Warning: This post is a long rant and might make you think that I’m some sort of horrible monster who makes faces at puppies. I’m not.
Have you heard the tone in which people speak about children who like to read?
Think about it. We’ve all faced it at some point of time. Your mother is speaking to one of her old friends at the mall, and the topic inevitably turns to the kids. “Both my kids are avid readers! You just can’t tear them away from a book”, your mom says, smiling.
The friend then turns to look at you with a surprised expression on her face. “Oh, she likes to read? That’s amazing!”
That tone of surprise. Read? Why would anyone do that? Kids can read?! My goodness! It annoys me that this tone is reserved solely for reading. Have you ever seen anyone looking so surprised if the answer was watching movies, or gaming, or swimming, or playing basketball, or even studying?
It’s the same tone that’s used when people speak about rotary telephones, telegrams, and gramophones. Like they’re speaking about something ancient, something that worked long ago. Something that doesn’t exist anymore.
Another thing. Why do people assume that I’m an excellent student just because I like reading?
I’ve heard that comment so many times. Have you? It usually goes like “Pavani, why are you so worried about your marks? You read all the time anyways! I bet you’ll be at the top of the class!” Or “Pavani, stop reading! Aren’t you smart enough already?”
Spoiler alert: I get okayish grades every time.
I don’t understand. How does my reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone help me understand math? How does Percy Jackson help me understand Physics? How does Flawed help me understand History?
If you know the answers to these deep, philosophical questions, please tell me in the comments below!
One last thing.
You’re going to the Friend A’s house with Friend B to call Friend A down to play badminton. Friend A welcomes you to her house, and shows you a few books she bought the previous day. She knows that you love to read, so she asks you, “Have you read this one?” Before you can answer, Friend B pipes in enthusiastically, saying, “Of course she has! Don’t you know her?”
There it is. The belief that you actually live in the British Library.
This happens to me all the time. It doesn’t matter whether they’re close friends or mere acquaintances, they all think I’ve read every single book in the entire world.
Of course I’ve read that book! It’s a new release, but yes, I’ve read it! It’s not like I live in an apartment or anything. Oh no, I live in Hogwarts, where there’s more than enough space to fit all the books ever written. I don’t have 6 bookshelves at home, oh no, I have the entire Hogwarts Library! And all of Gringotts’ galleons are at my service, so I can go on buying more books!
And it isn’t like I have to breathe or sleep or anything. I don’t have to eat, exist, go to school, try to study, write, waste time, play badminton…nope, I just gotta read. So I’ve obviously read this book.
Honestly, if willpower was enough to get me the books I want, I wouldn’t be reading in my room, I’d be reading in Room of Requirement.
And that is why I say that bookworms are a weird species. We are: Homo lectorem. I don’t even know why we aren’t in a science textbook, along with all the other types of worms we had to study in ninth grade.