Novel Thoughts: Have You Ever Been Judged Because You’re a Reader?

Posted by Jessi (Geo) on October 8, 2014 | 13 Comments

Novel Thoughts

Most people are pretty nonchalant about the fact that I’m a reader. When I tell them how many books I read on average, they’re either like “Oh wow, good for you!” or “Holy crap, I wish I could get into reading” or even sometimes just look at me weird and nod like they don’t get it. But every once in a while I’ll happen on someone who is all “reading is dumb why would you do that.”

Case in point:

I was once told that books are boring, and there’s so much to experience in life and not in a book. I’m missing out on life because I’m wasting it reading.

not amusedActually, I’m broadening my horizons, making myself smarter, & living hundreds of lives while at the same time doing something I love. Thank you very much.

I called the person – a “friend” – on it and they said they were just joking. Right. Degrading someone for what they’re into isn’t funny!

Has anyone else ever had this happen? How did you react?


Jessi (Geo)

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13 responses to “Novel Thoughts: Have You Ever Been Judged Because You’re a Reader?

  1. Wow, Jessi, I’m just sad for the person that asked you that dumb question. Clearly, they are wasting their own life by NOT reading! So there’s that.

    I wouldn’t say that I’ve ever been judged for reading as an adult, but I definitely was in elementary school. I wore big glasses and constantly had my nose stuck in a book, so I was labelled as a “nerd.” It’s a label that I’m proud to own now, but it’s definitely hard when you’re younger and you just want to fit in, yet you don’t want to let go of your all-time favourite past time. I’m glad that I didn’t let the name calling turn me off of reading though, because I never went through a time where I didn’t want to read because it wasn’t “cool.” Great post — I can’t wait to pop back and see what others have to say!

  2. It really bugs me when people judge readers; I can sort of understand why some people don’t like to read, but that doesn’t mean that they should judge people for liking something that isn’t actually doing anybody any harm. But what I think really gets on my nerves is being judged by other readers because of what I like to read. I can sort of deal with people saying to me “I don’t know how you can read all the time” or “reading’s for geeks”, but if someone says to me “ew, you’re reading THAT? Why don’t you pick up a real book?” or something like that, then they’re looking for trouble.

  3. I had a comment really similar to yours about missing out on life once, but it was when I was a kid. Some adult told me and my parents that I was missing out on my childhood because I was reading every time they saw me. It’s true I took a book with me everywhere I went as a kid, but I only read when I got bored. I ran around outside and played with my friends like any other kid, but when my parents took me to something with a bunch of other adults and no kids (which is when this happened), I read in order to pass the time. It’s true that led to reading in some unconventional situations, but I just would have sat there bored otherwise. For the most part though, people definitely seem to be impressed that I read as much as I do more than anything else.

  4. Wow, that’s just crap right there. I don’t know if I’ve ever been judged as an adult, because I tend to surround myself with mostly other readers and book club people. But I remember in school if you tried to read a book between classes or at lunch instead of socializing the general masses looked down on you.

  5. I don’t think I’ve ever been judged because I’m a reader. What your friend said is definitely annoying, but also it reflects much more on her than you. Perhaps she feels bad that she doesn’t read, so she wants to find excuses for it. I don’t know.

    I have been judged because I’m a librarian, though. People have these crazy stereotypes about us that drive me crazy!

  6. Oh my gosh. I so relate to this! I’ve been told that too, and I just give them this “you dumb” look that they always seem to get offended at. I hate the judgement. At least we have more practice in things that make this world better such as EMPATHY!!!! dumb people are dumb.

  7. I’waste’ my time training my brain (with tons of prove that reading is good for you), some people go to the pub/disco and drink them away. Everyone has their own preference I guess, haha. (I know, this is very black/white, but just an example)

    There is no use in judging each other for the choices we make in life. I LOVE reading and it makes my life complete, so I could never see it is a waste of time. People who say stuff like that get the evil glare for me and that’s it. I’m not going to bother explaining it, clearly they don’t want to see :)

  8. I teach literature to high school students, and I get this reaction all the time when I mention that I read outside of the eight books a year we go through. It’s the strangest thing ever to me! But to have a friend do that – not cool at all. I don’t think I could have called my friend on it, but I’m glad you did!

  9. Yes! You go, Jessi! My relatives say this to me all the time. 0.0 It’s seriously annoying. But I get judged more for reading romance books or YA than reading in general. “They’re not real books” is the claim, but…

  10. I’ve definitely been judged for reading. I’ve even been told that I clearly don’t care much about my studies because I read so much. Nah, excuse you mister, reading so much is what keeps me sane so that I can keep on with my studies! Meh.

    My parents have always supported my reading, but they did also enforce rules to ensure that I stay socially competent. For example, I had to play outside for an hour or help mom in the kitchen for an hour after I had read for an hour. Or do my homework after reading… at the time I resented them but I think it was good because I love reading so much that I could very easily isolate myself to a level of harm if there were no limits.

  11. I don’t really tell people in real life how much I read now, because I definitely have gotten judged in the past. Though, I can kind of understand- it is a bit odd for someone to read like over 200 books a year :P If someone told me that they say, watched over 200 movies a year, I’d probably think they were kind of weird too lol :)

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