5 Things That Annoy Me When I’m Reading

22/08/2015 Reading 26

5 Things That Annoy Me When I'm ReadingWhen I was a kid, I could read practically anywhere. I would be too engrossed in my imaginary worlds to even notice what was happening in the classroom/waiting room/living room/car around me. These days not so much!

Don’t get me wrong, I still love reading (which is pretty good seen as you’re currently reading my book blog!). It’s just these days real life seems to be able to puncture my imagination more easily, what with the stresses of work, reality of paying bills and all those other boring adult things I now have to do. Plus reading in the car now makes me sick. And usually I’m driving!

Anyway, these are the five things that distract me from reading and therefore are a pretty big annoyance. What annoys you when you’re trying to read?

1. People talking to me.

Don’t talk to me when I’m reading. Just don’t. I’m liable to give you the evils. Or ignore you. Or simply not notice.

2. People asking ‘what are you reading?’

It’s nice to show an interest, but this question falls under the ‘talking to me when I’m reading’ offence. Plus if I’m in the early stages of the book I might not know yet. I could be reading ‘THE BEST BOOK EVER!!!’, a tolerable fantasy saga, or even a potential DNF, so you have to give me time to make an informed decision.

3. People questioning my love of reading.

All readers have heard it before: ‘why do you like reading? It’s so boring!’ Now you have not only flouted the ‘don’t talk to me when I’m reading’ rule, but you’ve also insulted me. If you like playing football I wouldn’t got to a match and stand at the sidelines shouting ‘why do you like football? It’s so boring!’, so don’t do it to me when I’m reading!

4. People reading over my shoulder.

Sitting next to another person when you’re reading can be annoying, simply because you can sense them next to you, and sometimes it can feel as if they are looking over your shoulder. Or maybe that’s just me?

Even if they aren’t (and I’m pretty sure most of the time they aren’t), it still feels as if they are. That’s why I hate reading on a train for example: not only do you feel like all the other passengers are judging you based on your reading taste, but the one sitting next to you who didn’t have the foresight to bring any entertainment is peering over your shoulder and breathing down your neck the whole time!

5. Music.

Oddly I can read with the TV on, but not with music playing. I think the problem with music is that, especially if I know and like the song, I find my mind automatically singing along, which understandably interferes with my reading. The words I want in my head when I’m reading are the ones on the page, not the ones in my ear!

So fellow bookworms, what annoys you when you read? I guess my list basically amounts to people and music!

26 Responses to “5 Things That Annoy Me When I’m Reading”

  1. Natalie @ Flowers in my Books

    THE MUSIC THING! TV I’m fine with but if music is playing then I’m inclined to sing along, it’s just how I am.

    And I HATE people talking to me when I’m reading. CAN’T YOU SEE I’M BUSY PEOPLE????

    • Laura

      That’s my problem with music. I can’t not sing along! 🙂 And I really don’t understand why people don’t get the hint when I’m holding a book. It means leave me alone!

      • Sydney

        Huh, I’m actually the opposite. I like having music (usually relating to the mood of the book), but I cannot read with the TV on because I want to see what’s going on with the show!

        • Laura

          I can see how mood music might enhance your reading experience if you’re OK with music playing while you read. I struggle reading with the TV on if it’s something I actually want to watch, but usually it’s just when I’m with my family and they’re watching something on TV that I have no interest in!

  2. Hillary Roberts

    I REALLY hate people talking to me when I am reading. I do my best evil stare when this happens. Sounds don’t bother me as I am Deaf but if I could hear that would probably be on my list also.

    • Laura

      I also have a special evil stare reserved for people who talk to me when I’m reading. It must be scary, because it definitely works!

    • Laura

      It has happened to me a couple of times, and it almost ended in fisticuffs! I aggressively defended reading anyway.

  3. Silvara

    I hate it when people talk to me when I’m reading too. Especially if it’s a good book! Music and TV don’t bother me too much unless they’re really loud. If the book is good, I can tune out a lot of background noise. (If it’s not good, I can’t tune ANYthing out! *laughs* )

    I haven’t had anyone try to read over my shoulder, which is good as they’d most likely get the Look of Death until they moved away.

    I do hate when someone sees you reading a book, and goes all “I loved that book! Have you gotten to….?” If I’m past that part, it’s one thing. But if I haven’t gotten there yet? Way to ruin things! (Equally bad is if they hated the book, and tell you why!)

    • Laura

      It definitely helps to tune things out if you’re reading a really good book, but those are the ones you definitely don’t want interrupting!
      And I also have a special Look of Death which I give anyone who annoys me when I’m reading, and it must be good because so far it has been very effective.
      It has never happened to me yet where someone has spoiled a book for me like that, and I hope it never does because I would be furious! Why would you do that?

  4. Amber :)

    All of these are so true! If you see me reading, what in the world makes you think I want to talk to you? And then I’ve had people get mad because I’m literally on the last 10 pages of a book when they come up to me, so I walk into another room so I can finish the book. It’s not rude. I’m clearly interested in finishing this book before engaging in coversation. Can you not wait 5 minutes!

    • Laura

      That is so true. Surely reading is a universal sign that means ‘don’t talk to me’? And I would totally do that too, and leave the room to finish the book. It would be rude to the book to leave it with only a few pages unread!

  5. Irene

    Unlike you, I can’t read with the TV on. Gentle instrumental music is OK, anything else and I’ll focus on the music instead of the book. A variation of talking to me when I’m reading: somebody mentioning something ‘interesting’ that they’ve just read. If it’s that interesting, I’ll read the book myself.

    • Laura

      Reading with the tv on isn’t ideal, but it doesn’t seem to distract me as much as music (probably because I can’t have a good sing-along to that!). That is definitely annoying though when someone says about something interesting they’ve read. It’s just like ‘well I’m reading something interesting now, so leave me alone so I can keep reading it!’

  6. anni9e

    i’ve never gotten #3 or #4 but i definitely agree with you on the first two. it really really bugs me when people try to talk to me while i’m reading, unless it’s a book i’m not very into then i’d welcome any distraction but if it’s a book i’m so into, i just want to go SHUT UP. and number two is really annoying not for the reasons you listed but just because it usually never leads anywhere so it’s like ugh did you really have to interrupt me? because i’ll answer with the title and a brief summary and then the person USUALLY looks at me with a blank face and then asks if it’s good and it’s just such a pointless conversation. but sometimes i’ll tell them what i’m reading and they’ll have read it too so that’s quite fun when we can share our opinions of it but it’s otherwise very very annoying.

    and funny, i’m the opposite. i can’t read with the tv on but i can with music in the background!

    • Laura

      It’s true that ‘what are you reading?’ is a question that never seems to lead anywhere. I find that people who are likely to interrupt you when you’re reading tend not to be readers (so they don’t know how annoying it is!) so they might not have heard of the book anyway, so it’s kind of a pointless question.

  7. Artemis J Jones

    1 & 5 . But truthfully I’m my own worst enemy on concentration. Fiction always makes my mind wonder off and I get distracted from the book by my own thoughts.
    I read also non-fiction and get less innate distractions.

    • Laura

      I get like that sometimes too, where the distraction is actually just my own thoughts. Mostly it’s the things on this list though!

  8. Elizabeth the Evil Overlord

    I used to be able to read anywhere with anything going on, I’d get so lost in a book. Now outside things bother me also. If I am reading during the day, I will turn off the ringer and alerts on the phone, because of course people are the most annoying thing while reading. I also hate if the room gets too hot/cold and I have to move and adjust things. Don’t know if that makes me lazy or just way into my book.
    In a book, I will get annoyed if sentences/paragraphs are awkwardly constructed and I have to re-read to better understand and then I start thinking about how the author should have put the sentence together for better understanding. I think I hate it because it takes me out of the story.

    • Laura

      I had forgotten about phones! It can be so distracting when you’re reading if your phone goes off. If I’m texting someone I can’t start reading until I have finished the conversation because I can’t concentrate if I’m always expecting my phone to go off.
      I find that annoying too. I find if sentences are too long I forget the start and have to go back, and it really effects my reading experience.

  9. Dawn-Michelle Waddell

    Agree with you! I listen to certain types of classical or instrumental music while reading. I have had people come up and stand there till I acknowledge their presence. Take the headphones off with book in hand and ask me, “Whatcha doin’?” gaaaaa!

    • Laura

      I bet classical music isn’t too distracting. The problem I have is that all the music I listen to has singing in it, so I end up mentally singing along! I’ll have to try the instrumental music thing and see if it’s distracting or not.

  10. Michael E. Henderson

    That list pretty much as it. I need silence. I’m a writer, and as a writer you have to read a lot. It’s part of the job. People talk to you and interrupt you while you’re reading because they don’t consider reading to be “doing” anything.

    • Laura

      It really is annoying how people don’t seem to consider reading as doing anything, and constantly try and interrupt. Reading requires more concentration than a lot of other activities, so silence is kind of a requirement!

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