Bookworms Explained #6.1: How to talk to us

Welcome to what will hopefully be a fairly long series of posts, where I attempt to explain the behavior and thoughts of a bookworm. If you’re a fellow bookworm, leave a comment at the end and tell me your thoughts on the topic. As something I will say, all bookworms have many similarities but we’ve also got our differences. There’s always the odd exception to the rule. 

Hey fellow bookworms and maybe some non-readers. You’re all welcome here, as today I try my best to decode our body language and behavior. As well as explain how to engage us in a conversation – both whilst we’re reading and when we’re not.  So enjoy, and remember to let me know your thoughts in the comments!


If you’re a bookworm please just sit back and enjoy and make sure to let me know, what you think. As really this is a post for all our non-reader friends, relatives, partners etc to try and learn how to talk with us. 

Hi there non-readers *waves* I swear to you that we don’t always hate you, it’s just we struggle to understand your logic. See our  logic usually revolves around books, for instance I equate how much something costs to how many books I could buy for the same price. (yes I’m a special dragon and I bite too *winks*) Fear not my poor confused non-reader folk, I’m here to try and explain to you how to understand us bookworm folk better.

So notepad, pen at the ready…or get ready to screenshot bits and bobs for future reference. As I get ready to do battle with my own behavior, quirks, bookworm logic. Basically I’m giving you the shiny gold key to our hearts and minds. Take care, be warned we’re not fragile flowers that are broken easily, knowledge is power my loves. 

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How to Talk to the bookworm: careful now we may cry or scream at any given moment, approach with caution…

The first thing you need to do is get us to talk to you. Now, whether you already know us, or perhaps you’ve seen a bookworm from a far and want to either be friends or I don’t know…ask them out? It’s good to know that you’re all in a similar boat here. Whether we know you well or not at all, it’s still tricky to know what to say to us. I get it ok, I know I’m a pain in the ass to talk to particularly when I’m reading or writing.

The good news is, there’s one topic you should steer clear of (unless you’re willing to die a painful death from us because we see through the pretense). Can you guess the topic? Yeah…books. Oddly enough you’d have thought a GREAT topic to talk to us about it books. Yeah well don’t. If you know us then it’s slightly different (remember how I said the boat was similar?) as you already know what we’re like as a person and how we act and react. If you don’t know us. Don’t start quizzing us on books.


I’m not saying this because you should never ever ask us about what we’re reading, or what are favourites books are. I’m saying it because as bookworms…there are a lot of things that piss us off and irritate us. Below are some questions for me and I think the majority of bookworms find irritating.

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‘What are you reading?’

Oh you poor poor poor soul. Didn’t your mother tell you, not to interrupt someone who’s reading? This is the most common question we get asked when we read in public…(it’s probably why we hate reading in public to be fair too many annoying questions) Now take notes guys, as depending on our reaction depends on whether you’ve pissed us off, annoyed us or you’ve intrigued us.

1 – If we blank you. I suggest you walk away slowly and leave us be. Whether we know you or not, if you get blanked we’re busy aka reading! We’re easily annoyed when our reading is interrupted. It’s like someone asking you whilst your watching TV or a film ‘What are you watching?’ or we stand in front of you asking what you’re watching. You get the point? It’s annoying. Most people make the mistake of asking us the question again if we blank them, and sometimes yes we honestly didn’t hear you, but often we don’t want to reply.

2 – We move the book So instead of just blanking you – we’ll usually move the book (do you know how much effort that is if we’re fricking comfy? a lot be grateful) so you can read the front cover and then the blurb on the back. That wasn’t an invite to then ask us if it’s good. That’s the cue to hush up and leave us to read.

3 – We reply with the title we’re reading and usually we stop reading and look at you. Now there’s two approaches we take to this one, if we still have the book OPEN but look up at you and reel off the title and authors name. Then congratulations my friend, you not only interest us (or we just like talking to you) enough for us to look at you and stop reading for a moment or two. If the book gets closed with our finger marking the place…wait for it.


If we do that, consider it a good thing and to an extent it also shows, that you’re either close to that bookworm; or they find you interesting enough to shut the book and look at you. *coughs* We’ll probably be analysing you like the weirdos we are, but it’s totally fine.

The first two responses are pretty much signals – that we don’t want to be disturbed. Te last one, is indicating that we don’t mind being disturbed if it’s that person disturbing us. Just a reminder that you should never take for granted that you’re immune to the first two reactions – as our mood also can influence how inclined we are to talk to people.

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‘What’s it about?’ : ‘Who’s it about?’

These two go hand in hand really, the thing is we’re never inclined to discuss what our current read is about with non-readers for one simple reason. We all believe you don’t actually care, and are just doing it to make a conversation. (this is why we don’t talk to bookworms about books unless you are genuinely interested) Don’t ask us these questions unless you’re actually curious and do want to know, as we don’t have time to tell someone, who doesn’t care what the book is about. We’re busy people ok.

Yes…we have lives.

Most of us a juggling so many things at once – it’s a wonder we’ve not been taken to the circus for a juggling act. Also another thing if you got response 3 from the first question, don’t push your luck ok. Take it as a win and just chat about something else. (more on that in a bit.)

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‘Is it good?’ : ‘Are you enjoying it?’

*rolls eyes* I’ve been asked so many times whilst reading these questions, and I can’t tell you how frustrated and pissed off I get. Yes it’s good. Yes I was enjoying it, before you decided to play 21 questions with me thinking I’ve got time, cause reading isn’t that important right? Right? Wrong.

These questions are reserved for when we’re not reading the book, a lot of people make the mistake of asking us these during our reading sessions. We don’t want to talk to people when reading. Usually when I’m reading, and someone I know is talking to me, when I’m not in the mood to talk (cause I just want to read) I’ll go ‘mmmm’ or ‘uh-huh’ nonsensical noises that sound like I’m actually listening when I’m not.  You’re better off waiting to ask us the questions when we’re not reading, we won’t want to murder you then…

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‘You read?’ : ‘Why are you reading that?’

Usually these are said in a judgmental way. Or shocked. Regardless it’s best for everyone, if you don’t let these words fall out of your trap, and keep your trap shut if you want to ask us that. It will make us annoyed, peeved and our opinion of you generally will lower. The first one, you could I suppose get away with, but be prepared for a sarcastic response or a glare.

Important note: All of these are our responses when asked WHILST reading. You’ll find you’ll get a totally different reaction if you ask us when we’re not reading. 

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Now as I’ve said before, while we are bookworms and do love our books to death. And if we let you touch the book hold the book, you should feel honored. I still flap about and watch my mum like a hawk when I loan her books. It’s stressful. Below are some topics, if it’s in red don’t ask us that until you know us a lot better. Even then, it’s best to let us come to you with that topic. If it’s green…feel free to ask us.

  • Make up
  • Fashion
  • Video games
  • Films/TV
  • Writing
  • Books/reading
  • Food
  • Favourite hot drink
  • Music interests
  • Blogging
  • Our hobbies (this is a hit or miss – as some of us may not have hobbies that aren’t in some way linked with books.)
  • School/college/uni/job 
  • Animals

If you notice the things in red all connect with reading/writing. Generally speaking, we find it uncomfortable talking about our writing, reading and blog (if we have one) with people. Mainly because we feel like they’re going to start judging us, and asking a million and one questions. If you notice the range of choices in green are also the same topics you’d talk about with any other person. That’s because we also do have other interests, as bookworms we love reading and words. Thanks to our love of words, it has lead most of us to develop an opinion on a wide variety of topics.

Each bookworm will react differently to the topics above and some may not even mind if you broach the topics in read. It really does depend on how we are as a person and how we view YOU the person asking us it.


So this was 6.1 decoding how to engage us in a conversation. If you already know us, you’ll know what we’re like better so my best advice is to watch that persons body language to gauge what you should ask or talk about. In 6.2 I’m going to be decoding our body language for you – as it can mean numerous things depending on the situation and obviously you’re treating us like every other person. Then in 6.3 I’ll decode our weird logic and how even when YOU my non-reader friend are right…you’re still wrong in our logic.

Thank you so much for reading! If you’ve missed the other posts in this series HERE is the catalogue with all of them linked. And a little bit of me talking about how, this series came to be. Have a wonderful day!


7 thoughts on “Bookworms Explained #6.1: How to talk to us

  1. This is hilarious. Of course I don’t want to make a polite conversation about books, when we know you are a non reader and especially when I am already reading. Why is that such a difficult thing to understand. Would you like us talking to you about XYZ book for an hour? No? Then stop asking us becuase if we ever start we can never stop. *end of rant*

    Liked by 1 person

    • So true, so true. There will come a time (I hope) when non readers will realise not to start talking to us about books particularly when we’re reading. And when that time comes – it will be oh so glorious haha 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Just never talk to a bookworm whilst they’re reading. That’s the golden rule.

    To be honest, I like people asking me about my favourite books/books I like. THEY might regret it once I start telling them about them though… 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • That is totally the golden rule.

      See I don’t trust people who start asking me about my book, mainly because I always assume they’re not actually interested and are just picking my brains for the sake of it. I don’t mind so much if I’m not like reading atm in time. 🙂

      My grandma often regrets asking me about books, I go into for presentation mode depending on the questions and gear up for a lengthy explanation/rant haha


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