Pretender Readers

I am struggling a bit lately and I am unable to write a good review, so here is another opinion post, because I though I was in a bad mood but it has been a few months now so I guess this is who I am now, a hater with a blog.

There is something that has been catching my attention lately, and it is this particular type of people that do not read but pretend they do and go on about it. They love feeling like they know everything about something without having the slightly idea on the subject in question. They will tell you how they loved this book they read years ago, how they tried and make everyone they knew read it afterwards. They will tell you about this other book they did not read but searched reviews on and got their own conclusions on, how amazing it is, how touching, how interesting.

I find this really funny because more and more people read less and less nowadays, and so this works with and for all them. These pretenders are used to find non-readers, and so their strategy gets better, but what is interesting and equally entertaining is how they do not know how to react with a deep reader.

If you are a reader you will understand how you cannot be tricked anymore. You know your readings, you know your books, and what you do not know about you want to know, you want to read everything about anything and get your collection bigger and bigger. Now, when you happen to find one of these, let’s so call them, pretender readers, you get that grin on your face while they speak. You know what they are trying, and it does not work with you. They will talk about easy readings, books that have spread among the masses for the past few months, novels that lack of any depth, novels that you know everything about now and that are not interesting enough.

I have mastered a skill now, I have my tricks, and this is to follow them into their conversation. Be a bit like them, pretend you are interested, ask questions, get to know them. Once you know where they come from, start talking about real books, name Salinger and Bukowski and Franzen, find their weakness, and so show them how wrong they happen to be.

As I am writing this I am feeling like a “mean girl”, but to me this is something that we have to fight and eradicate. We have to teach people how to be real. Me myself, I do not really know what I am talking about most of the time, but I will be honest about it, I will not pretend I am an expert on a subject, I will try and learn more about something and share only what I do know for sure. We should get away from the “I am cool because I am a reader” that we sadly see more often on social media now. Since when did we start pretending to be readers to impress others?

My reading list is still growing and is very long, but I do not pretend I have read books I haven’t even heard of; instead, I find new books and get the time to read them, and then grow my own opinions on them. The world is already too unreal for us to praise this falsehood.

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One thought on “Pretender Readers

  1. This is a thin in the ‘real world’? O.o
    I know this phenomenon all too well from my classes. It never fails to amaze me how many people study literature that don’t even like reading. I mean…WHY??? Literature really isn’t the most prestigious or promising academic subject, so in my opinion the only upside to that should be that you get to do something you’re passionate about – ideally with people who share that passion. I once walked into the first session of a seminar and overheard the other students commenting on how they hadn’t read the books yet. That is ok – it happens to the best of us. Sometimes it’s just too much at once or something gets in the way. However, it didn’t stop there – they went on to explain how they weren’t going to read the book either because it’s over 800 pages. It happened to be Don DeLillo’s ‘Underworld’. I read and reviewed it, and I understand the sentiment. It’s not an easy book to read. But. But it said on the seminar description that that is what we were going to read?!
    The point of this whole rant is: I’m with you all the way and I’m intrigued to learn more about pretender readers outside of a university context, because that is the only environment I encountered them in so far.

    Liked by 1 person

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