8 Ways to Enrage a Reading Bookworm

While reading, a bookworm is generally at his or her most vulnerable - their life force is almost tied to the book in their hands, and interrupting the flow between reader and story can result in extreme irritation, violently targeted at you.

That's why it's so much fun such an utterly terrible thing to do.

I merely include these strategies so you can avoid them, and prevent hordes of angry bookworms coming at you with their hardback of choice because you picked on a member of the community at a time when they couldn't defend themselves. DO NOT try this at home*.

*for most bookworms, this should read "the library".

#1 - "What are you reading?"

This one is an absolute classic, and great for stealth annoyance because it seems so innocent and friendly - but the thing with reading bookworms is that they don't WANT you to be innocent and friendly. They want you to be silent and preferably not even there.

For bonus points, once they have muttered a one word answer or swivelled the cover in your direction for you to read, ask what it's about. But be prepared to have a book thrown at your head.

#2 - Spoilers

Admittedly, this requires a little bit of prior knowledge, but will result in anger. Screaming. Tears, even. If you really want to torment one of our number (which is still totally not okay, by the way) then ruining a book for them is a brilliant way to do it. The best spoiler artists will do it in the most subtle of ways, namely through fake excitement. "Have you got to the bit where {insert spoiler here}", followed by an innocent look when  faced with incoherent rage usually does the trick.

#3 - Be a school bell. Ring.

The end of lunchtime is my least favourite part of the day - it involves PUTTING AWAY THE BOOK AND WALKING AWAY FROM THE LIBRARY.

What even is this?

#4 - Ask them to do something important.

If you have a bookwormy best friend or colleague, then you probably know this already, but there is absolutely no way a reading bookworm will be able to do anything useful for at least ten minutes after closing the book - usually longer if you wrench them away from it. This might be annoying, but do you really want that super-important job done by someone with at least half their brain in Narnia, Westeros or Panem?

I think not.

If they have homework to do, then remind gently. Please. Gently. And don't expect immediate results under any circumstances.

#5 - Create some form of discomfort.

It takes a bit of innovation to make one artificially (I'm sure one of you geniuses would work out an elaborate system involving fans) but one thing that will seriously interrupt a good reading session is a draft. Or sun in my face. Or achy arms. Or numb limbs. Or heat. Or cold. Or-

Basically, a reading bookworm has about as much environment flexibility as Goldilocks crossed with Sheldon Cooper. We like to be comfy and do not like the opposite.

#6 - Snatch the book.

It's kind of obvious, but bookworms react horribly if you remove their book from them. You're effectively baby-snatching. I've actually been known to follow my Dad around the house when he has my book in his hand, but that's mostly because he holds it open to taunt me.

Just try not to rip a page from the book as you snatch it. This will result in a bookworm so hysterical that you need to spend several hours calming them down, and possibly several pounds placating the librarian with a new one.

#7 - Reveal a plot flaw.

When you adore a book, it's almost like you're wearing blinkers - plot niggles will often fade away in favour of the shiny brilliance that is the rest of the story, and when they're pointed out, it usually ruins the whole experience.

When you first drop your flaw-bomb, expect to be told that you're wrong. Denial is the first step to acceptance, after all. Once the penny drops, though, there will be stunned silence, dropped jaws and even quiet whimpering as they mourn the loss of a previously perfect book.

#8 - Insult their favourite character.

If someone tried to tell me that Luna Lovegood wasn't brilliant or smart in her own way while I was reading Harry Potter, I think I would punch them. Physical violence is a usual reaction here, because most bookworms will be too outraged to make rational argument. At that point, we tend to just hit or scream at the offending person.

Hey. You're the one that insulted Luna Lovegood. If you want a black eye, tell me Umbridge is amazing. I. Dare. You.


Yes, I may have overused a GIF there, but it sums up basically my reaction to everything while reading. ALSO IT IS MY FAVOURITE AND MY BEST AND YOU WON'T EVEN HEAR ME APOLOGISING. #sorrynotsorry

I've also had a sudden realisation that I may have just revealed the fatal flaws of both myself and the wider book community. Oops. *Ends blog post before the fangirl police can start tracking.*

In the comments: What other things frustrate you when you're reading? Which people need to be named and shamed? And just how annoying is the phrase "what are you reading?"?
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