I Don’t Read What You Want Me To Read, Get Over It - Op-Ed Piece

I have a bone to pick with the literary community.

To those who identify themselves as readers.

Who take photos of their favorite books for Instagram.

And who buy books more than an addict buys medicine.


You are full of yourself and alienate others in the community, and I don’t appreciate it.


I don’t like that as a reader I am expected to read certain books.

And I am looked down upon if I don’t care to read them out of pure choice more than anything.

I’ve compiled my reading list and the books you want me to have aren’t on it.


Is that okay with you?

Can I still call myself a reader?

Are you going to revoke my membership?

Should I turn in my card?

Can I still open the books on my desk and read them?

Oh, I can?

Thanks, because I was waiting for your approval to call myself a reader, being that you’re the literature police now.

Do you tell people what type of bookmarks to use, too?


So what if I don’t read the summer hit when I go to the beach?

So what if I show no interest in the latest thriller out at Christmas?

Who cares if I don’t want to read the biggest YA novel out on every bookstore stand?


Get over yourself, literature.

Let the readers feel comfortable choosing whatever books they want to read, without feeling ashamed for their choice.


I can be a reader and not read what everyone else reads.

And god forbid you don’t even know of the book that others mentioned.

You are mocked like you gave the wrong answer in front of the whole class.

You are scolded like a kid getting bullied on the playground.

Or worse yet, you are shown a gif to express how much of an idiot you are.


Because of all the hours of the day,

After you work at a job you barely like,

After you get whatever sleep your addiction to technology allows you to get,

After you do everything you are supposed to do to live, like eating, drinking, working out, buying groceries, and any other thing you need to do, you chose the wrong book to read.

You’re a menace, and this kind of action will not be tolerated.

You are to read what everyone else reads.


Literature has to stop acting like there are right books to read and wrong books to read.

As if you are less of a reader because of what you read.

They’ve attached a social hierarchy to books somehow.

The best kind of people read these books and the worst read these kinds of books.

What books do you read?

We don’t judge you based on your choices, we understand that reading is a celebration of words of our language and would never force you to read books you don’t want to read. All we do is celebrate more books than others, some of which we can conveniently tell you about. And if you don’t listen, we know how to turn that party into a funeral. Enjoy reading.

I hate it.


If you read, regardless of what genre it is, when it was made, or who wrote it, you’re a reader.

You enjoy the crafting of words to tell a story.

This club should accept everyone, but sadly literature has developed an elitist mentality by those who feel that anyone who doesn’t acknowledge the books that they read matter, don’t exist.


What is this?

You read that book?

Nobody reads that book, you idiot!


I’ll use myself as an example.

I like to read poetry books, classic novels, and history magazines.

I’ll be honest with you and say that I don’t read modern books.

I just don’t care to. That’s all.

But do I shun anyone who doesn’t read the books I read?

No.

That’s childish.


A reader’s preference doesn’t make them any less of a reader than the person who reads the bestseller.


I am tired of literature making those readers of “other” books feel bad.

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Greg Luti is an editor and blogger on pensandwords.com. His favorite writers are Robert Frost and Charles Bukowski. He enjoys reading up on history, watching comedies, and playing video games, when he is not writing down a few notes for his next piece. He started this blog out of his love for literature and hopes that the reader shares that same passion.

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