What Book-Muggles Need To Understand

In every book store, at some point of time, you will see a bunch of friends combing the shelves hungrily for a book to take home. If they find a book a friend was looking for, you witness ecstatic squeals and hugs and declarations of eternal friendship. But, amidst all this happiness, there will be one person from the group sitting in a corner, foot tapping impatiently, asking repeatedly if they could leave.

Ah, the Book Muggle.

Every fierce reader knows someone like this. There will invariably be a few in your friend circle. You love them to bits, you spend most of your free time with them, you can talk to them about anything…except books. They’re smart, funny, a lot of other amazing things, but they don’t read. And what’s worse, it’s a conscious choice. So while they understand most things you do, there’s a few they can’t figure out, and I hate having to explain that I’m not, in fact, completely crazy because I do things like this.

We book lovers take our reading seriously. It’s not a hobby. It’s not what we do in our free time. Our free time, more often than not, coincides with our I-don’t-have-a-new-book-to-read time. (That doesn’t last long, though. We re-read a lot).

Anyway. Without further ado, I give you The List. * cue Book Readers Unite theme song*

#1 : “I can’t, I’m reading,” is a perfectly reasonable response to “It’s Friday night, let’s PARTAAY!”

#2 : Yes, we need to carry a book with us everywhere we go, even if we know there’s a very slim chance we’ll get to read it. Lack of book = lack of oxygen. We die, true story.

#3 : Yes, we’ve moved on. Yes, we didn’t like books 5,6,7 as much. Yes, we’ve read much better books since, but if you say anything against Harry Potter, or Rowling, especially if you haven’t read the books, but only seen the movies, it gives us an excuse to bite your head off. I’m sorry, but that’s just the way it is.

#4 : While on the subject, “No, but I’ve seen the movie,” is a crap response to “Have you read this book?”

#5 : It’s no use telling us to get more sleep. Reading all through the night is exhilarating. That’s six hours of uninterrupted reading. Six! No college/work to get ready for, no meals to eat, no chores to complete. U-n-i-n-t-e-r-r-u-p-t-e-d. Like hell, I’m going to sleep.

#6 : We’re very picky about who we lend books to. Even with other readers, we study them like a hawk until we figure out how they treat their books. Even then, we get jittery if they take too long to return it. So while we support your sudden decision to start reading, please understand that we aren’t comfortable giving books away. I’d rather buy a copy of the book for you.

#7 : It’s not that our sense of humour leaves something to be desired. We just quote lines from our favourite books from time to time, and they’re perfectly suited to the occasion. You just don’t get it.

#8 : Even though we love what you got us for Christmas/our birthday, that shiny little book voucher is always going to produce the most excitement. Please don’t get offended.

#9 : Stop asking if we have to smell each book before we buy it. We do. There aren’t any whys about it. Why do you smell that fresh-from-the-oven blueberry muffin before you dig in? Same reason.

#10 : We’re never going to stop trying to get you to read. I’m sorry. It’s how we’re wired. We can’t understand why you wouldn’t want to.

The Smiley poster was created by Jeff Smith for ALA’s READ campaign. Details on boneville.com


Disclaimer : I have no issues with people who don’t read. Other than the fact that they don’t read. I know lots of people who won’t pick up a book unless it’s absolutely necessary for them to pass a class. And I still like them. Not really. Sometimes. Barely. Just kidding. They’re still nice people. 😛

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39 responses to “What Book-Muggles Need To Understand”

  1. Jeyna Grace says :

    The book muggle.. haha! You are a genius! That’s officially the best term to describe people as such.

  2. The Other Watson says :

    Hahaha, this made me laugh so much! But I so know what you mean, I have a couple of friends who I have arguments with over the fact they don’t read. One friend I may have almost convinced to try. The thing that irks me is everybody I know who doesn’t read ALWAYS complains that they’re bored. I’m like “pick up a book then” to which they reply “no they’re boring.” To which I want to reply “no, you’re boring. Stop being boring, stop being lazy, pick up a damn book and switch on your brain for once in your life”. I don’t say that, but ohhh I want to sometimes. 😛

    • Tanya M says :

      I know, right? I get the bored thing thrown at me, as well. What annoys me is that they CHOOSE not to read. Where’s the time, they say. Like we’re granted more hours in a day than they are. Pfft.

      • The Other Watson says :

        That’s exactly right, I hate that excuse “I’ve got no time.” Well, make time! I sacrifice sleep sometimes to read. It’s not that hard. People are happy to sacrifice sleep to do other, far more time-wastey things. 😛

        • Tanya M says :

          Time-wastey things? 😛

          Going a night without sleep, and the satisfaction of completing a good book is the perfect way to start the day, I think. Even if this makes us a little, well, loony from the lack of sleep. 🙂

  3. pmjwillis says :

    Ha! This is brilliant! Although I am a slow reader I always have a book on me (just in case).

    A movie is NEVER a substitute for the book. As such it is generally a golden rule I MUST read the book first.

    • Tanya M says :

      I second that. Sometimes I ditch the movie altogether.
      And even though I hate interrupting my reading, there are days when you’ve got to take what you can get. Stealing a few minutes here and there makes it worth carrying around a huge book, doesn’t it?

      • pmjwillis says :

        I used to commute to work and then moved to an unreliable old car. Books were a necessity back then. Although I carry one round with me out of habit now, its surprising how often I sneak a couple of pages during the day!

  4. Literary Tiger says :

    Great post! Good lord, I think I read every single point and vigorously nodded my head “uh huh!” “You said it, girl” “Preach on, sister!”

    I especially liked the point about us readers being very particular about who we lend our books to. I think I’ve mellowed (just a smidge) over the last 5 years on that point. But still. I’m like the book Nazi. I can’t lend someone a book that looks almost brand new and then get it back like their three month old droooled over it. One of the first rules my children learned is “We don’t ruin books!”

    • Tanya M says :

      Your comment cracked me up. 🙂

      It’s the same with me. I’ve relaxed the no lending books rule just a teensy bit, but I still have major issues. The one time that someone convinced me I was overreacting, I spent the entire week imagining the worst possible situations my book was being put through. Horrible. I only give books to people I trust, now.

      I think I like your children very much. 🙂

  5. jennieflower says :

    This is so true! Unfortunately in my group of friends I’m one of a kind in the way I devour books. A lot of my friends do read but only 3 or 4 books a year. They always say when do I find the time but they don’t get that I prioritise reading a book above lots of other things. They tend to watch a lot more crap on TV than I do! No 6 especially made me smile, I lent a book to a friend once and she accidentally got a corner wet in the bath. She knew I was really anal about the condition of my books that she bought me a new copy and didn’t tell me for ages. I never noticed it was new, that’s how pristine my copy had been!

    • Tanya M says :

      3 or 4 books a YEAR? *gasp* Oxygen! 😛
      At least they read, though. I know people who come up with all sorts of excuses not to pick up a book. One person even said she had to spend time with her pets. Normally, that would have been an okay reason, except that she had fish. 😛

      That’s nice, though. Replacing damaged copies with brand new ones is something I approve of. I just don’t like mine to look like it survived a thunder storm when I finally get it back. What did you say when you found out? 🙂

  6. onwindydays says :

    At number 4…so true. There is so much that is cut out of the movies…things that the books go into so much detail. And as much as I love the Harry Potter series, I was a bit disappointed that some of the parts weren’t included in the movies. Although it does make sense, otherwise it would’ve been one long film to include every little detail.

    Haha, love the picture by the way. (Now only if the dragon was on there it would have been twice as better 😛 )

    • Tanya M says :

      Yeah, maybe they should just give up on turning long, detailed books into movies and make a t.v series out of them, instead. That would make a lot of readers happy, I think, just as long as they were done right. I loved the X-Men animated series, but couldn’t stand the movies (although, Hugh Jackman makes a pretty decent Wolverine).

      I looked for him! But Smiley was all I could find. Ah, well. I like the poster. Love the message. Jeff Smith is a genius. 🙂

      • onwindydays says :

        True, although I don’t know if a t.v. series would do the book justice. Well, you know I actually take that back. I could see it! But yea, they would have to be done right!

        Haha, the poster is great. Anything that has to do with Bone is awesome! Oh, anyways, I don’t know if you accept them, but I nominated you for an award:


        Hope all is well with you!

        • jennieflower says :

          Sorry to barge in on your conversation :). I was just going to say the only time I’ve ever read a series of books then seen an adaptation and enjoyed it is True Blood, based on Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse books. The reason it is so successful is that the tv show has invented its own storylines and extra characters, so as a fan of the books I get the same premise and the same characters I love but I don’t know what will happen every season. Each season does pick up a storyline from a book but Alan Ball puts more into it and adds to it as you can do that with a TV show. The result is you can’t moan that they didn’t do the book justice because the TV show is so much more than the book.

          • onwindydays says :

            Haha, I totally understand 🙂 I realized that there are a lot of tv shows that I haven’t seen yet (darn college 😛 ) and that there must be some good literary adaptations out there. And that there are definitely those cases where the tv show is just that much more better than the book series. I totally believe that.

          • Tanya M says :

            Yeah, but, well. It still isn’t the same, I know. I guess if it’s done right, and they’re perfectly faithful to the books, I’d love them for it, but still have a problem (no new material, blah, blah, blah). And if they added to it, and were creative about it, I’d love that, but have qualms about it not being true to the book. But I know I’m being stupid about this, and I should probably shut up and just watch them anyway. And applaud it if I like it. And not say anything if I don’t. Maybe.

            I’ve never watched True Blood. Or read the books. Good?

        • Tanya M says :

          “Anything that has to do with Bone is awesome!” Truer words have never been spoken. 🙂
          And thank you for the award! I’ll put up a post about it once I get some breathing time. 😛

  7. Danielle says :

    Love your list!!

  8. procrastin8or says :

    I’m certainly guilty of number 2. I always have a book/my kindle with me even when I know I won’t have time to read it. I almost feel naked without reading material.

    • Tanya M says :

      Right? I feel very uneasy without a book in my bag. I have nightmares about finding a block of time where I have nothing to do and no book at hand. It’s become a part of my leaving-the-house ritual. Keys, wallet, book? Check.

  9. astarteia says :

    I agree with you on so many points this comment would be huge, but
    I thought I was alone in #5!!!
    Everytime I get to a particularly awesome part of a book (read: The middle of every Harry Potter book) I stay up reading them and look like hell the following morning. And then the professor/class mate/person-who-doesn’t-know-me-well-enough makes a comment on how I was partying the night before. Suuuure. Wild hippogriff race.
    Always a bit scared of people who manage to put it down and go to sleep.

    • Tanya M says :

      Hahahaha! Wild hippogriff race! I’m going to be cracking up about that for a week! 😀
      And no, you are most definitely not alone. Most of the books I read get cranky if I don’t pull an all-nighter. There have been times that, like a good little girl, I’ve put my book away and tried to sleep. But that doesn’t work out so well. After five minutes of tossing and turning, the lights are on, and I’m at it again.
      Goes without saying, I’m either super-charged the next day or a complete zombie.

  10. lynnsbooks says :

    Now that made me laugh. It also made me realise I’m surrounded by book muggles – I end up at the book store alone, but I still squeal when i find that book (maybe that’s why people won’t go with me?)mmmm
    Lynn 😀

    • Tanya M says :

      Book-squealing is good for you. Trust me. I know these things. Always be wary of a person who doesn’t squeal at a good book.
      And if somebody stares at you for squealing, you must pick up the nearest copy of Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norell (hardback) and hit them on the head with it.

      Trust me. I know these things. 🙂

  11. Grace says :

    Awesome list! And of course the one on not getting enough sleep from staying up too late the night before reading also impacts one’s social life. 😀

  12. kerilady says :

    Every word on this list is so true! One time on that rare occasion when I was actually going out to party with my friends, I got really frustrated because I couldn’t fit my make-up bag in my purce. A friend of mine pointed out that I could remove that book I had already packed inside. She was very sure that I wouldn’t get a chance to read it during the night. 😀

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