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A Few Simple Rules for Being Bookish Best Friends

Cassandra Neace

Staff Writer

Cassandra Neace is a high school English teacher in Houston. When she's not in the classroom, she reads books and writes about them. She prides herself on her ability to recommend a book for most any occasion. She can be found on Instagram @read_write_make

is everyone hanging outAmong Mindy Kaling’s many observations about modern life, you’ll find thoughts about family, rules for friendship and dating, and even reflections on the books she loves to read. In this giveaway sponsored by Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns), we asked you to share your rules for your bookish best friends.

As we waded through your responses, we noticed that there are 4 pretty firm rules that most everyone can agree on:

Rule #1:  NO SPOILERS – In some cases, failure to do so will result in immediate termination of the friendship.

Rule #2:  SHARE – People take this one as seriously as Rule #1.  It’s not about sharing the book, necessarily, but people want their friends to talk about what they’re reading.  They want recommendations. And, in most cases, they want borrowing rights.

Rule #3: DON’T JUDGE – Taste, even taste in books, is subjective.  Be respectful of that, and everyone should get along just fine.

Rule #4: DON’T DOG EAR THE PAGES – People feel pretty strongly on this one.  It’s kind of a big deal.

There were a few rules mentioned that take things a bit further, though. We readers are a particular bunch, after all.

On Bookshelves and Borrowing: 

Must have at least one bookshelf packed with books – double-stacked, falling-out, no-room-left packed.

Never, ever ask to borrow a book from the favorites shelf. I might be willing, but I get one of yours for hostage.

I don’t loan my books out unless you loan me one of yours at the same time.

As long as the spine doesn’t get broken and the pages aren’t turned down, we get to stay friends.

Must share similar tastes, cannot write in books (even their own because it’s distracting when borrowing).

They must exchange notes in the margins!

On Titles, Authors, and Genres:

Read at least 5 of the same books a year so we can talk about them together.

Trashy reading is limited to no more than 25% of total reading.

No reading 50 Shades of Grey…unless wine is involved.

Must be willing to try new authors.

Get out of the comfort books! Read something totally different from what you like or gravitate towards. You read a lot of Classics? Then try Young Adult. Read a lot of Horror? Then try Westerns. 

On Texting and Hanging Out: 

Be understanding when I need to skip a party to finish a stack of library books! You know you’ve done that too. Those suckers need to go back to the library *sometime*.

‘ll respond to your text after I’m done with this chapter!

To stop texting them when they text back they are in the middle of their book.

They have to have ruined at least one social outing by sneaking away to read.

They don’t apologize for reacting to a book while reading in public

Finally, we’ll end with this friendly reminder:

Rules are made to be broken. Book spines can only take so much.


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