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7 Things to Hate About Books & Reading

Look, we’re all readers here, aren’t we? Or, you know, tea-drinkers, cake-lovers…

Look, we’re all readers here, aren’t we? Or, you know, tea-drinkers, cake-lovers, and readers. But don’t you sometimes, sneakily, every now and then, hate books a teeny little bit?

Wait.

Wait! No, come back, come back. Look, I have cake. And books.

But I mean, come on. Even tea turns on us sometimes, and burns our tongues. And cake … well, you get icing stuck to your fingers and crumbs down your top, for a start. And let’s not mention eating cookies in bed, and waking up to find you dropped a chocolate chip on your pillow and now look like a cute kid in a chocolate commercial (only less cute, more alarming, if you’re me).

things to hate about books reading bookworm problems

So? I can have more than one hobby…

So isn’t it at least possible there could be a few tiny, tiny things that we at least don’t like very much about books …?

1. They stomp all over our hearts. I mean, there you are, entirely invested in the characters, submerged in a world that’s so real and so vibrant you can taste it, believing fully in the story and rooting for the MC and sidekicks to triumph … and they kill the dog. Why? Why? I’ve still never forgiven Dean Koontz for the trauma he caused my pre-teen self in Watchers. Not ever. I mean, sometimes they kill person-characters that you were pretty attached to as well, but why would you kill the dog, you monster?

things to hate about books reading bookworm problems

HOW COULD YOU?

2. They give us unrealistic expectations. No, I don’t mean book boyfriends (although they’re pretty unrealistic too). I mean the really good stuff. Dragons. Invisibility cloaks. Being descended from gods and able to breathe underwater. Saving/conquering worlds. Destroying our enemies with a flourish and an evil laugh, then building a castle of their skulls. And (this is the real biggie), always having a good comeback. I mean, seriously. I have never once had a good one-liner. I want my money back.

3. They eat hours like very hungry time caterpillars. I sometimes think that, if it wasn’t for books, I might actually have quite normal sleep patterns. But no, instead I just one more chapter my way into the wee small hours with no consideration for the day to come, and it’s not my fault. Honestly. It’s the books.

things to hate about books reading bookworm problems

4. They turn us into little spitting book dragons. And by that I don’t just mean the hoarding on shelves, bedside tables, window sills, and the floor, or the furtive book-sniffing in shops and petting of covers, or the itemised lists of do’s and don’ts included when lending them out. No, it’s worse than that. I’ll make a confession here – I am that person who didn’t have the money to buy a book, so hid it behind others in a bookshop. *Hangs head in shame* I did go back to buy it not very much later, but I still feel awful about that. Damn you, books and your hold over me! *shakes fist in direction of bookshelf*

5. They multiply and take over the house. I swear I never bought this many books. And we keep moving, so I keep having (reluctant) clear-outs, so it’s utterly impossible that I’ve collected them all myself. They’re obviously breeding in the night, producing lots of little books that grow in the shadows behind the shelves until they’re big enough to appear next to the others and pretend they’ve been there all along. It’s the only explanation. *avoids eye contact with the bag of books she just brought home from the charity shop*

things to hate about books reading bookworm problems

6. They fill us with useless knowledge. I mean, I can still recite word for word half the songs in Lord of the Rings, and thanks to Trixie Belden I know apple seeds contain cyanide (which, as a writer of cozy mysteries, may be useful, but I could have looked it up). I also know various methods for surviving a shipwreck (including what you should carry on your person at all times, which for a few years as a wee small thing I did. Matches, pocketknife with compass, first aid kit, notebook and pencil, apparently. Yes, my parents just let me get on with it. Yes, there were injuries. It was also fun) and how to find water having survived said shipwreck. This means, however, that there is no room in my head for grown-up information like how to have a normal social interaction.

7. They confuse us. They make us see the world through the eyes of people we’ve never met, coming from cultures we’ve never encountered. They make us question what we thought we knew about the world and the way it operates. They make us see life from different angles and perspectives, and do away with “just because”. They make us realise that we know much less about our reality and that of others than we thought, and they make us think and feel things that are uncomfortable. They grant us the chance to experience the world differently.

things to hate about books reading bookworm problems

Yes, I see you being all magical and sneaky.

So, you see, books are just big, dusty chunks of thought-provoking trouble. They’re like little papery anarchists, slouching on shadowy shelves and lurking in our devices, beckoning us with a hiss of, “Hey, kid. Wanna see something?” Bad, bad books, right?

Right?

Yeah, I didn’t even convince myself. Okay, lovely people – tell me what you hate or love or love to hate about books below!

books, bookworm, bookworm problems, reading

  1. You had me at cake.

    As far as having a good comeback . . . I always do! Okay, well, I do hours and hours later when I’m in bed with my cookie crumbs. That’s when the real genius hits me! It hits me at the exact moment ALL the books are busy breeding (gosh! Isn’t this the truth? lol).

    I agree with your list, but if I’m honest, I’m most disappointed about the lack of castles I’ve made from my enemies’ skulls.

    1. kimwatt says:

      Ooh, YES. There should be many more castles, and my morning tea should be served the skull of my first-killed. I don’t now why that hasn’t caught on yet. It can’t be *that* impractical.

  2. Penny Christmas says:

    Here in the UK it is13:10, not an interesting way to start a reply but, there is the good bit, I finished Nine of Wands which is the fifth book in The King’s Watch series by Mark Hayden, at 03:30, woke up 07:00 and started Wings over Water which is a novella between book 5 and 6. It took about an hour so downloaded book 6, that blows today out the water. I have to finish this, book 7 and two more novellas before the 25th! It is all your fault that nothing much will get done this week, I blame you entirely. Being the full time carer for my husband (Huntingdon’s Disease is a bast***) I no longer bake as he can’t eat anything too solid, so that time is dedicated to reading. I don’t watch a lot of television, it is on but Garry looks at it, more time saved for reading, sleep is so overrated usually in bed by 3am, more time saved, you doing a recurring theme here?

    Good things about books, I have learned more about Alaska from Dana Stabenow than I ever learned at school, more history, more geography, and thanks to you I have learned more about dragons than they are just shifters, also plenty more recipes thanks to you, keep up the good work, take care of your knee but could you write quicker please?

    1. Kim Watt says:

      I offer full apologies for a packed couple of weeks of reading! But it sounds like you have some fab books there – anything that has you downloading the next in the series immediately is a huge win. Enjoy them – it sounds like they offer both good escapism and good self care ❤️

      And I absolutely wish I could write quicker. I have lots of ideas, and I very much want to write all of them, all at once, but my actual writing pace definitely tends toward slow and steady! At this rate my To Be Written is going to grow to the proportions of my To Be Read, and that’s a terrifying thought…

      Thank you on the knee, and look after yourself, too. You have a huge and heartbreaking job there. Sending you all the dragonish strength in the world ❤️

  3. Rose says:

    I think a skull would make for a rather large cuppa, all that liquid consumption you know. Better tea than coffee, I’d be peeling myself off the neighbor’s roof if I had that much. You’d need a smaller skull to be useful (which may be where the dog comes in, or a child).

    Other than that, I identify with almost every sentence and the pictures too. Of course buying and reading are different hobbies. They apply to different areas of the brain, the acquisition center and the mini-vacation lobe. Don’t forget that charity is important, so your book-buying habits are making the world a better and greener place. Recycling, anyone?

    And authors of series should not be allowed to die in real life. I had a favorite author who was about to wrap up one important detail to allow his series to be HEA, but he died after the next to last volume. I was angry for months, and still won’t read any of those books now because I know I’ll be disappointed. I spent YEARS waiting for the couple to finally be able to be together, so it was very inconsiderate for him to do that to his audience.

    As far as the problem of them taking over the house, it sounds like you need to move less. If push comes to shove, get a trailer for your car and build a “she-shed” on it with a comfy chair and shelves everywhere. That way you can get away and also take it with you. Makes sense, doesn’t it?

    1. Kim Watt says:

      Ohhh I LOVE the idea of a bookish she-shed on wheels. That’s PERFECT, and exactly what’s required! How have I not made this happen yet? I just need to make sure it has power and water hookups for the kettle …

      And that’s really sad about your favourite author! How disappointing – likely for him as well as his readers. I suppose the small consolation is that no one else has picked up the series and continued it, as happens sometimes. I always think there must be authors screaming in the afterlife, “No! NO! That was NOT how I wanted the story to end!”

      As far as coffee – yes. I only really drink cold brew, and then I can only have a very small glass. I have zero tolerance for it, despite the copious quantities of tea I drink!

      And now I’m off to support the local charity shops, because you’re quite right. It’s a good deed. 😉

  4. Joanne says:

    Dragons don’t exist?! I’ve never heard such blasphemy in all my life! You do have it right that books multiply on their own but I know there are dragons Somewhere. 😁

    1. Kim Watt says:

      Shh. You mustn’t let on. Especially not … *glances around carefully* … if there are cats listening… 😉

Comment away! (Points awarded for comments involving cats, tea, or baked goods)

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