There’s a lot of bookish things that non-readers just DON’T UNDERSTAND. Whether it’s your family giving you weird looks when you scream with excitement about the arrival of a preorder, or if it’s dropping bookish drama into conversation with friends and getting blank looks in response, it can be both frustrating and hilarious. So I’ve decided to list my top ten things non-readers are completely oblivious to!
1. Book-Themed Candles
I absolutely love book-themed candles. I love searching for candles that are inspired by my favourite books and characters, or ones that just include some of my favourite scents. But you know what? My family just DOES NOT GET IT. “Why would you want a book candle?” they say. “You can just take a book off your shelf and smell it. Why do you need to buy a candle?” BUT IT DOESN’T SMELL LIKE BOOKS, OKAY?! Or even the ones that have a hint of that “old book smell”, it’s always coupled with other things. Like pine. Or coffee. Or roses. And my family just… doesn’t get that.
OH BOY. This is a big one in my house, hence why I’ve started filming my videos when NO ONE’S HOME. I swear, the amount of times my parents have walked in and been all like “WHO ARE YOU TALKING TO?!” is ridiculous. Then when I go on to explain that I’m filming myself talk about book and that I’ll be posting the video on the internet, they just give me a blank stare—and then the questions start up again. “Who would want to watch you talk for half an hour?”. “Why would people be interested in your opinion on books?”. Yeeeeep, my filming schedule is strictly limited to the times I’m home alone now.
3. Anticipated New Releases
Have you ever received a new book you’re excited for and either screamed, or started sobbing, or maybe even done both at the same time? SAME HERE. There was that one time I broke down sobbing in a Dymocks I found a copy of Our Dark Duet a few days before the official release, when I wasn’t expecting it. I skipped through my entire house when my copy of Red, White & Royal Blue arrived last week. IT’S EXCITING, OKAY?! But everyone who doesn’t understand how loooooong we’ve waited for some books are always like “Huh? You’ve CRIED because you bought a book?”. IT’S NOT JUST A BOOK, KAREN. IT WILL BE A PART OF ME FOREVER.
4. Working with Publishers
Them: “You BOUGHT all of those books?” Me: “Well, a lot of them were sent from the publisher.” Them: “Why?” Me: “I review books.” Them: “Wow, I could do that.” Sure, give it a go, but a lot of my friends and family just don’t understand how much work goes into blogging and creating social media content. A lot of people who don’t understand the book community just think bloggers get free books without any work required. WHICH IS FALSE. Being a blogger / booktuber / bookstagrammer can often feel like a full time job, and I’m sure a lot of you can relate.
This is pretty similar to the booktube one, but whenever I’m in my room trying to take bookstagram photos, my parents walk in and be all like: “Why are you taking photos of BOOKS?”. BECAUSE THEY’RE PRETTY, MUM. Yes, those are fake flowers. And yes, that’s cold coffee—don’t drink that! It’s a prop! My parents just can’t wrap their head around the fact that people look? At these photos? Online? And there are SO MANY PEOPLE ON BOOKSTAGRAM. It’s just impossible for non-bookish people to wrap their heads around.
6. Signed Copies
Yeah, I went to a bookstore and waited in line for three hours for an author to scribble in my book. AND IT WAS SO WORTH IT. There’s nothing quite like being able to speak to your favourite author and have them sign your book for you, is there? I’m lucky to live in a place where local authors do signings in bookstores regularly, and we even get some international authors to come and visit us. The highlight of my LIFE was meeting Queen Victoria Schwab earlier this year and telling her just how much her books mean to me.
7. The Dog-earing Debate
Non-readers just don’t get how PASSIONATE some people get about defending their right to dog-ear, or alternatively, cringing when they see a book has been dog-eared. IT SPLITS UP FRIENDSHIPS. IT CAUSES WARS. Well, almost. People feel very strongly about how they should treat their books—bending back the cover is another big debate. But non-readers are normally pretty oblivious to the sacrilegious nature of dog-earing pages, which is what some people think. I’M NOT PICKING SIDES HERE.
8. Owning Multiple Editions
I don’t own as many editions of certain books as some people do, but non-readers think that owning even TWO copies of one book is extreme. LOOK AT ALL THE PEOPLE THAT HAVE HARRY POTTER IN EVERY LANGUAGE AND THEN TELL ME TO GET RID OF ONE OF A DARKER SHADE OF MAGIC, MOTHER. And a lot of people don’t even realise that there’s more than one edition of the book. There’s advanced copies, and paperbacks, and hardbacks, and international editions… I could go on. How else are we meant to create our shrines?
9. Book Twitter
Twitter is notorious for being the place where book people spill their tea. Where they do their ranting, and calling out, and talk about drama. And what a lot of us forget is that non-readers have no idea what I’m talking about when I say the words “dick soap” or “Maggie and Halsey”. IT ALWAYS BAFFLES ME. And on the other side of the spectrum, non-readers are so surprised when I tell them there’s drama in the book community. Twitter is a weird place, y’all.
10. Internet Friends
I saved the best one til last! Undoubtedly, the best thing about being a part of the book community for me is all of the friends I’ve made online. I get to chat to people from across the globe about our favourite books! Isn’t that just the best thing ever? Finding someone with similar reading tastes to you is always so lovely, and social media really allows us to form lasting friendships. It’s the thing that helped me form a book club, where I meet internet friends in real life. It helped me step outside my comfort zone and reach out to people whose content I admired. If your parents are anything like mine, they’re stuck in the early 00s mindset where everyone you meet on the internet is a serial killer. WELL, I’M NOT DEAD YET! Just kidding. All you bookish people are the loveliest people on the internet.
What other bookish things do the non-readers in your life not understand? What’s the strangest thing someone’s said to you because of something they don’t understand in your bookish life? I’d love to know!