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“You Haven’t Got Very Far, Have You?”

Shut the hell up.

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“You haven’t got very far, have you?” was a remark I had last week regarding the book I was reading for my summer reading challenge. 

I know that it’s meant to be a conversation starter but there are many things wrong with that simple question:

  1. I’m reading. Fuck off. (Rude, but true)
  2. I’ve been reserving this book for my lunch break, which is being disturbed by questions like that
  3. What’s that even supposed to mean? Should I have read more of it since yesterday? Am I somehow letting the side down by not being past the halfway mark yet?
  4. I am a fast reader but I’m slowing down in order to see if I’m missing anything in my regular speed read sessions and because I can’t concentrate
  5. I haven’t had my lunch yet and I’m annoyed with you, please go away. Return only in silence and with a cup of tea.

I find that reading on my lunch break leads to several responses; there’s the head-cocked-to-read-the-cover response (acceptable if there are no followup remarks), the ‘is it any good?’, the ‘why are you reading again?’, the ‘I’ve seen the film. It was rubbish’ (hush now, vile heathen – go away) and now my least favourite ‘you haven’t got very far’.

What sort of book interruptions do you find particularly annoying? You may well be a much better person than I and not get as annoyed by interruptions though – if you are this kind of angel, any kind of meditiation tricks to quell the rage?

“When angry, count four. When very angry, swear.”
Mark Twain

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