How reading can unite mankind – one book at a time

Can I have a look at your paper when you've finished, mate? Image:Pixabay

Can I have a look at your paper when you’ve finished, mate? Image:Pixabay

I’ve talked before about judging someone’s personality by the contents of their bookshelves. But I’m not finished judging there. I’ve got a whole ocean of judging welling up inside me, ready to slosh over into a fresh blog post. Want me to prove it? Okay, here goes.

I like people a little more if they read books … And I like them a little less if they don’t.

I suppose it’s not much of a surprise I love fellow readers as I’m someone whose life can be measured in the books they’ve read and especially – if you were feeling cynical, and hey, it’s a Monday, we’re all entitled to feel a twinge of grumbly old git on a Monday – you might say it’s especially because I’m an aspiring writer that I love to see people read.

I mean, every sad, tragic, hollow human being who would rather watch YouTube vids of other people playing computer games than read a great book, is one less potential reader for my as yet unpublished canon of classic literature.

And as a side note, I can’t quite believe that people spend hourse doing this – watching footage of other people gaming. Surely, if we look hard enough, we’ll find this in Revelation, besides the many headed beasties and men riding Pale Horses … ‘And lo, the land will o’erflow with Peeping Toms on a landscape that exists not in our world. And their will be a great wailing and gnashing of teeth …’

Any-hoo, it’s not my own revenue I see sailing down the proverbial Swannie. It’s just, each time I see the girl who lives near me who risks tripping over raised pavements slabs and stepping in slithering Everests of dog mess so she can walk and still read her book – it makes me smile.

Each time I sit on the bus and see a fellow traveller with their nose tucked in one of those old fashioned, leafy, papery things – what did we call them? Oh, yeah, books – instead of dashing through fb posts or thier Twitter feed or abusing the bus driver, it makes me feel just a tiny bit happier.

Because I know what it is to be them.

I know that even if they’re young enough to be my kid, old enough to have edited the original Revelation, if they loathe chocolate (weirdos) or own a cabal of cats that hunt down every native songbird within a ten mile radius and gives them no more rebuke than a ‘Naughty kitty’ for their sins (evil) – we have a deep and meanful shared experience.

We both know what it’s like to lose hours in a book, to never really want to return, to have a writer transport them away from the bus and the old lady sitting next to them who smells vaguely of wee.

We’ve both been on that same journey.

And in a busy, crazy world, where we seem to notice the differences more than we feel the similarities, anything that unifies is a grand and beautiful thing. 


Are you like me – do you distrust people who don’t read? Or are you less of a judgemental old woman and love them anyway? Let me know what you think.