In 2019, most families are more likely to read Facebook posts rather than a classic by Mark Twain, or a modern literary work like The Help. Though some families (God bless them) make reading a priority in their households, many nowadays do not. The struggle, therefore, lies in the occurrence when a single member of the family becomes a book nerd… and the family refuses to join them in this hobby.
Some of you from the Reading families are probably slacked-jawed right now. How? you may be thinking. How can someone not like to read?
That, my friend, is a question I’ve asked myself many times since I became a book nerd at age seventeen. Like my parents and younger sister, I used to hate reading, but To Kill a Mockingbird soon persuaded me to give reading for fun another shot. I was an easy convert once I started reading Nicholas Sparks books… but I can’t say the same for them.
Today, my friend, I shall reveal what it’s like to be a book nerd in a non-reading family.
Gifts are Difficult
When you’re the only book nerd in the house, both giving and receiving gifts can become a treacherous task.
Alright, so my younger sister fell head-over-heels for The Fault in Our Stars movie a few years ago and asked to read my copy of the book. Y’all, I was so excited. She used to read the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books in middle school, but had never shown interest in reading my books when she got older. So, she read the book and loved it.
Not long after, Me Before You became a movie (now her favorite movie), and I bought her books 1 and 2 for Christmas… and I highly doubt she’s even flipped through them.
Now, Daddy on the other hand, enjoys reading Christian non-fiction from time to time, and I’m sure he’d like a good book on politics, but he doesn’t have a lot of time to read. The same Billy Graham book has been sitting on the end table beside his recliner for the last three years too… so there’s that. 😛
One Christmas right after I had become a certified book nerd, my parents went shopping for books for me at a chain retail store. They picked up some I had asked for (The Fault in Our Stars, Wonder, etc.), and then asked a store attendant on the book aisle for a suggestion. Being my parents didn’t realize just how filth-laden some books these days are, the book they bought at the attendant’s suggestion was a contemporary adult romance that featured the main character’s husband getting *cough* vividly physical *cough* with his mistress and spewing the F-word within the first ten pages.
To this day, I still have not read this book. But, I can’t blame my parents; they didn’t know any better! Like me, they’re Christians and have (sometimes naive) expectations about how clean worldly media is.
No One to Fangirl With
The reason I was so excited about my sister reading The Fault in Our Stars was mainly because I wanted someone to fangirl with. It’s no secret that I’ve been a loner ever since graduating high school and growing apart from the friends I had back then, so up until I joined Goodreads and discovered the bookish side of Pinterest, I had all these fangirl feels and no one to share them with.
Now, my sister likes The Hunger Games trilogy, so when the Catching Fire DVD came out, we watched it together. She looked at me like I had lost my mind when I cried–three times–when watching the movie.
But, because she’s a non-reader, she couldn’t understand that I have a deeper connection with the characters because I read the series! It’s really maddening at times, y’all.
And When You Write Books…
Being a book nerd in a non-reading family is even more excruciating when you write your own books. You’d think, that even though they don’t like reading, they’d give the books written by their own flesh and blood a try on their own volition. To be honest, I think they’d rather clip their toenails with a chainsaw.
When my author copies of Can’t Beat the Heart of a Carolina Girl came in, Momma said, “I’m going to sit down and read it tonight, or else I never will.” And somehow, she did. All in one night. Which, to be honest, still means a lot to me. She can barely sit through a Hallmark movie without leaving the room (she’s a very squirmy person and can’t sit still for long), so this was quite a feat for her. My sister, on the other hand, took well over a year to read it.
Momma didn’t attempt to do the book binge on Speak Your Mind when those copies came in, though she did read a bit. Granted, this book is 80 pages longer than CBTHOACG, so it’s understandable. I asked her how far she got, and she said “chapter ten!”. I later checked where she left the bookmark… which was on page ten.
That was a few months ago. I was looking for something in the hallway closet recently, and I saw my family’s copies in there. Unread. Five months after the release.
My Future Family Goals for Reading
Don’t get me wrong, growing up in a non-reading family hasn’t been horrible. Momma used to read to me as a kid, so it’s not like reading was totally neglected growing up. Like I said, I come from a loving Christian family who has instilled good values in me. I love my parents and sister.
But, when I have a family of my own someday, I plan to make reading and storytelling priorities for my kids from a young age. If my future kids end up not being in to books, that’ll be okay. I won’t force it; but if they are, I aim to fully support their bookish endeavors.
Talk to me, Arrowheads!
Were you raised in a bookish family, or a non-reading family? How has that affected your book nerd lifestyle?
Aim high, stay strong, and always hit your mark.