Wednesday, March 11, 2015

My friends don't read: The joys and pains of the solitary reader

"Breakfast at Tiffany's" Audrey Hepburn  1961 Paramount 

Picture this. You're sitting with a book opened on your lap, with your head bent over the double-pages and your eyes quickly brushing over the words. The story is peaking into its final scene. Someone is about to die! Your hands tighten on the edges of the book and you subconsciously lean forward, as if willing the story to unfold faster. And then, just as your gaze stops across the name of ill-fated, fallen character, you hear, "Oh, my God. Put down that book already!"

And then high violence ensued that poorly timed interruption. Or, so you wished. If you're like me, a solitary, sorely outnumbered book lover, chances are you just put down the book and pretend you're not having murderous thoughts surging through your mind. 

Being a book lover and having no one among your friends sharing that same passion for books can sometimes be solitary. Here are a few instances where being a solitary reader sucks:

The pains of the solitary reader

1. You just read the most amazing book ever and you're dying to tell everyone about it... but can't.
You've barely closed the book that you're running out of your bedroom to share your excitement with someone. Then you remember no one cares and go online to gush about it. And end up writing a five-page long book review for it. 

Dream Fort by Erin McGuire


2. Lack of understanding, scorn or downright rudeness 
People don't get you? That's to be expected. Everyone can't be a book lover, right? But, then you get those people who are downright rude about it. Like, while I was reading my book the other day, I actually had someone tell me, "Don't you have anything better to do?" DON'T YOU?? 

3. New release excitement... a one man party (or, you know, one girl party)
We've all been there, right? There something so exciting in waiting for a highly anticipated book to be released. It could be the newest installment in your favorite series or the new book by your favorite author. You might even have already pre-ordered the book. And then, the release day arrives and... you're alone shaking your imaginary pompoms in a corner. At least you've got an awesome book to look forward to. 

Being a solitary reader isn't always that bad though. After all, we book lovers actually enjoy some quality time alone with our books. 


The joys of the solitary reader 

1. Quality me-time with your favorite book
Let's be honest here. Sometimes, being alone with a good book is a joy in itself. A warm cup of tea, some cookies to nibble on and a good book... Often, we book lovers don't really need anything more to be happy. 

2. A stroll through the bookstore
I don't know for you, but I really enjoy strolls along the aisles of bookstores, breathing in the smell of new books as I skim the shelves to find that next book I'm going to add to my collection. And for me, book buying is something I enjoy best when I'm alone. After all, a book lover is never really alone when surrounded by books, right? 

3. You're a time-traveler,a globe-trotter and a skin-changer, all rolled into one.
It's raining hard outside and while your friends are probably getting bored at home, you're either brewing potions at Hogwarts or you're running down cobblestone streets with Liesel in 1940's Germany. With a single book, you can travel through time and space without even moving from the comfort of your couch. George R.R. Martin said it best: "A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one." 

That's it for this post guys. Share your reading experiences by letting me know down in the comments below what you guys love or not about being a solitary reader. Looking forward to reading your comments! 

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28 comments:

  1. It seems that you've passed your "friends." Find some new ones. I know people who've found a massive connection with others who share their passion for books by joining communities online. Just be sure to get out and meet them in person! And don't tolerate the rudeness of ignorant people. Their limitations are theirs, not yours!

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  2. I know your pains Soudha! None of my friends are really readers and the ones that are read nothing but what's on Oprahs book club list. I've had many one-woman book parties gearing up for a new book and waiting in line at bookstores eagerly with usually my dad. Lol. Totally lame right? But my dad is good looking so women usually swoon over himxD total secret weapon there.

    If one of your friends is being rude to you about reading then I would suggest pointing something out they love and making a comment about it. Nothing mean but something like "Oh, I see your wasting time again playing that game. Don't you have anything better to do?". ;)

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    1. Haha thanks for the lovely comment Lanie. Good advice there ;) And you know what? Most of the time, when I go book buying, I end up dragging my dad with me :p

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    2. My pleasure! Hey, they do always end up paying for our stuff right? Lol

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  3. Oh yes! I feel the pains. This weekend, I was trying to read a book and my husband was pissing me off acting up cause he was bored. He was like oh I'm bored. I got nothing to do. So I was like well go play some damn video games. I agreed to him playing because I read, so we can use the time the other is using to do things we like. Anyways, I wanted to smack him real hard. At least I'm getting my son into reading. That way you aren't bored. If I get bored I just read. The only one I couldn't related to was the book buying. Where I live there are no real bookstores :( I get all my books via Amazon Kindle. So instead I spent a lot of time on Amazon looking at new books and on my Goodreads suggestion list.

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    1. My dad isn't much of a reader but when I was little, my mom used to share her love of reading with me and eventually got me hooked too. Now, reading is something we share, although we read completely different genres. Do share your passion for reading with your son. As he grows up, you'll both have fun reading together. I have a distinct memory of me reading some children's book, snuggled in bed next to my mom while she read Little Women. Those moments are the best.

      It's a shame you don't have bookstores near where you live. Book hunting on Amazon is still cool though. It's not the same as walking around in a bookstore but you're still spending lots of time gazing at pretty book covers :)

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  4. Oh my this post is just brilliant! Totally agree with all of these things, especially the excitement you have for a certain book and NONE of your friends have even heard of the book! Pure torture!

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    1. Haha I'm glad you could relate to this post :)

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  5. Ah this post is so true! Although I tend to like being a solitary reader as long as no one bothers me! :) I'm glad I have blogging now though to supply those times when I just really need to gush over a book! And also it's nice to bring an enthusiastic friend to book signings!

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    1. I enjoy spending some time alone with my books too. I believe our blogs also share the same origins story :p I've never been to a book signing but I guess it would be fun to attend one with a friend.

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  6. Hey Soudha! Got your email dear and followed you back.

    First, let me welcome you to the book blogging community! Yay for book lovers! Hope you'll enjoy your time blogging :)

    This is exactly the reasons why I book blog. I only have 2 friends whom I know are a positive book lovers, and to make things worse one of them are away from my place. So I am left with one friend who reads and loves books as much as I do. So to actually fill the void of being a solitary reader, we blog about books :)

    Great post!

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    1. Thanks for the lovely message Sharmaine :) So far blogging's been fun. I love it! The best part has to be the new people I've met, here in the book blogging community. Thanks again :)

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  7. This is awesome, Soudha! I agree with all of it. My bf is not a reader (how-to books and news articles are the extent of it) and he teases me all of the time when I get giddy about books. Sorry, can't go out tonight, hun. This book needs to be finished. :)

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    1. Haha that's too bad Becca. Thanks for dropping by :)

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  8. I am someone who loves reading as well. Although there are people who do read around me, none of them read nearly as much as me. Which means I still can't tell anyone about the fantastic books I read, and fangirling is a one girl thing. But yes, there are so many joys to be a solitary reader as well :3

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  9. I really love this blog post. As a disabled retired minister....this is what I do, I read. So glad I found you via another blogger

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    1. I'm glad you dropped by Andrea :) It makes me happy that you enjoyed my post :)

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  10. This topic is right on point and a good one. It's funny that readers have been able to find such kindred spirits via the use of Social Media, where we're able to talk books with someone who truly "gets us". Hugs...

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    1. Haha your comment made me think. How true is that?! Readers connecting through social media... sounds almost like a contradiction :p Thanks for visiting :)

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  11. I work at a library, so I get to talk books a fair amount, and my husband and kids are all readers, too, but I do know what you mean about wanting to share your passion! That's why book blogging was invented, though, right?

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    1. You have such an awesome job! Yeah you're right, that's actually what got me to create my blog :)

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  12. I feel you, Soudha! Sometimes even your closest ones will only give you a blank stare when you fangirl over a book. Oh well :) I remember a friend who wanted to read something with me - by this, I mean we would read the book together and I felt awkward and annoyed. Reading was my me-time. It was my adventure, my journey into another world! Suffice it to say, I said I had to do something and postponed reading till I was alone again.

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    1. Haha I can actually relate to this. Buddy reading can be fun but not when someone is actually stepping into your personal reading space :p

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  13. Hahaha.. this post is so... me. Some of my co-workers are readers too, however because of work hectic schedule, we don't really have time to discuss bookish stuffs. A shame. I am glad that I blog about books though, so far it's a good outlet for my passion. Great post, Soudha :)

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