Books are for Showing Off?

I heard someone say that people read to show off. That started me thinking.

A lot of my posts are about books, book reviews, or just how much I love reading. The only reason they appear here, is because reading is such a huge part of my life, part of who I am. People who know me personally, will tell you how I always have a book with me. Always. Because that’s what I love to do – read. I grab every minute I can, to do that thing I like doing the most.

For a long while, after I started blogging, while writing about my love of reading, I never reviewed books. Mainly because I was not sure if I would ever do justice to the books. I mean, the authors put so much energy and effort into crafting the book, it just takes half a page to spoil it for someone, doesn’t it? Which is probably why, I don’t review the books that I don’t like too much. It took me a while to get the confidence to write reviews of the books I liked.

I started listing the books I read, because husband keeps asking me if I have any idea how many books I read in a year( I suspect he wants to figure out how much money the library helped us save ;)). So when I saw Monika listing her books, I decided that I should do that too. Just to keep track.

If you came home, you would see how much books are part of our lives. We have books everywhere, mine and daughter’s mainly. Husband just hangs on to his precious Kindle. He is so hooked on it, that he claims that he can no longer read normal books. Sigh! That Kindle was supposed to be a gift for me, you know! Anyway, nothing makes me happier than lugging bags of books back from the library.

Talking, writing, discussing about the books we read, is so much fun. So many books I read today are the result of books that have been recommended by so many of you. And I think I have loved every one of them! And it is not just the books that I enjoy, I love the discussion on books that we have in comment sections – those are just as much fun, aren’t they? They offer so many perspectives – on the books, on the author’s writing style, and sometimes, it makes me realize that books that I adore might be books which others might ever want to touch.

Now, I can’t help wondering if there might be people who might consider it all a show-off. Do people think like that? I was really surprised to hear that some people do think of it as that..

Having said that, I do know of one person who told me to give her all my books(the few that I have bought here) because she likes to ‘collect’ books. Not read them – just collect them and display them on her shelf :)

On a kind of related note, do read ‘How to be a woman’ by Caitlin Moran. That is one book, I could definitely not do justice in a review. I can’t thank CR enough for that recommendation! I liked it so much that I went hunting for reviews – and found this one that I really liked :) and one by a man. Go on, read it and tell me what you think!

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40 thoughts on “Books are for Showing Off?

  1. People are dumb. I love reading as well. (Thanks for the Jodi Piccoult reviews, also I have been known to look up your blog when at the library to see if that particular book is on the shelf)

    Thank you , Sraikh :) Delighted that you read my reviews :)

    The best thing for me is that my oldest shares the love and we are(she is 13) able to read certain books together and have discussions. The Hunger Games. Another one she just bought on the nook. We read Percy Jackson, Tamora Pierce books.

    That must be so much fun! Waiting for daughter to grow up – we already share the love of reading :)

    You are not alone and its not showing off. Flashing that Gucci book is showing off :)
    ‘Flashing that Gucci book is showing off’ -That I can agree with :)

  2. I was stunned when I read that first statement that people read to show off! You can bet that the people who say this are ones without a brain in their heads. Like you, my life revolves around books and always has since a young age. It’s funny because neither of my parents really reads…dad used to read until his medical books got in the way. Mum never got into it but her dad was a big reader and I think that’s where I got my love for reading from. He would always tell me stories when I was little and then I caught on to it. I cannot imagine my life without books. I think the only 2 years in my life that I went without reading was when I did Eng Lit in undergrad. Ironically enough! It put me off reading for pleasure. In fact, I reckon if in future I was to have a child, it would be very disappointing if the child didn’t read for pleasure!

  3. Huh? Do people really think like that?!

    :( Sadly yes.

    Books were my first love – and still are. I was into books even before I went to school, and can’t ever imagine not loving them. I can’t fathom people who just ‘collect’ books for pleasure instead of reading them. Books are an integral part of my life – they make me who I am. As much as I love reading, I love writing and discussing about books. I can’t imagine a life otherwise.

    Same here! Can’t imagine a life otherwise!

    I hope my child reads in future. Of course, I can’t force such things, but I would love it if he/she did. I would be more than a little disappointed if he/she didn’t.

    I get that – I totally get that!

  4. Seriously??..but you know what Smitha…thats what people in my office bus tell me :( ‘kya book padh ke show off kar rahi hai, pata hai tereko bahut ata hai’ and I am like its my book my seat, my eyes, and my mind..I am not even disturbing them :( and honestly thats the only time I get to read…otherwise at home, its very rare that I get time to read at all with R around and so much work to do..so why not?

    I am glad you review books I got hooked to Jodi Picoult thanks to you and going to hunt for that book CR recommended :)

    • I know! I don’t understand why people have that attitude. That is one thing I love in the UK, everyone has a book in their hands. On the bus, trains.. nobody thinks I’m a weirdo :)

  5. I have heard people saying such things too, Smits, so I for one know what you’re saying is true. Sad that they think like that :(. I am not voracious reader but I love the thrill and empowering sense it gives me whenever I get drawn to books.. and I know how much I admire people who read like you. Your appetite for books is contagious believe me :). And you know whenever I visit someone the first thing I look around for is their reading corner or the library and when I do find it oh how I respect them even more! :).

    • ‘And you know whenever I visit someone the first thing I look around for is their reading corner or the library and when I do find it oh how I respect them even more!’ – Me too :) I remember a wonderful book shelf in your pictures :)

  6. this could so be written by me Smithu, and u know that too :) I carry a book everywhere – function, work wherever and grab every minute I get to read to book!:) I wish I could take time out to review all of them or atleast the ones I luved reading! U r dng such a good job of reviewing most of them, esp. of late :) Hugss!

    • Same pinch:) I would have never got the courage to start reviewing if you guys had not encouraged me :) Do review, Atleast do a post on the books you read, with the ratings, that we would know whether to pick them it not. You could make it a monthly feature, you know.

  7. I thought of reviewing just this book as I liked it do much. Big mistake. I couldn’t gather the words to do it justice. Then I decided to write a post with my favourite lines from it. Bigger mistake. I might have had to reproduce the entire book. Now I have decided to quote Caitlin on and off in my posts. Let’s see how that works out :-)

    Books are to show off? I have never heard of that one before.

    • I did that too! Started a review – did not work :) They started writing down quotes- madness :) So gave up :) Quoting Caitlin in posts makes a lot of sense. I am ordering my own copy, I had picked this from the library.

  8. Loved your post! Absolutely! I kinda had a deja vu feeling. Because this is exactly what I feel about books. In fact I had written a post about books, just a short while back, here’s the link if you are interested.
    http://evrybodylovesomebody.wordpress.com/2012/04/05/a-bookish-affair/

    I’m new to blogging, so reading such posts is just heart warming!
    One fact more than any other caught my interest, library!! Can u you guide me to your library! I live in Hyderabad and have been scouting for a good library. But alas, without any results!

    • Welcome here Dreamer.

      I live in the UK, I will check with others in Hyd and let you know. I am sure there must be libraries there. Have you checked if there are online ones?

    • Hey, have you tried JustBooks? It’s my library in Bangalore, but I have been to the Hyderabad one too. Pretty good collection they have and you can always request for the ones they don’t have too.

      • Hmm.. This certainly looks very interesting!! I would have never found this, if not for you. Thanks a ton!! Will try it out!

        Thank you once again! Your good deed of the day is done! You can pretty much rest for the entire day now! :)

        • No problem! I have been so excited about finding the place myself, that I’m almost over enthusiastic in spreading the word about it. Glad to see you interested too, most people just look at me like I’m from outer space :D

  9. Hmmm Well if someone says books are for Shwoing off.. then hey Smitha do one thing next time make sure you DO SHOW OFF the books to them.. make it a point to show all the books you have and tell about all you have READ.. That will sort them

    I am sometimes amazed at what people come out with .. thats why its true when they say
    Kuch to log kahenge
    Logon kaa kaam hai Kehna …

    I wish i get time to read the books as i used to my loft is full of books and most of them i have not even read I do envy you on this a lot …

  10. Now, I can’t help wondering if there might be people who might consider it all a show-off. Do people think like that? I was really surprised to hear that some people do think of it as that..
    Yeah that was my first reaction to seeing your title alone :-| Where on earth did that idea come from?

    I have personally heard this :( I find it difficult to believe that people can think like this – but some do :(

    Unless you are writing reviews for books which are high on management gyan or scientific discoveries etc. just to show how intellectual you are, I don’t know how this statement would apply! :P

    I know! I wish some people understood that :)

  11. If I have to show-off, I will roam around in a Mercedes. Plated with Gold.
    Why will I read a book to show-off? And show-off what? That I am more intellectual than an idiot who thinks reading books is showing-off?
    As long as some idiot comes with such crazy ideas, believe me, there is no need to show-off anything.

  12. oh my..don’t ever think in those lines and take those words into you.. just think of it as another dumb comment by a dumb person..you never know how many of us you have helped with your reviews.. Seriously, you are one of the reason that pulled me back to my reading habit and I can’t thank you enough.. I had even mentioned you in my thanking post you remember? Please please pretty please go ahead with all your reviews.. I will always come back here when I need some recommendations.. I will definitely hunt for the “How to be a woman” book.. thanks again Smitha..

  13. It’s maybe just the insecurity of the person who doesn’t have the habit of reading. I have observed that a person with a book can suddenly make certain people very nervous. Anyway, that’s just my observation. I can safely say that no person who loves books can ever think of reading to show off. It may be true of someone who has only ever read Harry Potter (or just watched the movies) and claims to love books.

  14. One can’t control what people think or perceive. Just ignore. In the short time that I have been following your blog, am pretty impressed by the number of books you have written about.Wish my library stocked even 25% of the lot. And I also keep searching for people’s reading corner/bookshelves when visiting – just to learn about something new.

  15. I’m a bit surprised that people could think that readers read to show off. You could twist it around and say those who complain are simply jealous type. Having said that, I too am very much like you. I do read, but my area of reading material is much varied and includes, reports, papers, thesis, research books, IT, etc.

    I practically have a forest at my house and apartment, and although I continue to visit IKEA for that perfect book storage system, I still find that my books over-spill to window-sills and dinning table.

    Honestly, I don’t know what I would do without them.

  16. yes I know many like that who think reading anything other than textbook is showing off. No entertainment is so cheap as reading, nor any pleasure so lasting. ~Mary Wortley Montagu

  17. I have heard them by person but its all comes down to whether we care about them or not. Those who say surely wouldn’t have read a novel completely. If they do, they won’t talk like that :) Recently I found books are better than movies in registering a character to us. And the thrills provide by books are no less than the movies.

    Keep on reading and post those wonderful reviews Smitha.. They will all be much help to me when I am stuck with what to read :) :)

  18. ooh!! What a coincidence! Just the other day, a lady asked me something similar – “do you actually read all the books you bring from the library or do you show them off?!!”
    I was gobsmacked! And I told her as much as I love lugging around heavy books, I equally enjoy reading them as well!! :P :D

    And keep posting book names and reviews! Please! Because of you, I’m hooked to Tess and Connely! :D
    Because of you, I picked up so many good good books by Indian Authors…
    And because of you, I just might gather up courage to read Picoult! :)

  19. Erm. Never knew we could show off by reading books! How is that possible? I could believe it if you’d said we get to know something about the person by the kind of books he/she reads. But people read to show off? Then I’m totally dumb by missing the opportunity of carrying my heavy hardbound book on my office bus and show off to other dozing off colleagues. Please! I’m sad people even think that way.
    And what in the world will your friend do with your books? Waste their content by mere display in her library/reading room? Why does she even have one? I think the weirdness in the world suddenly increased by an enormous percent.

  20. You know, there was a recent survey of bookstore staff (done in UK, I think), and most of the weird queries they got were in the lines of – “I want a book on my shelf that will make me look intelligent. Do have one of those?”. The more we learn about our world, the crazier it seems to get!

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