Nowadays, reading is an unusual or uncommon hobby for teenagers. In my group of friends, there are three people (including myself) who read for pleasure, and only two who are serious readers (in terms of reading a variety, following specific authors, keeping up to date with releases). Because of the lack of readers, we can get asked a lot of annoying questions.
In an old PaperFury blog, Cait listed some of these questions. Today, I’ve decided that I want to have a go at answering them.
- “Oh, you like books? What’s your favourite?”
Usually, I won’t have an answer to this question when I’m asked it, but that’s because my brain is a sponge that doesn’t hold information, and I completely forget every single book I’ve ever read. But I do have a few all time favourites that have become a part of me and I will eternally love.
- ‘The Death House’ by Sarah Pinborough
- ‘The Bunker Diary’ by Kevin Brook
- ‘Briar Rose’ by Jana Oliver
- ‘Ashes’ by Ilsa J. Bick
- “Aren’t you too old to read that?”
I’ve been asked this before while I was reading one of Rick Riordan’s books. If you don’t know him, his work is usually middle grade, and it’s in the 9-12-year-old section in my bookstore. Reading the books, I know I’m too old for them, just judging by the language and the humour and the lack of intense violence in the plots. But, especially since I was reading ‘Frankenstein’ for school when I picked up my first Riordan book, I enjoy having a storyline that is easy to follow and characters that experience adult problems but are shown in a simpler way.
- “Haven’t you already read that book before?”
Rereading is a complicated thing for me. I like having the familiarity of reading a book where I already know what’s going to happen, and I like reminding myself what happens in a series I read a while ago, but I also feel like I’m wasting time that I could be spending reading new material. But rereading isn’t a bad thing. You breathe more than once. You eat the same meals more than once. You see friends and family more than once. So it’s perfectly fine to read the same book more than once.
- “Where do you get all that free time to read?”
I take college courses that have no homework, and usually my anxiety stops me from wanting to go out, so I just have a lot of free time anyway.
- “Why do you keep all these books anyway? You can’t see your floor?”
My books are currently in a stage where they’re all on a shelf, which is a good thing. But I’m running out of room and probably have fifty books I haven’t read since I was ten that I just can’t get rid of. I hate the idea of getting rid of a book I purchased, even if it’s donating it or selling it instead of giving it away. I guess I could just put some in storage…
- “Why are you freaking out? It’s just a book.”
Book characters have more interesting lives than I do, and better personalities, so I’m invested. I probably care more about their fictional lives than my real one.
- “Isn’t it unhealthy to read so many books? You’ll damage your eyes, won’t you?”
Personally, I think the less time I spend staring at a screen, the better. It’s a bit ironic seeing as I’m staring at a screen right now while I write this. Reading does damage your eyes, but so does the sun. And reading does make you more educated and have less tolerance for bigotry.
- “If you don’t remember the book, then what’s the point of reading it?”
I don’t remember a single thing that happened to me before the age of eleven, but that doesn’t mean that those years are any less relevant to my life. I enjoy reading because I create these new memories that exist in the moment, and it doesn’t effect my life negatively if I forget them. And I can always reread a book.
- “Why does it matter if your books match? I mean, what’s the big deal?”
It’s all a personal choice, but I like consistency, and I like the aesthetic of a perfectly matched series. It genuinely ruins my day if I get given a book that’s part of a series as a gift and it doesn’t match the rest. That’s why I have an extremely detailed list of specific books I want and the exact covers.
- “Wouldn’t you rather experience the world instead of just read about it?”
Reading is experiencing. It may not be the world I live in, but it’s still an experience. That’s all I have to say about that.
That’s all the questions for today. In the comments below, let me know some more annoying things you’ve been asked. Have you ever been asked any of these questions? Do you feel the need to make the person who asked you the question to mysteriously disappear? Or are you just a calm and collected person?