You know all those fashion faux pas you hear about all the time?
Everybody knows that if you wanna be stylish you gotta know the basic rules and trends and this holds true for almost every field.
Every field that is, except for reading.
Readers are generally known to be introverts, not particularly wanting interactions with people.
Thus we haven’t established a set of rules for people who want to be one of us.
It is probably because we are sitting in some corner reading a book and thinking, well just one more chapter and then I’m sure as hell getting to those rules (It is also a well known fact that most of us are experts at procrastination).
Remember how I said I wasn’t reading much lately? So I decided to put my time and experience to good use and here I am, telling you about the social etiquette in case you wish to go around in reading circles.
Tips for Social Interactions:
1. When a reader asks you, “Have you read ______?” NEVER respond with “I’ve watched the movie”
2. NEVER say that you skipped a part (or worse, the whole) of a book because you’ve watched the movie and you didn’t see the point in “wasting your time reading it”
3. NEVER read a series of books in an order which is not the correct order, or if you did that- make sure you don’t blab about it to fans of the book, it might just piss them off
(Funnily enough, or maybe not-so-funnily, I read Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets before I read The Philosopher’s Stone- rest of the books I read in order- because back then I was new to the world of reading and nobody told me not to do so, basically there was nobody to guide me. If anyone had told me it was a faux pas, or quite simply how I’d enjoy it more in the correct order, I’d heed their advice.
The thing is, back then I didn’t even know the correct order)
4. If you wish to live a long, healthy and prosperous lives, NEVER use the phrases, ” I heard it’s the new Twilight” “So isn’t that like the new Twilight or something?” in relation to a book the reader with whom you interact speaks highly of.
Or even worse,
Call it a Twilight rip-off.
Wasn’t once bad enough?
Why do you think someone would want to replicate it and torture humanity a second time?
5. ALWAYS speak of the author of any particular book with respect, you have no right to insult any author, because the fact that they are authors itself puts them at a level way higher than yours, keep that in mind.
And yes, I do mean Stephenie Meyer as well.
Also (this isn’t exactly a rule, but a piece of advice to help you navigate the reading seas better) always listen to what your well-read pal says. He knows better.
He will always give you the correct advice and guide you through stuff in a better way.
Perhaps preventing you from learning something the hard way or providing you with the best so you don’t have to waste your time on something that probably wouldn’t provide you that much utility.
6. Owning a book does not make you a huger fan of it. Reading it does.
Alternatively, if you own a book and have read it, that still doesn’t make you more of a fan than a person who read it and loved it by borrowing it from a library.
So NEVER go on and on about how much better you are just because you had the priviledge of spending a few extra bucks on something that no doubt the reader would’ve spent too, but couldn’t thanks to several circumstances.
7. This is a point which advises you about avoiding social interaction:.
If a person is reading a book, and the topic you thought of to start a conversation is uninteresting (which it always is, unless it is about good books or, even better, that particular book), then don’t.
The reader will like to be left alone in his fictional world, thank you very much.
And while we are on the topic of things you should refrain from doing, avoid the phrases “Oh come on! It’s just a book!” or “He/ she is just a fictional character”
It is never just a book, or just a fictional character.
Pointers to keep in mind while borrowing a book:
1. Hold on to it like a Victorian lady holds on to her maidenhead.
(I totally stole that from Paper Towns- with a little tweak- but you have no way of knowing that since you’re new here and probably haven’t read the book!)
You want to avoid every single fold in the spine, and dog-eared pages, and food stains (stay hungry for a while. Big deal! What’s more important- the book or food?
Shut up! That’s a rhetorical question) and GOD FORBID, torn or missing pages (that’s a one-way ticket for the trip to Hell where your carcass will be torn into pieces, just like you tore the pages of the book. Let that sink in and then proceed)
2. To lend: To allow to be used by someone temporarily, on condition that it or its equivalent will be returned.
To give: To transfer one’s possession or holding of (something) to (someone).
Books are (unless otherwise specified) lent and not given away.
See, the basic assumption here is that you will be returning the book.
It is not yours to keep.
3. When somebody lends you a book, the least you could do is read it.
It irritates me so much, when people ask me for books and don’t even read them!
4. After you’ve read it, telling the person how you liked it makes them happy.
Unless the person giving you the book is very mean and generally unpleasant, giving someone books is a joyful activity.
I personally love letting people borrow my books, as long as they return them, and in a good condition, I don’t mind if they even want to borrow every single one of my books.
I believe that, as beautiful as they look in their shelves, books are meant for reading- and therefore I really like it when people ask to borrow some of them.
5. Do not get on a high horse and act like ungrateful idiots while returning the book and say stuff like “Reading that book was such a waste of my valuable time” or “I’ve never read a book worse than that”.
So you didn’t like it but I’d rather you keep your opinion to yourself or express it in a mild manner, possibly apologetic since you run the risk of hurting the person’s feelings.
(It is a shame on humanity that I even have to mention this point, you’d think they’d learn this stuff from Value Education/Moral Science in school).
This is the list, hopefully you’ve read it all in your enthusiasm to join us.
If you commit any of these “faux pas” then anything could happen to you.
Your life could also be in mortal danger. Readers can be vicious when you disrespect their source of nutrition so be careful.
It will be your fault!