Book Readers Are People Too

OK, so there’s something I haven’t yet mentioned about myself. It’s kind of embarrassing, actually, but here it goes.

I am not the image of perfection.

I don’t just spend my days sipping lattes, painting my fingernails and watching The Vampire Diaries marathons. In fact, I sometimes read. Books. Lots of.

Yes, I admit it, I’m a reader. I own a Kindle. And about a million or so paperbacks, crowding our already crammed flat, until one day, V says, we’ll be using books for pillows and we’ll see how I like it then!

This reading thing isn’t new. I’ve been doing it since childhood. And yes, we did have television in Romania. In fact, by the time I was in my early teens, my family even had a dial up internet connection. Who would have thought!

But books were always in the house as well. Exciting stories of explorers traveling the Earth and witches throwing spells at little children. I read them all, though back then, we all did. Or at least we all knew the stories, so I wasn’t too much of a geek among my playmates. As the years went by, I definitely became one. A proper loser this time, who still read books in spite of computer games, roller blades and MTV. Somehow, I found the time.

Weirdly enough, I still do.

When I was attending Uni back in Romania, I used to travel a lot by bus. I always had a paperback in my bag and most times spent my bus trips reading. I was alone. People would sometimes be leafing through newspapers or magazines, never books. More than once, fellow commuters interrupted me and asked me if I was reading the Bible or a book of prayers. Romania is becoming less religious these days, but still people assume someone reading on a crowded bus can only be a Bible Studies expert or some hopeless girl praying for a marriage proposal. I definitely didn’t look the part of the Bible Studies expert, I’ll tell you that!

I later moved to London and found that other people read on buses and tubes as well, and not just the Bible. Finally, I belonged.

But then, there’s my office. Not a reader friendly place, that’s for sure. In fact, if I occasionally forget to hide my book/Kindle in my drawer/bag as I walk in, I end up stuck in super-duper-why-on-Earth-would-someone-read conversations. Lines vary from “Oh, I get so bored/sleepy when I read!” to “If only I had more time, I’d be reading books myself! Facebooks! Facebooks, get it?”. Then, as I’m leaving the office at the end of the day, I can almost hear them: “Don’t forget your book!” “Hurry up, you’ve got six chapters to finish by tomorrow morning! There’ll be a quiz!”

Insert exasperated geek face expression.

This is where we stand. In a world where books are better used as doorstops, I am the epitome of loser. I should be pointed at and ridiculed into changing my ways. Breaking my back carrying that Kindle around all day. Ruining my already screen damaged eyes. Who will ever marry me like this? For my own good, I should stop.

Today in the office, my native English speaking manager asked how accommodate is spelled. Three different equally native English speakers shrugged. One suggested g-o-o-g-l-e, and people smiled. 

*

Some book reading dudes broke into our flat and stole our laptops, cameras, and my Kindle. Serves me right for succumbing to peer pressure and leaving it behind for the first time in years. If only. I forgot it like a complete IDIOT! I even realized it as I was walking out, but was in a hurry and thought I could survive without it for one day. Now I’ve got no choice but to not be a complete loser until the new one arrives. Yup, I’m riding with the cool, can-only-spell-google kids these days. Yay.

3 thoughts on “Book Readers Are People Too

  1. I’m very sorry to hear about the robbery!
    On another note,it is true that people are getting culturally poorer.Consequently,they trivialise their ignorance by alienating you.(You’re supposedly the weird one for holding knowledge.)
    I’ve had a similar case some weeks ago when I pointed to a girl that her ignorance of ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ and ‘Forrest Gump’ was alarming;she told me that I was the only one who knew such classics-she’s not wrong though,for in my country,people ignore sooo many things.

    But as time goes by,you’ll be fine. (but who am I to advise people?)

    ”The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.”

    This quote from Friedrich Nietzsche has always sprung to my mind whenever I was feeling a bit like you.I hope it can help.

    Oh,I’ve not noticed that I’ve written so much.I guess it’s time to stop! 🙂

    Like

    • Oh, I know what you mean! I work in broadcasting and the other day some of my colleagues were designing visuals for the Anna Karenina movie. They kept calling it Anna Karina, so I asked if it was some inside joke I wasn’t aware of. Nope, they just hadn’t heard about it and were amazed when I told them it’s based on a book.

      This happens on a weekly basis. 🙂

      Like

  2. Pingback: December this and that: It’s Raining Bullet Points | London Geek

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