Book Shaming : Stop Doing It

In a society filled with everyone ages two to seventy-two on cell phones the majority of the day, it is a rare occurance to see someone pull out a book in public. There was once a time where reading was an everyday thing. People would see someone reading in public and would not even look twice. Nowadays, if you pull out a book in public people are shocked. You receive comments like,

“Wait, you still read?” Yes I do read. And yes, I do know that you believe that reading is stupid and I am therefore inferior to you in every possible way because I read.Or my favorite,

“Put down the book and start socializing.” I find this comment especially funny. People tell me that I’m not socializing enough because I’m reading, when in actuality they are so glued to their phones, that if they fell down the stairs they would not even notice. They are updating Twitter, posting on Instagram, or Snap-chatting their “best friend” list. This is not socializing either, so it’s a pretty hypocritical statement to say that I need to socialize more.

In fact, reading makes me socialize even more than normal. Anytime I finish a good book, or encounter a section that makes me extremely happy or angry I immediately talk to my closest friend about it, and the conversation will stem from there. As soon as I finish a book i will discuss with some of my close friends what happens, and whether or not they would enjoy it. Many of my friends end up borrowing one of my books or rushing to the library to check out a book that I recommended.

When I pull out a book in class (during a lull moment, of course) I’m not looking for your opinion or comments. I don’t want to hear that you think I’m wasting my time by reading. I just want to enjoy my book, you have no right to judge me for that. I find it much more entertaining to pull out a book in a spare moment, than to open up Snapchat and view things that, in all honesty, I really don’t care about. Hey Elle, no one wants to see another picture of you with a dog filter making a funny face. So, if I don’t (openly) judge someone for posting selfies seven times a day, they have no right to judge me about pulling a book out when I’m bored.

Reading isn’t something I, or anyone for that matter, should be ashamed of, if that’s what I enjoy then that’s my business. People don’t have a right to say that I read too much, or that reading is dumb. You can actually learn things when reading, which you can’t get by taking hundreds of mirror selfies.

What I do during my own free time does not affect you. If you’re sitting next to me at lunch and I pull out a book, it will not kill you. Reading is not a contagious disease: it’s only something I enjoy doing in my free time.

If I hear the phrase, “Just watch the movie,” one more time my head will explode. While I do enjoy movies a lot, books have so much more detail. Instead of vaguely getting to know characters, you learn practically everything about their personalities and you understand why they make the choices they do. Also, you get a better feel of the events happening, and way more details.

Reading may make me a complete and utter dork, and I may know more things about the characters in Harry Potter than I know about my actual family, but I like it that way. It makes me unique, and in a world where everyone is competing to be the most like their favorite celebrity, being unique is the best quality to have.

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