You’re having a conversation with one of your new friends. You’re getting to know them, and everything is going so well, until you ask them what their favorite book is. And their response stops you in your tracks.
“I hate reading,” they say with a shrug, as if they can just drop that phrase into a conversation and walk away as if nothing happened.
“Excuse me?” You ask, thinking that you probably misheard them. You must have blacked out for a moment and experienced a terrible nightmare.
“I just don’t really like reading,” they say, casually shattering your world. How could they not like reading? How could they dare to tell you this, knowing you are basically a real-life Belle from Beauty and the Beast? WHAT IS GOING ON RIGHT NOW??
If you’re a reader and you have a friend who has ever told you this, you know that you can’t just sit back and let it happen. You go through a series of emotions and actions, trying to make sense of this situation. Books are so beloved to you, so it’s hard to imagine that someone else would feel differently, but this could happen to you. And if it ever has, I can bet that your reaction looked a little something like this.
1. You Become Unbearably Sad
The first reaction when someone says "I hate reading" can be nothing other than unbearable sadness. Why did they become this way? They just need to give books a second chance! Your eyes are tearing up, but you feel a sudden determination. You can help them. This is what you're here for.
2. You Ask Them What Books They've Read
Maybe they've only read books assigned for school, and never known the delight of reading purely for pleasure. Maybe they've only read books that weren't the perfect genre for their particular interests. You make them list every book they've ever read so you can analyze the trends.
3. You Start Recommending Books
Once you know their backstory and the history of their breakup with reading, you begin recommending books to their friend. At first, it's just a casual mention. "Have you tried Harry Potter, though?" "What about Hunger Games?" "OK, how about these 12 others..."
4. Suddenly, You Have To Defend Your Favorites
As you make recommendations, your friend shrugs them off, and you become defensive. That book is AMAZING. HOW CAN THEY NOT SEE THIS?
5. You Try And Take Them To The Library
You tell them you're going to the mall, and then you take them to the library. The oldest trick in the book.
6. Start Giving Them Books At Every Opportunity
If they won't borrow or buy books themselves, you'll take care of it for them. Every gift you give them from now on will be a book, and they'll just have to deal with it.
7. Look Up Books For Them Based On Their Hobbies
OK, so nothing is sticking yet. You start researching their hobbies. What books would they like, based on their Myers Briggs type? You start a Goodreads list of potential books they could enjoy and plan to get a copy of every one for them.
8. Replace The CDs In Their Car With Audiobooks
Maybe they just don't like sitting and staring at the pages. They might like audiobooks...
9. Cringe When They Say They'd Rather Watch The Movie
"The movie's just so much shorter, and it's pretty much the same thing." NO.
10. Try To Get Them To Join Your Book Club
You tell them you're going to the mall again, and you drive them to book club.
11. Accept Their Differing Interests, But Never Really Stop Getting Them To Love Books
So, your friend just doesn't love reading like you do. You have plenty of other things in common, and you truly love them for who they are.
But it's because you love them, that you'll never really give up trying to make them see how awesome books are. You're a reader — you just can't help yourself
Images: Giphy (11), 20th Century Fox Television