Never Interrupt me while I'm Reading a Book!
Is there any real polite way of saying, “Zip your howling screamer!” without offending anybody? Probably not, but take it from me, nobody likes being interrupted while they’re reading a good book.
I am an avid reader and love a good book. Many times, when I have started a new book, I will get really hooked on it and struggle to put it down without finishing it first. The problem is that some people don’t recognize the “signs” of a reader engrossed in their book.
They might try to talk to the reader, thinking they are being nice, because they believe the reader is just shy and doesn’t have anyone to talk too, so they had to pull out a book.
This of course is not true. Regardless, the reader feels like they have to reply to the interrupter’s comment, whatever it may be, because they’d be considered rude if they just ignored them. The conversation is then drawn out as the reader tries to politely inform the other person that they are in the middle of a very good book.
Some people will “get the hint” by this time, and will leave the reader alone, others take a little more time to recognize the signs of someone engrossed in a good book. By the time these people finally get it—of course there are people who never get it—that the reader wants to be left alone, the reader is very frustrated, has probably lost their place in their book, and feels less inclined to be polite.
One of the times when this happened to me was New Year’s Eve. I was reading a book called The Alliance by Gerald S. Lund. While I sat, curled up on the coach, reading, everyone else was partying, telling jokes, and playing games that involved making the players look as foolish as possible. It wasn’t that I was trying to be rude, or that I thought celebrating the New Year was pointless; it was just that I couldn’t put down the book I was reading.
Eventually, the “partiers” noticed that I was the only one not participating in their games and so they told me to put the book down and come and play. I sighed in frustration and tore my eyes from my book to look up at them. I decided to politely decline and said, “Ok hold on, I’m at a really good part in my book.” Then I started reading again. A little later they asked me again, so I requested just a few more minutes. Later, I felt a little guilty, so I reluctantly set down my book and joined, for a short time, in their festivities.
My advice to the frequently irritated readers is to be more clear when explaining to others that you don’t want to be interrupted while you’re reading, and if all else fails, show everyone the music video “I’m reading a book” by Julian Smith.