We all know the advantages of being a Bookworm – the richness of imaginative experience (a.k.a. day-dreams), the broadening of horizons (a.k.a. someone else’s ideas), the constant friend always by your side (a.k.a. book) and vast built-up reserves of general knowledge (a.k.a. trivia). But who talks about the disadvantages, huh? Besides the all-pervasive semi-myth about geeky bookworms (Simply stated, the myth goes Bookworms are geeky), who can speak, off-hand, about the problems, the real problems?
Think about it – you excavate your nose from the Lord of the Rings (the one they made the movie on, yes) and realise that in the past hour, your mom has volunteered you for dishwashing duty, your boyfriend has left you (you’re not sure why, you weren’t paying him any attention) and a little dog has begun to gnaw on your ankle… It’s just so easy to get lost in the make-believe worlds the authors lay down for you – for that matter, it’s easy to lose yourself in a book of general knowledge, if you have the right Worm-mindset (which all Bookworms do). You lose out on the real world.
Actually, this wouldn’t be such a tragedy if it were the only problem – after all, you just have to sit down and read every newspaper for the last three years, and you’ve caught up!
The real big whopping problem a Bookworm faces is the Non-Bookworm. The Non-Bookworm can be intelligent, dumb, cool or dweeby. It makes no difference.
Picture this – you blissfully hold your breath as the hero jumps the villain and proceeds to prove why he’s the hero. The drama and tension increase till you are on the edge of your seat – when suddenly a curious voice asks, “What are you reading?” Having received your hasty answer, the Non-Bookworm is not satisfied. “How many books do you read in a week?” “How can you read such thick, fat books?” “How can you read so much?” “Don’t you get tired, just reading-reading?” “Have you read this book before? You have? Why are you reading it again?” “What will you read next?” And finally, the No-brainer: “You know, I can’t read like you do.” (Duh.)
Worse yet (!) is the Non-Bookworm Best Friend. The one who believes that all your reading is excessive, and that you need to get a life (mere breathing and pulse-rate is not proof of life). “Come on, you! Put that stupid book away – let’s go have some fun!” (This always bewilders, since you think that you already are having fun). The friend continually knocks books out of reach, refuses to keep quiet and give you any peace, is always trying to have very noisy fun - by your standards, that is…
Worst of all (yes, there’s more!) is the Non-Bookworm-adult disapproval. Parents, teachers, mentors, grandparents all shake their heads and mutter “What she will do with her life, I don’t know. Always reading, reading, reading. Lost in some dream world.” Poor you is constantly reminded that exams are looming near, that no one can afford to lose a year, that reading so much is not healthy (You’ve never even suffered from the common cold, but no one pays any attention to that). After a while, even you, despite your habitual lack of attention, can repeat all these speeches by heart.
It’s a worm’s – sorry – It’s a dog’s life, being a Bookworm… The stress is so bad, you’ll need to read something to get away from it all.