As someone who considers books a huge part of my life, I’ve come to learn that I have some pet peeves when I read. Today I’m going to rave about reading in public and things that happen when I read anywhere other than my house. When I’m reading a new book I have a tendency to get sucked in very quickly no matter what the book’s about or how good it is. Once I’ve started reading DON’T interrupt me. This is something that happens to me on a daily basis and I can’t stand it.
I work full time in retail. So every day I get a 45 minute lunch break. Every day I read while I’m on my lunch break. I used to be a smoker and when I would walk through my store to my car I would read the whole time in an attempt to make it obvious I was currently on break. Every day on my walk from the break room to my car customers would still stop me and say, “Oh, are you on break?” OBVIOUSLY I’M ON BREAK! I’M WALKING AROUND WITH A BOOK PRETTY MUCH TOUCHING MY NOSE! I DON’T WALK AROUND READING ALL DAY AT WORK! So I’d have to stop reading and take time to answer whatever question they had for me.
When I quit smoking I was excited to be able to sit in the break room and spend an uninterrupted 45 minutes with my book. I was very wrong in this assumption. Instead of customers interrupting the short time I got to spend with my book it turned into my fellow associates interrupting me. “What are you reading? Is it good? Have you read INSERT ANY BOOK HERE?” So, in an attempt to discourage my coworkers from asking me questions and stealing my precious book reading time I started to bring my headphones to work and listen to music while I read. The headphones are very easy to see, so you would think that people would assume I cannot hear them while I have them in.
Once again, I was wrong. Now what I deal with on a daily basis is my coworkers having complete conversations with me without me hearing any of it. Once they realize I can’t hear them/ I’m not listening to them, they make a point to get my attention and repeat everything they just said. So I have to stop reading and take out my headphones to have a conversation with them or else I will come off as rude or in a bad mood. Generally when they’re done with whatever they wanted to say to me they start with the usual questions. “What are you reading? Is it good?” OBVIOUSLY IT’S GOOD IF I’M READING IT! I’m someone that really hates being interrupted while I’m reading. You want to know if it’s a good book? Well so do I, so please shut up and let me freaking read it! When I’m interrupted I always end up having to go back a page and reread so I can make sure I didn’t miss anything while my coworkers babbled to me about nothing instead of leaving me in peace with my book. It’s even worse when it’s a book I’ve been dying to read, something that’s been recently released, I’d like to know for myself if it’s good so please kindly leave me alone with my book and I’ll let you know if it’s good when I’ve finished it.
Being interrupted while I’m reading is something that really bothers me. If it’s obvious that I’m reading why do people feel the need to badger me with questions about what I’m reading? I think my immediate irritation when interrupted comes from my childhood. My siblings are not readers of any sort. So when I wanted to read and they wanted to hangout they would take my book and hide it from me so I had no choice but to spend time with them. They don’t do this anymore thank god. I’d probably kill them now.
It doesn’t matter where I am when I read, if I’m in the public of any kind someone always has to come up to me and ask what I’m reading. It bothers me probably more than it should. I think that’s because I know whoever’s asking will probably never read the book that I’m reading. Am I alone in my irritation of being interrupted while I read? Am I totally irrational for getting upset when my reading is disturbed? Does anyone else get as annoyed as I do? I’d love to know the thoughts of others about being interrupted while they’re reading, so comment away readers!
Keep on reading lovelys, Amanda.
I know I haven’t been writing reviews lately, and that’s partly because up until about a week ago, I’ve barely read anything the past two months. In an effort to spice things up a bit and encourage ourselves to post more in the future, we’re going to add in the occasional discussion-type post, called Reader Ravings (because who ever actually talks rationally about books), where we randomly post about reading related topics that come up in our lives. Feel free to add your own thoughts in the comments or even write your own post using the topic. (We’d love if you linked any of those posts in the comments so we can read them too!)
I have many favorite aspects of reading; the way books smell, getting to know new characters, feeling like the world dropped out from under you at a sudden plot twist… pick pretty much anything that involves books and I probably love it. But one of the things I love the most is reading a book for the second time.
This topic popped into my head because the last two books I’ve read have been books I’ve read (and reviewed) before; Crown of Vengeance by Mercedes Lackey and James Malloryand Gameboard of the Gods by Richelle Mead. And what I noticed while reading them is that I enjoyed the experience much more than I did the first time. For Crown of Vengeance, it’s a 600-page fantasy novel with some serious world-building and history thrown in and I think so much information was being thrown at me that there was no way I could possibly remember it all the first time. When I read it again, I was able to pick up all the details I’d missed and I understood everything much better. For Gameboard of the Gods, while there was a lot of information, the pace and suspense is what threw me the first time. Everything happens so fast. I just wanted to know more and more and couldn’t breathe until I finished the book. Knowing how it ends, let me relax and I could appreciate the characters stories more.
Now I’ve found it can be difficult to figure out what the general opinion is on this topic because people don’t generally talk about reading a book for the second time. We talk the first to the point of redundancy because it’s new and exciting and we want to share it with the world but the second time doesn’t rate as much attention. Because of this, I might be wrong in my assumptions but it’s always seemed to me that the majority of people don’t like reading the same book twice, and the readers who do reserve it for their select few favorites.
I can’t, for the life of me, understand it. For most books, I even like reading it better the second time than the first. The first time I read a book I try to go slow and absorb everything so I don’t miss any details but I always end up getting sucked in and blowing through it before I know what’s happened. I’m so invested in the characters’ lives and so worried about what’s going to happen to them that sometimes finishing a book can just leave me emotionally exhausted and I’m sure all of you know what that feels like.
Amanda and I’ve had discussions about this and we both agree that while we always retain the key points and basics of the plot, after awhile it’s hard to remember any of the smaller details. I understand it’s unreasonable to think I could possibly remember every single line of every book I’ve ever read but when I think about a book years, or even months, after I’ve read it I can only remember that a character got from point A to point B but not how. Except that’s the entire point of a book. It’s like the phrase “It’s the journey not the destination”. How a character overcomes the odds to reach their goal is more important than the fact they got there.
That’s when a book gets added to my mental TBRT (To Be Read Twice) list. When I think of a book and can’t remember all those important little details. And no, not every book I read gets added. If that were the case I would never read anything new, and books I want to read a second time tend to get pushed back in order to read new books first. Usually, it’s when I just want to relax and enjoy a book that I pick up one of my TBRTs and because I’ve already read it, sometimes I’ll just stick a bookmark in and read new books that come up before picking it back up again. I almost always have a partly-read TBRT sitting around my room.
What bothers me most is when I tell someone I’ve read a book more than once. Occasionally I get someone who doesn’t think it’s a big deal but more often than not, they don’t understand why and a lot of the time it’s someone who generally doesn’t read at all. I don’t try to tell you that you can’t watch movies twice, do I? It’s the same principle. I enjoyed reading it the first time, so I’m going to enjoy reading it the second time.
And for the people who somehow think reading books twice is inferior to reading books once? It’s asinine opinions like yours that make me prefer reading over social interactions. (I’m not kidding. I’ve received a condescending head shake and a “How old did you say you are?” on numerous occasions when this topic’s been brought up.) I mean, at least I’m reading! There are hundreds of thousands of people who don’t read and I don’t mean the ones who are illiterate. Do you really care more about the fact I reread books than that there are people who refuse to learn everything books can teach us? That’s absurd.
What’s your opinion on reading books more than once? Do you like it less or more than the first time?