The world is a varied and dazzling place, both charming and alarming in the diversity of people that exist. I feel like I’m at least worldly enough to handle differences in culture, religion, class, background, sexual preference, identity, mental health, political leanings, astrological signs etc. with more or less unflinching tolerance. I’m not saying I’m cosmopolitan, but as a general rule I am socially adept enough to know not to be shocked, dumbly uncomprehending or utterly aghast at how some people live.
BUT, there are some people in the world I will just never. NEVER. never. understand. I am so stumped by them that I want to shake them and yell, “But how can this be?! how can you be?!!”
And with that, on behalf of book nerds everywhere, here are the 7 Kinds of People Who Confuse Book Nerds:
1. People Who Sleep
Why aren’t you awake and reading? There are only so many hours in a day, many of them filled with useless things like your job and commuting and talking to people and putting food in your face. With so few hours left before you have to wake up and do it all over again, why aren’t you reading? It’s quiet, it’s late, nobody it going to bother you. Just look at you, lying there, and wasting this perfectly good uninterrupted reading time. LIFE IS SHORT YOU KNOW!!!!
2. People Who See Movies of Books They Haven’t Read
Wait, so you’re going to see Anna Karenina and you don’t know that she kills herself? You’ve seen Kubrick and Lyne’s visions of Lolita but know nothing of Nabokov’s? Book nerds find this unfathomable.
If you haven’t read the book, what are you going to compare this movie to? How will you know if it’s a good movie? How will you have pretentious opinions that show you’re an aspiring member of the literati? These are very nerve-wracking questions for book nerds. We only go to see movies based on books so we can judge whether it did the book justice, and then we bicker about it amongst ourselves using big phrases like “post-modern,” “interpretive liberties,” and “Robert Redford is hotter than Leo”!
3. Candy Crushers
What is so interesting about lining up rows of imaginary candy? Is it the colors, the sounds, the slot machine-like allure of the game or is it the spirit of competition that Candy Crushers find so addictive? Did you know that in the time that it takes for you to reach level 213 you could’ve read a book? Laughed, cried, fallen in love a little, learned more of the human condition?
Also, did you know you can read a book without ever having to spam anyone on Facebook to get to the next page? Did you know if you don’t finish a page you don’t have to wait 24 hours to read it again? READ A DAMN BOOK AND STOP INVITING ME TO CANDY CRUSH!
4. People Who Are Bored
As Louis C.K. said, “You live in a great, big, vast world that you’ve experienced none percent of.” Books help you experience that vastness when you’re standing on a subway platform or sitting in the dentist’s chair or even when trapped on a really bad date. Reading lets you be in two places at once. So how can you be bored?
Oh you think the “act of reading” is boring? You don’t like the act of looking at words? The act of watching a movie is staring straight ahead, the act of skydiving is just falling, the act of getting drunk is putting lots of liquids in your face so what the hell are you talking about?!
5. People With Tiny Purses
Hello Girl with Tiny Clutch, where is your book? Are you out for a night on the town with nothing to read? Do you know how long it takes a subway to come at 2 a.m. and how long it will take to get to your stop? It will always take over two hours, doesn’t matter what train you take or where you live.
What will you do for two plus hours? You have nothing in that tiny purse except your credit cards, your phone, mascara and one expired condom. You should have been prepared and brought a book. Now you’re stuck staring at the Dr. Zizmor ad in your train and wondering if that guy from the bar is going to text you.
6. People Who Just LIE THERE on Beaches
This is how my beach conversations often go:
Me: Hey, are you sleeping?
Me: Oh. If you’re not sleeping, what are you doing?
F: Just working on my tan.
Me: Aren’t you bored?
Me: But you’re just lying there. What do you think about?
Me: What?! Did you bring anything to read? Want one of my books to read? I have four. You can have this one that I just finished. Or this one that I’m almost done with. Want a book?
Me: But you’re just lying there. Aren’t you bored? Here, have a book.
Me: What are you thinking about then?
Me: Ok, I’ll let you sleep then.
AND THE MOST UNFATHOMABLE PEOPLE IN THE WORLD ARE…
7. People Who Ban Books
I hear North Korea is lovely this time of year.