Dear Non-Readers: Stop Saying These Things To Us

Carolina Ciucci


Carolina Ciucci is a teacher, writer and reviewer based in the south of Argentina. She hoards books like they’re going out of style. In case of emergency, you can summon her by talking about Ireland, fictional witches, and the Brontë family. Twitter: @carolinabeci

While we at the Riot take some time off to rest and catch up on our reading, we’re re-running some of our favorite posts from the last several months. Enjoy our highlight reel, and we’ll be back with new stuff on Tuesday, January 3rd.

This post originally ran October 13, 2016.

 Dear non-reader:

Readers aren’t unicorns. We don’t require special treatment, nor do we count the minutes until we can ditch you and go back to our books (usually). We would, however, appreciate it if people stopped engaging in, let’s call it annoying non-reader behavior. If you’re a non-reader, this is for you. This is what you shouldn’t do if you want to talk a reader into dating you, being your friend or simply engaging in some harmless small talk.

1. “How many books do you have?” We don’t know. Next question.

2. Don’t assume we’ll welcome interruptions. Do you know how many times people have assumed I’m willing to be interrupted because I’m only reading, after all, it’s not like I’m doing anything important? Yeah. Neither do I. It happens that often.

3. Do not, I repeat, do not ask us why we read so much. We like it. Get over it. Or we might all have to start asking you non-stop why you enjoy watching people running after a football, a basketball, or some other kind of sports ball.

4. “Well, I don’t have time to read.” Oh, right. Because you’re a real adult with a real life that includes real obligations. Clearly readers are only readers because they have too much time on our hands. We’ll go get a job and rectify that real fast.

5. “Don’t you have anything better to do?” Why, yes, now that you ask. I must go sharpen my biggest knife to maybe, I don’t know, stab you. WE LIKE READING. MOVE ON.

6. “You must have been such a nerd in school.” As a matter of fact, I was. But assuming that every.single.reader was one by virtue of, you know, reading is ridiculous. All due respect.

7. “Why do you read so much? Don’t you like people?” Funny you asked. I’m not all that fond of people right this second.

8. Seriously, we’re not all loners, jeez.

9. Don’t ask us why we spend so much money on books. It’s annoying. And odds are you wouldn’t ask people why they spend so much money on clothes or the latest technology.

10. “Why do you even have a library card?” Why do you have Netflix as well as cable? The same principle applies.

11. “Why do you keep buying books if you haven’t already read the ones you have?” Um. Good question. Because so many good books are released every day? Because if we don’t buy this copy of this classic that has been consistently reprinted for centuries it might sell out? Because we have issues?

12. (The answer is all of the above.)

13. Don’t assume we hate TV. We’re perfectly happy to spend an afternoon binge watching Luke Cage.

14. “Haven’t you already read that book?” Yes, so?


A reader