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You Asked: Ridiculed For What I Love

DearSugar --

I love to read. Period. Reading is like getting wings, lifting me above the boring routine of everything. I have a book all the time. In the car (when I'm a passenger), in school, at lunch, EVERYWHERE. It's because life is so boring. But every day, I get ridiculed for doing something I love. People call me a sicko for reading so much. It shouldn't hurt me, but it does. How do I ignore them successfully?
~ Bookish Betty

To see DEARSUGAR's answer

Dear Bookish Betty --

I love that you love to read. Seriously, I think it's one of the coolest things that people do. Trust me when I tell you that the very same people who give you a hard time for reading would be giving you a hard time for something else if you loved that. People can be like that sometimes, and I wish it weren't true.

I know that it hurts, Betty, and I don't know if it's possible to change the fact that it hurts. The most important thing to do around the hurt is to know, with complete certainty, that it will lessen with time, that you will meet other people who share your passion and intelligence, and that what's wrong in this situation has nothing whatsoever to do with you, but with the unkindness, insecurities, and foolishness of others. The problem belongs to others, Betty. You'll need to remain strong and proud, and you'll need to guard against believing their nonsense.

On a different note, Betty, I encourage you to look around a little, to listen and to interact with good people. All the things in the books you love are things the writers observed, heard and experienced, and transformed into words in your books. While life can be strange and mysterious, difficult and boring, that's only part of what it's like. It's our responsibility to discover the rest, to find it and share it. Have experiences, Bookish Betty, don't only read about them. When you do this, I promise what you discover in books will become even more magical and beautiful.

I found a few websites for you, too. I'm guessing you'll meet some people through them who share your love of reading and who will appreciate your passion for it, Betty. There are a lot of us out here, I promise.

Looks to be some cool resources here. And this is an internet public library with tons of links for books, zines, online reading lists and clubs, etc!


Join The Conversation
andaman andaman 10 years
oh god! reading is hip! Anyone what says it isn't is boring!
designergirl designergirl 10 years
There is nothing wrong with reading- nothing at all. The only problem I have with it is that it can get expensive if you're like me and want to own every book and have the ability to read very, very quickly. If I were you, I would ask myself if you are avoiding life and why. If it's because there's no one who understands you or you don't fit in in high school, I don't think it's that bad, honestly. I went to a very small high school and hated everyone because they're really was no one who understood me. So I, got ridiculed for reading and not gossiping and joining in on vapid discussions about how hot so and so was... It gets better. Sometimes you just can't see how it will at the time. Also, sometimes reading about life's experiences is better than living them- I would never cheat on my boyfriend or kill someone, but I still enjoy reading Madame Bovary or Crime and Punishment, etc...
grl-in-the-world grl-in-the-world 10 years
I love to read too, and especially read a lot during highschool and college. If I was on the bus I was reading, lunchtime-reading, at home-reading, during boring classes-reading! There is nothing wrong with being a big reader! I like Dear's advise for you to talk to other people who share your passion, that way you can be social and still enjoy your hobby. Reading is a great way to broaden your mind and educate yourself, and there are many careers that value your skill. I have a good friend who is an art curator and is hoping to go back to school to become a libriarian, she has been able to do those things because of her love for reading. My sister has 3 univesity degrees and is now a teacher. What is a hobby now will soon be the key to your success in life! You could be a college professer, a historian, anything you want to be. Don't let people get you down, as you get older you'll meet more people like yourself.
Jinx Jinx 10 years
A sicko for liking to read?! Who are these people?! Reading is an awesome, I love how you describe it like getting wings. Lots of people read, all the time, like you, in vehicles, waiting appointments, etc. Popples need to think up a snappy comback for you. *thinks* ------------------------------------------------------ "If men could only know each other, they would neither idolize nor hate" Elbert Hubbard
honeysugar28 honeysugar28 10 years
I think its great that you love to read. It shows that you're very smart and intellectual. People specially in school are always looking for someone to pick on for some reason don't let it get to you and do whatever makes you happy its your life! As long as you're making time for the other important things in your life like family and friends it doesn't matter that you like to read in your free time. Good luck you're going to be very successful in life!
smith3 smith3 10 years
I was teased for being a complete bookworm as a child, and was always reading: at night under the covers, at the dinner table, in the playground, even in class if things moved too slowly. I can see now that it must sometimes have been frustrating for the people around me, but I also know that some of those who teased me were envious that I could find so much between the covers of a book. And things do change - I still love reading, but now people respect (and pay!) me for it. Maybe it will just take a little time. Oh, and if you can get it you might enjoy Francis Spufford's *The Child That Books Built*.
Marci Marci 10 years
Oh, I went to work one Monday and a guy from my building asked me how my weekend was and I said "Oh, it was great!" And he got a big smile on his face and said "Wow, what did you do??" And I replied "I read three books." His smile waned and he looked like he was waiting for me to tell him something else. But I thought that was a great weekend. :)
lickety-split lickety-split 10 years
sounds like you are still in high school. in high school you will be picked on for something no matter what. boobs too big or too small, hair too long or too short, clothes too tight (slut) or too ugly (lezz!), whatever. at your 20th reunion you will be remembered as the intellectual. as for calling reading too much "sick"; come on, that's about as weak an insult as it gets.
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 10 years
I don't mean this in an unkind way, but it sounds like you are trying to ignore life completely. You already have the answer to how to ignore the people who call you names - you keep reading and keep hiding behind the books. I love books and I read a ton. But I would consider it rude if someone read while eating lunch with me, while traveling in the car with me, etc. Books are great, but they're not a life worth living - they're about other people's lives worth living. I'm not suggesting people are right in ridiculing you. But perhaps the fact that you can't ignore everything in life is a good thing.
Bonne Bonne 10 years
I love, LOVE to read. I used to take a book everywhere I go to. Ignore them, to the whole "nod and smile" and look away - but also put on your mp3 player and listen to background music while you read. While they may ridicule you for reading, they won't do it when you can't listen to them.
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