Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Why the Book Hate?

Ugh.  I'm a little angry right now...  One of our friends was over a few hours ago, and--for whatever reason--said she hates books.  Just hates 'em.  I kept my curious composure after she'd said it, and just sat there (shaking my head inside) as my brother showed her a few of our books, trying to convice her to read at least two before summer's end.     

She agreed, though I remained suspicious, and then, five seconds later, decided she didn't want to read them anymore.  She said, expressionless, "I hate books."  And, don't get me wrong, I'm not just pointing her out...because, sadly, I've heard this more times than I can recall. 

It greatly angers me when I hear that, and saddens me.  Books can do so much for someone, for anyone...and even if you're not into that whole intellectual aspect of them, they're still most definitely a source of incredible entertainment.  I honestly don't know why people say this.  In fact--perhaps there are others--I can really only think of one reason, and it's unfortunate.  That reason--the only real thing I can attribute it to--is school.  Because we are given required books we (most of the time) don't like, or barely even read (or just don't read at all) through our years of school, I suppose a bad taste is put in our mouths about books, and thus makes various people "hate" them as a whole.     

I still don't understand, though.  Go ahead.  Don't read whatever you're being "forced" to read.  Fail your test.  Whatever.  But don't say you hate all books because of that. 

Yes, there have been numerous things I've read in school that I haven't liked much.  I haven't hated them completely, but I've certainly disliked them.  But so what?  Everyone has books they don't like.  On the other end of the spectrum, though, there have been other books that---had it not been for school--I probably never would've heard of, never read, and never fallen in love with.  "School," to me, seems like a sorry excuse for hating books, yet it's unfortunately the only one I hear every time I ask why, and that's the truth.   

So, that's my little angry rant for the day.  I can't figure out how you can hate an object that's done nothing to you, something so glorious as a book, no less.  You don't have to like reading, but don't just hate all books because of one experience or what you're being told.

So, what do you think?  Is the reason I run into so many kids and teenagers who "hate" books school?  Do you know anybody who hates them as well?  Maybe there are other contributing factors...?      


  1. I think school is a big one. Another big one is music & TV-- plenty of people aren't used to entertainment that doesn't come with a sound track. And if the imagination isn't used, then it withers away, just like everything else. So we now have a couple of generations with underused imaginations who have only ever read something when it was forced upon them-- no wonder they "hate" it!

  2. How can anyone HATE BOOKS??? LOL.

    I must admit I haven't heard anyone say this. I do know someone (a librarian no less!) who doesn't read fiction, only non-fiction. Which I just DON'T GET. But whatever... ;)

  3. My husband also hates books. He has a learning disability and no matter how hard he tries, they just don't make sense to him the way they make sense to others. Which makes it hard to be married to a book lover and writer, I'm sure!

  4. Wow. O_O ALL of them? There wasn't one bedtime story that holds happy memories?
    Edge of Your Seat Romance

  5. I tried posting this comment once before and Blogger was not cooperative so if this somehow gets posted twice, I do apologize...

    Anyway, I once had a student who hated books. By the end of his time in my class, I managed to change his mind. I owe it all to Stephen King and Robert B. Parker.

  6. I think it’s mostly TV and other what I call "lazy" entertainment. For some, reading takes more effort than there is reward. It’s too hard to enjoy. You don't have to do anything to watch television, just sit and absorb. Most electronic gadgets don't require effort on the part of the brain. Books, however, need to be read and comprehended if you want to enjoy it. Back in the old days, books were the only option. That isn’t the case anymore. Kids rather take the easy road to have fun.

  7. Su and M.C. - I forgot about the whole exploding entertainment part of life, but I agree, that's definitely something that contributes to all these kids hating books. I love TV too, but there has to be a balance, certainly with something as great as books, which have been around for a much, much longer time. :)

    Trisha - I know! It blows my mind. :) At least your librarian reads SOME, better than nothing (though fiction is basically all I read). ;)

    Erica - I'm sorry to hear that, though I'm sure he still gets plenty of writerly talk from you (I know my family's about to plug their ears up; it's pretty much all I gab about). :) Perhaps an audiobook for him?

    Raquel - I never thought to ask her about children's books. I can't imagine she'd hate all of those, too... But you never know. Maybe I'll ask the next time she's over. :) She couldn't understand how we liked them so much!

    M.J. - That's great! I haven't read any of Parker, but if there was an author that could get someone interested in reading, I'd bet on Stephen King! :) Good job!