Sunday, 20 October 2013

The Nine Bookish Commandments

In my previous post on Book Rage, I referred to the third rule of Reading, a guide which I have been working on to promote polite book decorum. Now, for your reading pleasure - and for the harmonious reading of books for all - I present to you... The Nine Bookish Commandments (because I couldn't think of any more). Heed these well, and you shall discover a higher plane of reading joy.

1. If thou dost borrow a book, thou shalt start reading it as soon as possible, and return it post-haste.
And, obviously, post-read. Because if someone has lent you a book, it's only polite to not hold on to it for ages and ages.

2. If thou dost lend a book, thou shalt not pester the borrower about where they are up to in it.
Because pressure is not the friend of the reader.

3. Thou shalt not start reading a book whilst someone else is reading it.
Let them finish first, dammit!

4. Thou shalt endeavour to conceal endings from those who have not quite finished yet.
Spoilers aren't cool, kids.

5. Thou shalt respect all books by reading at least 50 pages before giving up.
It's perfectly acceptable to not enjoy a book, or even want to finish it. But give it a proper try - 50 pages is a fair go.

6. Thou shalt not judge others for reading something you don't like.
So you're not into science-fiction, or romance, or whatever? That's fine - just don't make others feel bad if they are.

7. Thou shalt not interrupt a reader mid-read.
And ye shall know them by the bowed head, the vacant expression and the open book. Leave them be, for they are in a Book Trance, and to disturb could have grave consequences.

8. Thou shalt not read a book over someone's shoulder.
Lest they conk you on the nose with said book for your rudeness.

9. Thou shalt not be ashamed of thy read, if ye enjoy it.
 'Nuff said.

To disobey the Bookish Commandments will result in nothing, except perhaps a vague feeling of guilt every time you break one. But that's not the nicest feeling, so best to try and stick to 'em, just in case.

P. S. Naturally, I have disobeyed pretty much every Bookish Commandment at some point or other - but then, they didn't exist before, so technically, I was okay. Of course, from now on I'm screwed - I suffer from Catholic guilt, which means I feel guilty pretty much 99% of the time.

1 comment:

  1. 6. Totally, and I would extend it to Top 100 greatest books of all time list snobs. Not gonna do War and Peace. Just not going to happen. I read the first chapter and I just can't do it. Don't make me feel bad because I haven't read that and yet I have read Chocolat by Joanne Harris about fifteen times. (The first book I ever bought with my own money.) Boo to you snobs!