The hypocritical Reader

There are people who only read Two-three books a year and there are those who manage up to fifty or even more. Even I can’t read more than twenty five books a year. But then, there are those who only pretend to read, sometimes even boast about it. I have known many such people to be able to tell them apart from a genuine reader. I will judge you if you don’t read but more so if you pretend to read. And I believe I should give up the former because there are so many wise, influential people who have no such tastes. But as for the latter, they need to be treated for their condition.
Now there are people who – this is an experienced individual speaking, mind you – have no idea what a book is about nor any intention of knowing. They have piles of unread books at their place and spend their times in the library gossiping about so-and-so’s girlfriend. That smell of books and sight of rows upon rows of books or the texture of the paper means nothing to them (yes, it’s a clichéd description but it is as true as truth can be). They prefer the movie adaptations, that too because the actor is young and handsome – or visually appealing and justifiably cast, as they put it.

This isn’t an allusion to anyone in particular (probably some ones who will definitely won’t be reading this) but a list (though not in the format of one) of all things wrong – sins to be specific – and all devilries performed by these insufferable hypocrites. They elaborately exhibit their love for books, tearing up at the prospect of not getting to read when the exams approach, though it’s not such a difficult task to steal a few minutes of reading time if you know how to fool people( yes, your parents) if you actually want to read, that is.

Now, these people have one distasteful habit – or a mishabit, if such a word exists – and that is the utmost disregard for a book’s lifespan. They fold the pages in the absence of a bookmark since they couldn’t possibly have wasted their time in looking for the page where they’d left reading from. They put it on any god forsaken surface while stains of the coffee mugs will often be left behind on the covers. Yes, people actually do that, as if bringing food stuffs anywhere near books wasn’t horrifying enough! And the spine is wrinkled because they dared to flatten the book out and then efficiently forgot to ever close it.

They don’t have a genuine favourite character apart from the protagonist because they often overlook the minor details that make other characters likeable. Nor do these people have any opinions about a certain book; what made them buy it was it’s presence on the best-seller list or it’s popularity among people of their age. They describe themselves as a fan without knowing half the details.

When Cursed child released, it created a huge sensation, and many of the above mentioned people went off to buy it just because everyone else was, without having even read the first seven books of the canon. They didn’t find it to their taste which was pretty understandable given that even the Harry Potter fans were dubious about it.

It so happens sometimes that when these people borrow your books (and you have to reluctantly lend them), they are particularly interested in the cheesy bits, and it goes without saying that the rest of the book doesn’t interest them. And so reading any book, for them, is a trend, a passing fad which they have to keep up to. And just nothing else.


8 thoughts on “The hypocritical Reader

  1. Hey Vishwambhari, how have you been?
    Loved this post because I (like you) do not think much of people who feel reading is ‘boring’ or people who put up a pretense of being avid readers. If Emily Bronte could have wrote her book Withering Heights, never once leaving her little home in a little town, but seeing the world through the books she read, I believe that books can give us wings!
    A book lover can never once part with a single book simply because she/he cherishes the feel of it and respects it enough to not trust it in the hands of even a best friend.
    Never read the Cursed Child but I get your drift.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am fine, thanks.
      I have met quite a few people who don’t read but are full of intelligence and wit. However, those pretentious people anger me a lot. They should understand they wouldn’t be treated in any special way if they pretend to read because it is very easy to see through their veil, and I think it just ruins their imagine in people’s eyes, or mine at least.
      Yes, I thoroughly check out a person, get to know him/her and only then do I lend my books. And if I do lend them, I prefer recieving them in just the condition they had been when they left my shelf, and if not, I shudder to think what would happen to them👿.
      Thanks for commenting!


  2. I love to read and I’m often surprised by friends who say they haven’t read in years (because they don’t have time. They obviously don’t know about reading while the kids are on the toilet or while the pasta is coming to the boil).

    But, I’m ashamed to say, that I’m guilty of a few of your ‘crimes’. I crease the corners of pages, I love nothing more than to curl up with a book, a cup of tea and a cheese sandwich and I break the spines of books so that they’re easier to read.

    What are your penalties for these crimes?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The penalty is death: public execution… But since you’ve admitted your crime, I could reduce the punishment. Your crimes could be put under the comfortable, and often negligent reader category and not under that of a pretentious reader. So I consider them forgivable due to the fact that I had ruined quite a few books when I was small and have come to regret it. Since I made the rules, I get to bend them, don’t I?

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I too hate when people spoil books.I mean they could as well use a bookmark instead of dog-earring borrowed books.I agree that many people pretend to read but only the trending books.I also see many people claiming the protoganist as their favourite when actually the protagonist has done several terrible mistakes.I could totally relate to the article.Good work!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I am an avid reader who reads about 100 or more novels per year. Really reads them. (I’m retired so have ample free time.) I disagree with your statement that you HAVE to lend your books. If you don’t want to lend them, then just DON’T. Real book lovers will understand and those that don’t – don’t matter.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s a huge number! I agree with what you said but you see, I am not particularly forthright in my refusals. I just can’t not lend books if a friend asks for them and more often then not I repent it, though of course, there are friends to whom I will readily lend books.


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