People Who Don’t Read

People Who Don't ReadAs much as I love to read, I also know that there are people who do not. There is a bit of nasty snobbery that attaches itself to some avid readers that makes them believe that people who do not enjoy books are sub-par. That anyone who doesn’t read the classics is perhaps uneducated or at a lower intellectual level than them.

You see content about why this person would never date someone who doesn’t read, or why that person wouldn’t be friends with anyone who didn’t like Harry Potter. It’s wonderful to have passion, but when that passion turns you into a closed-minded fool, well, you lose some of your shine.

I have friends who read casually, and friends who read fervently. I have friends who only read non-fiction, and friends who own two books total. My own husband isn’t a reader. But in experiencing the world with him, we have learned that it’s the format, not the story, that he doesn’t like. Give him a good fantasy movie or show, based off of a book that I have read, and he will appreciate it as much as I did.

Some people just aren’t given the opportunity or encouragement to read that a lot of us (myself, and a good number of my readers) were given. How many of us had books around the house? Likely most. How many of us had parents or grandparents or teachers who lit that fire within us? Would we be the same without that? Maybe not.

I personally never took to math. I can’t use tools to save my life. And I definitely get lost when trying to understand chemistry. But someone out there is just as passionate about those things as I am about books. And they are probably less likely to jump to conclusions than many a reader.

I don’t know if it is the personality, or simply the passion, that drives so many readers to pass judgement on others who don’t share their interests, but it’s quite disheartening. There are many ways to enjoy stories, and I like them in many different forms.

From audio books, e-books, and printed books, to video games, TV shows, and movies, I find pleasure in them all. Which medium we choose to receive stories is no one’s business but our own.

By limiting our dating or friendship choices to only people who read, we miss out on so many experiences. We limit our creativity, which to writers, is the very lifeblood of our profession. Why would you ever avoid letting certain people into your life over such a small thing? Yes, I read like I breathe, and I still said small.

Books tell stories, but stories are happening all around you. The only difference is that they aren’t solidified in print. Everyone has a story, and is part of a greater one. Whether they have a bookshelf or not shouldn’t be what deters you from opening your mind and following their thread.

So don’t be a reading snob. It’ll make you a poor writer, and an even poorer human being. Sure, books are great, but they are essentially just the written form of the human experience. Choose your medium, and allow others to choose theirs as well.

Do you know anyone who doesn’t read? Do you any reading snobs? Have you ever felt badly about how much or what you read because of a reading snob?

I’ll be on Facebook until next time.

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18 thoughts on “People Who Don’t Read

  1. I love what you have to say here! Sometimes I’ll hear people deride others who read YA literature, or (in another genre) I hear classical musicians who deride those who appreciate Taylor Swift or One Direction. It seems, then, that more than just book-lovers have this superiority complex.

    • Thank you! You’re right, it isn’t just book lovers. It happens with everything, but it’s sad that it has to happen with us. We experience multiple worlds, from multiple points of view, you’d think that would teach us something about accepting people as they are.

  2. Wouldn’t t be great if, upon meeting someone new, we asked, “What do you read?” instead of “What do you do?” Chances are we’d find we have a good deal more in common than we would otherwise expect. -S-

  3. A couple weeks ago, I posted “Date a Girl who Reads.” I certainly hope it didn’t come off as reading snobbery! I’m a reader and love meeting other readers. Just as my wonderful niece is a math wizard and loves talking tech with other math-magicians. It’s quite common to be excited about what we have in common while still appreciating the wide variety of preferences among people…certainly without disparaging differences. My husband too prefers a movie over a book, and despite my preference for the opposite, we are a perfect match. 🙂

    • Finding others who share your passions is a beautiful thing, as long as you don’t limit yourself to only those people who do. Our differences are what make us interesting and unique, and I think we (society as a whole) need to accept them with more grace. Thanks for your words! 🙂

      • Fortunately, I encounter few people who limit their relationships to only those who think and do as they do. It seems to occur most often on the fringes of society, and when based on division, righteousness, and hatred, it’s rather frightening. Any relationships arising from kindness, love, curiosity, and in respect of our shared humanity works for me. That will include loving and celebrating people who share our passions as well as those who travel different paths to joy.

  4. My husband is a reader and I like that very much but we read very different genres and often don’t really talk about what we are reading.

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