A few months ago, I dreamt of waking up to Instagram notifications that screamed all my favorite authors are now following me. For any young reader, this is the absolute dream.
A typical young reader in my days was reciprocated with “so you read books? I hate you. You are awkward. And a nerd. And obnoxious and theatrical. And judging me. You’re short. And ugly. And weak. And lame. And you look like the geek you are! I’m embarrassed to show you to my friends. I mean this is where I should use my youth to snag the hotties. Not settle for the nerds. I don’t care if you understand me more than these jocks do. Or if u can play video games like a pro. You’re BORING with all these books piling around you dragging you away from the reality that you’re clearly NOT COOL…”
The world has changed drastically in the past few decades – LGBT is a topic not avoided anymore, gender equality has improved and kids are educated about racism. But it is still THE most imp thing in teenage, to be considered cool.
And as I grow up the most frustrating thing I find is a tweet by the most popular girl of the university saying “omg!!! I’m reading this book its so thrilling and awesome I guess I’ll read more” like shut up the book in question is TFIOS only because everyone told you Chetan Bhagat is lame.
And the very same people I talked about earlier have their thoughts filtered and carefully refilled, not to offend any trend that makes them look attractive.
It goes like” OKAY. I found my new kink. It’s the love sprinkling poems by Rupi Kaur. Did you feel the betrayal in this story? Shit, I can totally relate to it. Ofcourse books are better than movies. Me? I read HP when I was 9, LOL! Woah woah. Did you just spell ‘psychology’ without the P?! I’m a Grammar Nazi. Come fight me! But only on the internet. I’m a #introvert in real life ;)”
Here’s to the fake readers. The literal plastic fans. As I struggle to concentrate on a non-bestselling novel, I see you wrapping around yourself books like Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck and wearing that Reading is My Hobby smile on your face. I want to look at you with red swollen eyes, hair all messy and shout : My culture is not your goddamn prom dress!