25 Definite Ways to Annoy a Reader

A Friendly Warning

I’m not sure why I’m writing this as I don’t want anyone to annoy me or my fellow readers.

I guess it’s a cautionary tale for all you readophobes in how not to piss off a reader. You may think books are rubbish and that we’re all geeks with books attached to our noses. We, however, know the truth.

We’re living in our own beautiful bookish world. Now move along and stop talking. There’s some serious reading to be done here.

25 Definite Ways to Annoy a Reader

1. Emit even the slightest sound from your gob. Reading time is silent time. If you so much as breathe loudly, be prepared to know why they call it a ‘hard’ back.

2. Borrow a book and never return it. Just emigrate now before the owner finds you. It’s safer.

3. Loan them a book and tell them practically the whole plot before they’ve even cracked that bad boy open.

25 ways to annoy a reader - broken television4. Turn on the television where they are reading and then mock them for not being able to multitask when they ask you to turn the TV off.

5. Give them a chore to do when they’ve just snuggled down into their favourite reading spot. Who needs clean dishes when you can eat off paper plates anyway?

6. Tell them the next morning, when they are holding their eyes open with matchsticks, that they really should have gone to sleep sooner rather than reading. Really? What about you and your boxset binges until 4am?

7. Open up their favourite book and dog ear the pages right in front of them. You better be prepared to haul arse quickly because you will die for your sins.

8. Propose that they get rid of some books because there are too many in your home. You amateur. Book cases can even go in the bathroom you know.

25 ways to annoy a reader - woman hugging books9. Make them choose which books to give to charity. You may as well ask them which one of their kids they’d like to give away. Actually, no, that’s not quite as difficult.

10. Have no understanding as to why they have three copies of the same book. Duh. Different shiny covers are beautiful things.

11. Move around the books they have in a series, into the incorrect order. You will feel the wrath of a reader who finds out that someone dies before they were even born. You will wish that you had never been born.

12. Tell them that reading is boring. Oh really? Go read a great book and get back to me on that one.

13. Laugh at their chosen genre and get all book snob about it. Don’t be a cockwomble. Yes, you may pee your pants laughing at your burly husband for reading Barbara Cartland, but he’s reading. Leave the poor softie alone.

14. Pretend that you’ve read a book they’ve read. We will catch you out when you tell us about how Mrs Brown’s death was tragic. There was no Mrs Brown. Rumbled.

15. Deny us access to a bookshop. You poor misguided fool. People have died for less.

25 ways to annoy a reader - carrying a stack of books16. Sulk when we drag you around the library. Someone has to carry that gorgeous haul of books.

17. Ask us if we’re ever going to get around to reading that humongous To-Be-Read pile. There is a system. Trust our system. We intend to read them before we die.

18. Get them unwittingly to watch the film adaptation of the book before they’ve finished the book. Then feign ignorance when they cry at being assaulted by spoilers.

19. Tell them that they need to be out in the fresh air doing something. Okay, I’ll take my book out into the garden then.

20. Read in bed alongside them and keep reading aloud parts you find funny in your own book. If we wanted to read your book, we’d have it in our hands too.

21. Remind them that their library books are due back tomorrow, they’re in the middle of reading a book, and cannot renew it because someone else has reserved it. Cue mammoth all night reading sesh.

22. Shut down their local library. The mourning will never end.

25 ways to annoy a reader - gagged man23. Tell them that you read their favourite book once and you thought it was shite, further doing down the book to the point where they will gag you. No one disses a reader’s favourite book.

24. Remove all the books from the house. You are one brave person, my friend, if you’re even contemplating doing this one for shits and giggles.

25. Vomit, blow your nose on, leave suspicious stains on, or sully their books in anyway. You animal.

What Annoys You, Fellow Readers?

Lovers of literature, do you have any pet peeves when you’re reading? Share them with us all so we can rant along with you!

About Lisa Sell

Lisa Sell is a fiction writer. When she's not wrestling with words she can be found showing the love for chocolate, cheese, coffee, books, the cats, and the husband. Perhaps not in that order.

29 comments on “25 Definite Ways to Annoy a Reader

  1. I’ve committed most of these crimes. Heck, I think I probably deserve co author status on this one

  2. My peeve is definitely someone talking to me while I’m reading. I used to travel with headphones on and a book in hand, but people would still talk to me. I don’t know why they thought I was that friendly.

  3. I don’t mind someone trying to talk to me when I’m reading because I can ignore them. What bugs me is when they get annoyed if I don’t respond with something relevant to what they said. (And apparently “mmm, I think so too” doesn’t count as relevant. I get accused of making “yummy noises”.)

    1. I’m all for multi-tasking but never when reading is happening. They’re lucky to get ‘yummy noises’ from you. My responses when interrupted from reading are less pleasant sounding!

      Thanks for commenting.

  4. I’m always reading more books at once (which is kind of confusing right now because both main characters are named Ben). But I love this list! Really cute and true. I’m such a book-worm

    1. I can’t read more than one book at a time. I get so immersed in what I’m reading that my poor brain would probably explode if I had two books on the go! Thanks for reading and commenting Abigayle.

    1. I’ll never understand why people do not take the presence of a book in front of your face as an indication that you may not be up for conversing! Thanks for sharing Sarah.

  5. #22 is the worst! Anything bashing libraries is really what gets me the most annoyed. Or the people that ask why I still check out library books at all. My response: “If I like the book, I’ll buy it! Books are expensive!” Also, Kindle snobs grind my gears. I’m not anti-Kindle by any means, but it’s not for everyone, and after looking at a computer screen at work all day, I want to give my eyes a break from a screen!

    1. I absolutely agree regarding Kindle snobs. I think that if we’re reading it doesn’t matter if it’s from a screen or a physical book. Personally though I prefer the feel of a real book in my hands – you can’t beat it.

      Thanks for commenting.

  6. I don’t like it when someone tries to talk to me when I’m reading or worse strike up a conversation. lol I’m busy leave me alone.

  7. “Deny us access to a bookshop. You poor misguided fool. People have died for less.” Dying!!! So hilarious and yet, so true!

  8. I have the (un)fortunate ability to tune out the world when I’m reading. This leads to people yelling at me when they do not receive a response within a standard amount of time. So I suppose my pet peeve would be people expecting me to respond when I’m very clearly focused on a book.

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