bf did the same, he was NEVER a reader, he gets frustrated because he reads too slow and felt inadequate. Do you know that to try and appreciate my hobby he read The Hunger Games before me, and just this month he rented an apt. with two bedrooms just so I can have a "library!" That's love. It was kind of their influence in my life that (only recently) has made me realize that people should love you for you, and not just parts of you. It seems silly but I know you get it, reading is a HUGE part of my life. HUGE. I'm a librarian so it takes over my job and 90% of my free time. If someone can't accept that and at least TRY and appreciate it, and MOST IMPORTANTLY: NOT MOCK IT, then they don't care about me at all.

    Another thing, I am closer to some blog friends than I am to friends IRL. Friends I have only met via Twitter, email, texting, and FaceTime. I have planned weekend getaways with a friend who I had only met once! I have friends right now that I text ALL DAY LONG and that I am planning to spend DAYS with in only a few weeks - thanks to BEA! Honestly before I started blogging I loved to read, but it didn't consume my life in such a large way, I think I tried to suppress it because of the stigma (lover of YA literature over here) but I took a chance, and I am SO glad that I started.

    I can go on Twitter and post a life problem (or happy moment) and you know what I don't get? Drama. If people comment, it's out of concern and attempts to comfort. HOW DOES THAT EVEN MAKE SENSE?! Is it because bloggers are a rare breed? Because we know real life issues and how to escape them via literature, and that SOMETIMES that isn't enough so we need to reach out to others who can understand? I don't have an answer for that, but I do know that my life has changed DRAMATICALLY since I started blogging and I am thankful every day.

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    1. Definite facepunch :)And YES! I feel like I can talk to my blogger friends way easier than IRL friends sometimes. They just get the feels! SO Exciting you turned your friend into a reader! That is amazing! You make complete sense and we are all awesome people!! :) Heart you!!!! :) :) :)

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  6. I have one friend who tells me she reads all the time and it just really doesn't seem like it. She is a really in the box reader so she sticks to one genre or one author. I like to read a real variety. I feel like when I try to talk to her about whatever book I'm reading she still doesn't even understand.

    I have been lucky enough to have my sister. We enjoy the same books and we love to discuss the books. I still believed I needed an outlet to share my love of books so that is why I started blogging. It feels great to talk about all the amazing books I read.

    I have one friend that only reads books when she has to and whenever I try to talk to her she looks at me like I'm crazy and she just doesn't understand how I read so many books so quickly. I don't even consider myself a fast reader. I have a few other friends who read, but not as obsessively as I do. I can still talk about books with them, but not overly.

    Blogging has been a great outlet for me to share all of my love for books and I think I will be blogging for many years.

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    1. That is so cool that you and your sister share a love of reading! I love that! And I agree, blogging is the BEST outlet for getting out all my love and feels! :)

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  7. Oh gosh, YES! Seriously! I get so tired of people thinking I have no life because I choose to spend a lot of time reading! Reading actually enriches my life, it's not as if trashy TV shows do anything for your intelligence! (not that it isn't fun to watch them sometimes though ;) )
    I always feel awkard discussing my reading with people IRL because they're always expecting me to read the next bestseller or mostly 'real' literature and they've never heard of all my beautiful fantasy and dystopian novels and I don't even try to mention the historical romances cause I just get funny looks then...
    Seriously, my friends actually made fun of me when I tried to explain the dystopian genre to them and then proceeded to DEVOUR my set of The Hunger Games series.
    I can so totally relate to all you said in this post and we need to make this meeting thing happen!!!

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    1. EXACTLY! Reading makes life better. Better vocabulary, better imagination, better life! Oh my gosh, it is SO enriching. And yes, I don't read every book that People magazine tells me to, not my style, the books I do read are FANTASTIC so back up lol. Yeah, and don't make me feel stupid for the types of books I read, to each their own, go back to your television. lol

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