Saturday, October 31, 2015

Bullying, Reader-to-reader style.

Bullying, Reader-to-reader style.

There are things I love to hear as an author. And then there are things that I don’t like to hear at all.

And there are things that enrage me.

Like a PM that I got on Facebook a few months ago from a reader who was broken down to tears about how a fellow reader had treated her in a reading group.

A reading group.

Yeah, you heard me.

I let it mull around for a while and then recently, after it happened to the same person again, I decided to take a stand the only way I know how—in written word.

It shocked the hell out of me and I had to read the message several times to make sure I wasn’t misunderstanding the situation.

You see, I always thought reading groups is where precious nerdy girls like me went to congregate with like-minded nerdy girls and plan to take over the world chapter by chapter. We’d tuck our bookmarks in, proud of the progress we made, secretly thinking of the next time we’d be able to jam in more reading time. We’d talk together about book boyfriends and cutesy book crafts we were making.

At least that’s the dream I have in my head.

Maybe book clubs have changed.

Apparently, they have.

Granted, this is an online book club and yes, there is no tone or intonation in social media communications, so things tend to get a bit skewed and feelings get hurt.

But I don’t think anything was confusing about one reader calling my friend a ‘stuck-up prude’ for her preference of not reading adult books.

In fact, I think it is downright, blatant bullying.

Not only were these kinds of words thrown around when referring to her reading preferences and choices, but they have now excluded her from the next book discussion.

Here’s the thing people. No one wants to be bullied or called names—in person or online. We all gasp at the word fat or ugly, but this is acceptable? Abso-effing-lutely not.

Reading is like breathing for some of us—hopefully for all of us. So why can’t we just embrace each other’s choices?

I haven’t read, nor will I read, Fifty Shades of Grey. It’s just not my thing. That being said, I would never call someone names or belittle them in public or private for their choice in reading material.  If you want to read about two toasters making out in the jungle while wearing Air Jordans that allowed them to fly, I’d be happy for you. (Do they still make Air Jordans? *Let’s my age show*) That’s your choice and no one—no one—should have anything to say about it except, ‘Hey girl, enjoy your book.’ *You know you pictured Ryan Gosling there*

So it kills me to hear that people are getting called names for their reading choices. Any names.

Come on ladies. We are all book-loving, book boyfriend stalking, paperback smelling, crazy sock wearing, sipping our favorite hot beverage, laying on the couch with a snuggly blanket in the rain, reading people—be nice.

Sigh. Tell me what you think about this. Am I insane for thinking this is enraging?

Still reading anything I want to.
Still just a geeky girl in a tech world.
Still sipping my comforting hot beverage listening to the rumble of thunder.


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