5 ‘weird’ things not to say to your friend who reads fiction

The swords are drawn, the knives are out and the façade is dropped. The battle of fiction vs. non-fiction is out and loud. Like SAHM vs. Working Moms, like socialists vs. Fascists, the tussle between those who love reading classic vs. those who read only hard-core science and finance books are everywhere

5 weird things not to say to your friend who reads fiction

image credit: Pexels


In case, just by the mention of literature you behave like a cat firing a machine gun, then live in your air-castle. And go through this cheat-sheet of what not to ask a fiction-connoisseur.

1. “Reading fiction is a waste of time”

Years ago, my friend and I were having break-fast at a road-side food-joint.

He was having something super-healthy like egg-and-brown-breads and I was nibbling at a bowl of steaming hot instant noodles.

“Why do you even bother to eat instant noodles anymore? They have ajinomoto (Monosodium Glutamate), you’ll get fat, and you might catch cancer bla bla…” rebuked my friend, frowning at me – blissfully gulping down my soup-y noodles.

“Eating chowchow is bad and so is alcohol”, I retorted to my friend, who otherwise, used to guzzle beer like a cheetah on a blood lust.

Why you shouldn’t say this:

Wasting time is very personalized hobby. For you, reading a hard-cover Dracula is a waste of time.

For me, it’s watching more than one season of True Detective.


2. “What do you even gain by reading fictions?”

5 weird things not to say to your friend who reads fiction

image credit: Pexels

“Why do you read books?”

“Do they help you to make more money?”

“You are becoming ninny by reading fictions” (was suggested to me by my math teacher once seeing my aversion to numbers).

Why you shouldn’t say this:

Some read fiction for amorous kick mixed with beautiful prose(Lolita, Madame Bovary)

Some read to shoot up IQ + EQ (The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, LOTR).

If you are like me, you’d say, I read fiction for,

“…Cheap Thrills…”


3. “Read self-help genre instead”

Beware, as there is a war going on between those who read fiction and those who read anything but fiction.

The techbros, growth-hackers, day traders in my Facebook list belong to this category.

Their favorite pastime is scoffing at those who read Jane Austen and worshiping Timothy Ferris.

Why you shouldn’t say this:

Reading The 4Hour Workweek won’t make you

  • less of a pain-on-the-bum
  • a billionaire

Tidbit: Even the demi-god of our time Elon Musk, has presumably, fawned over few fictions, himself.

Here’s an interesting read-

View at Medium.com

4. “Okay, tell me a story then”

5 things not to say to friend who loves fiction

image credit: Pexels

…said the man many times on whom I lost a part of heart and subsequently recovered.

Heck, even my sister tells me sometimes mockingly “tell me a story because you read all the time and rarely have fun”.

Well, there is a reason why your ex is your ex and family is a bunch of people, barely putting up with each other ‘cause rent is high.

Anyway, I digress.

Why you shouldn’t say this:

Because I read hotchpotch of all things, doesn’t mean I carry a story at the tip of my tongue all the time.

There is an age bar for bed-time stories.

In such cases, I do tell something from Aesop’s fables, on which, the listener ultimately shows  no interest.


5. “I’ve never read fictions, pray, recommend me one”

This one gets my goat all the time.

Grown-up men and women, darting babe-in-the-woods look, might ask you sometime for a book recommendation, which probably is going to be the first book they will be reading, out of syllabus (I am not counting  magazines).

Why you shouldn’t say(or ask) this:

Before suggesting a book to a non-reader, I need to keep in my mind couple of factors-

  • Interest (recommending ‘Siddhartha’ by Herman Hesse is a pointless act to someone who always talks numbers).


  • Personality type (it could be little awkward to recommend ‘Bridget Jones’s Diary’ to a hard-core INTJ. Or may be there are nerdy quants  who love chick-lits).


  • Attention span ( no point of recommending ‘War and Peace’ if you have an attention span of a sparrow,well, I have).


Have someone ever mocked you for reading fictions? Do share with me.









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