To think you shouldn't constantly TALK to someone who is reading a book?

(60 Posts)
AwfulMaureen Tue 15-Apr-14 23:13:47

Staying at my Mum's for the past week prior to moving into new place. We talk all day long as she only works in the morning for a couple of hours...we're together a lot.

in the evening, I sometimes try to read while she watches her tv shows...she keeps bloody talking to me intermittently!

OldLadyKnowsSomething Tue 15-Apr-14 23:18:52

DH does this to me. He's watching telly, and I'm engrossed in a book. Then the ad break comes on... Or something "spectacular" happens in a sporting event (cries of "Come on ref! That was offside!") and I'm supposed to take an interest. Drives me nuts. I may sometimes make a snidey comment.

But for me, it's been 30 years. You, dear op, can simply grit your teeth and count the days. smile

(He's talking to me now, even though he can see I'm typing... )

thebodydoestricks Tue 15-Apr-14 23:21:32

Very annoying when I am reading and dh does this to me but he annoys me when he reads and I'm not as I feel it's excluding me and rude!

I know mad.but can see both sides.

SanityClause Tue 15-Apr-14 23:21:38

What? Not even to ask them what the book is about? Or why they're laughing, when that will mean they have to explain loads of stuff to you, and then you still won't get it?

I'd better tell DH.

AwfulMaureen Tue 15-Apr-14 23:22:12

I can't stand it! Surely it's rude!? I could take myself off to another room I suppose but that seems rude too....why can't we both sit in the sitting room? Why must she always interrupt me!

SanityClause Tue 15-Apr-14 23:24:18

My MIL believes that reading a book in the presence of other people is rude.

This doesn't apply to newspaper or magazines, though, only books.

MidniteScribbler Tue 15-Apr-14 23:25:02

Justifiable homicide.

RevoltingPeasant Tue 15-Apr-14 23:25:43








RevoltingPeasant Tue 15-Apr-14 23:26:29

Sanity what does she do in libraries? confused

AwfulMaureen Tue 15-Apr-14 23:28:39

Sanity lol! Was she always taking umbrage when she was in school?

Percephone Tue 15-Apr-14 23:29:26

Hmm I think that sitting there engrossed in a book / tablet / headphones in the presence of another person when it's just the two of you is kind of rude too. You might as well not be there.

Minshu Tue 15-Apr-14 23:29:30

My Gran used to hand me a paper / magazine and tell me to read a particular article, then start talking to me about that article or something totally unrelated within 3 seconds. Drove me nuts.

DP asks me what something is about - could be book, article or something on TV - the very moment I pick it up or turn the TV on, before I get a chance to read the title!! I now do it to him, too smile

AwfulMaureen Tue 15-Apr-14 23:31:21

Percephone How on earth are people meant to relax in the presence of their family then?

I have to be here...I'm living here! Saying I might as well not be there is silly...I'm not on standby for her comments about biscuits, the Queen, the government and the woman over the road who never mows!

CorusKate Tue 15-Apr-14 23:31:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

AwfulMaureen Tue 15-Apr-14 23:32:50

Minshu I used to work in a theatre...loads of LOOOONG periods of sitting about involved. I sometimes read a book and I used to get unreasonably annoyed by people saying "What are you reading?"

"Well I WAS reading X but I'm not now! You just interrupted me!"

AwfulMaureen Tue 15-Apr-14 23:34:15

Corus Yes...reading in company COULD be rude in certain situations...out for dinner! At a BBQ with the neighbours...having a smear done...not sitting in the sitting room of the house you're staying in for two weeks with your own Mum!

OldLadyKnowsSomething Tue 15-Apr-14 23:35:31

But Percephone, if dh is engrossed in a tv programme in which I have no interest, am I supposed to sit there doing nothing, while waiting for him to acknowledge my existence? Fuck that for 30 sodding years. Grr.

AwfulMaureen Tue 15-Apr-14 23:36:16

Exactly OldLady!

CorusKate Tue 15-Apr-14 23:37:13

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TheLadyRadishes Tue 15-Apr-14 23:37:15

My mum does this. It doesn't matter what you're reading or indeed if you are trying to watch telly, she just doesn't like the attention not being on her so she will try to start a conversation about something unrelated, try to make you look at something she's reading (grrr!) or even decide to stalk around you and take unwanted photos of you. The kids hate it! And I think if you are staying over at someone's house, so you are there for a while not just a couple of hours - or obviously if you live with them - there has to be some let-up. You can't talk non-stop and if someone wants to read or watch a programme they should be allowed to.

Nennypops Tue 15-Apr-14 23:38:10

Hmm I think that sitting there engrossed in a book / tablet / headphones in the presence of another person when it's just the two of you is kind of rude too

Goodness, I just don't see how that could work. Imagine if you're in a long term relationship - are you seriously going to spend every moment when in the other person's company making sprightly conversation? I think one of the most companionable things you can do is to sit quietly and cosily with your other half while both of you get on with whatever you like doing, whether it's reading, listening to music, doing something creative, or whatever.

thebodydoestricks Tue 15-Apr-14 23:39:09

Lol at reading during a smear would it be 50 shades?

AwfulMaureen Tue 15-Apr-14 23:48:24

Body no it would be

Percephone Wed 16-Apr-14 00:13:36

I think it depends on the situation. If the other person is also engrossed in something then it's fine. Your mum is obviously not engrossed in the TV if she wants to chat.

DrizzlyTuesday Wed 16-Apr-14 00:17:08

It's really annoying when people try to talk when you're reading. DP does it all the time and then gets cross when I don't reply!

ElseaStars Wed 16-Apr-14 00:27:04

YANBU my husband does this and I end up reading the same sentence about 6 times. I don't care about the footie man, just let me read!

People who don't read books are fucking barbarians anyway. That's why they bleat and pester and drive you mad when you're reading.

I appreciate that it's not polite to read during, say, someone else's birthday dinner, or when visitors have come for the afternoon, but when it's general relaxation time or you have nothing particular to do, other people should shut the fuck up and let you read. And I absolutely can't stand the sort of people who will insist on watching shit on television because they like it and keep pestering you about it when you woud rather read.

RedFocus Wed 16-Apr-14 08:27:21

My dh does that to me when I'm reading mn. When I only give him one worded answers he will then ask if I'm in a bad mood. Hmmm silly man.

Ambergold Wed 16-Apr-14 08:36:50

I now listen to audio books on my iPhone, if they want my attention they have to wait for me to pause my book and remove headphones, then they have to repeat what they said. Funnily enough I don't get so many interruptions's too much effort for them wink

badidea Wed 16-Apr-14 08:45:17

Can you not just go upstairs and read in your bedroom? If you just want to read and don't want conversation is that not a clearer message to your mum? She might think the fact that you're choosing to sit in front of telly with a book is a red light to involve you in chat.

I think YABU in relation to sitting in a livingroom with someone and expecting them not to talk to you.

If you were on a train/beach reading and some random stranger kept talking to you I'd think you were being reasonable.

I agree that books/ipods etc do function as anti-social devices, but when you're in your mums house, in her livingroom and you're reading, its unreasonable to expect her not to talk to you.

redskyatnight Wed 16-Apr-14 08:45:44

I think it depends. DH likes to watch TV in the evening. I don't. So I sit and read a book. He will occasionally tell me about something that is happening in the TV programme. I will occasionally tell him something about the book. Or either of us might randomnly chat about something that occurs to us. It's our way of being companionable whilst not doing the same thing iyswim.

Of course, sometimes DH wants to watch a programme with no intererruptions, or I want to concentrate on my book - in those cases we accept we are being anti-social so either wait until the other is out/doing something else, or simply announce that we'd like some time to ourselves.

I think if you're reading in a communal family area, you're fair game for being disturbed unless you've explicitly asked otherwise.

ProfessorSkullyMental Wed 16-Apr-14 08:46:13

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

RachelWatts Wed 16-Apr-14 08:50:31

My DH used to do this. Not so much now though.

I remember once, I was reading and he wanted us to go out. I wanted to finish the chapter so I told him I was going to read for 5 minutes and then get ready.

He said OK, then sat down next to me and chatted at me for 5 minutes, then expected me to put my book down and go and get ready. He was a bit put out when I then read for another 5 minutes!

Turns out he thought I'd arbitrarily decided not to get ready until X time, and was reading for something to fill the time, so would appreciate a chat more than looking at a boring book. When in actual fact I was at a crucial bit in a really gripping novel, and wanted to get to a natural break point which I estimated would take about 5 minutes if no-one interrupted me.

pictish Wed 16-Apr-14 09:04:56

Basically, relationship wise...if you're a reader, then you need to be with another reader, or at the very least, a reading sympathiser.

People who don't read don't 'get' books and how absorbing they are. They will see nothing wrong in chatting to a person who is reading, because to the naked eye, they're not doing anything. Their face isn't even pointed at a screen!

As for the notion that reading a book around someone else is rude...well no...not if it's your own house and you're with immediate family it's not. It's a valid use of your own time.

Dh is a reader so I'm ok there, but he doesn't watch any tv, so if I ever do, he one of those annoying dicks who ask questions about it the whole time.
Who's he?
What's going on?
How come she's in London now?
What's going on?

As if you would like to turn your attention from the action as it happens to bring him up to speed on the sodding plot he's not even interested in watching! Diiiiicckk. angry


When I go to the library (I live in Vietnam) and people see a foreigner with a visual impairment reading a Vietnamese book, they ask me questions.

Callani Wed 16-Apr-14 09:32:08

YANBU - the worst thing? When someone sees you reading and says "seeing as you're not doing anything, will you just..."

Drives me mad! Actually, I am doing something, I'm reading!

ScrambledEggAndToast Wed 16-Apr-14 09:45:02

Slightly different but my DP will talk to me when I am watching my favourite shows about the most inane thing even when he can see I am engrossed. It will usually be something along the lines on "mum and dad's next door neighbour's grandson is off to Majorca in October". Big wow, I have never met this persongrin

Seeing as I have about 3 programmes that I really like you would think he would let me watch them in peace. When the rugby is on, I let him watch it quietly as I know he enjoys it. Grrrr.

My dh does this. I only get my kindle out in the evenings if he is watching something I'm not interested in. He then comments on the programme I'm not watching while I'm trying to read. I tend to go to bed.

I wonder how gendered this is. Given that there is a general perception that if a woman is doing something and a man comes into the room, she is supposed to turn her attention to him immediately...

Kerosene Wed 16-Apr-14 10:23:57

If DH hadn't interrupted my reading, we'd never have got together. OTOH, I was reading at the bus stop, which is a less focused experience to reading on the sofa.

He knows the rules now. Besides, it's nice for us to be able to be in the same space, even if we're doing different things. You don't have to be constantly talking to enjoy each other's presence.

Our flatmate, however, is another story. "Oooh, what are you reading? Is it good? What's it about? I once read a book like that, but it was about something completely different and the cover was red or maybe it was blue? The main character was a man that thought he was a dragon, and they played space football with severed heads...."
Dude. I've got my headphones on, nose in a book. The main light is off and I've just got the reading light on. I'm only in the living room because DH is playing a videogame (with you! He's waiting for you to get back!) that involves lots of shouting at each other over the network and our computers are in the bedroom. None of this is a signal of being open for conversation.

FunkyBoldRibena Wed 16-Apr-14 10:30:23

Can you wait until her TV show starts and then start talking about your book/friends she doesn't know/some random celeb she doesn't like, loudly. Shut up when the adverts are on [or if she presses 'pause'] and then start up each time she starts watching it. When she says 'do hush up dear' explain nicely that she has been doing the same to you and you just want to read!

FunkyBoldRibena Wed 16-Apr-14 10:31:55

See I also read in the bath or go to bed to read as my OH watches sports and shouts or mutters constantly at the TV - he isn't trying to interrupt me but it's so annoying and I need peace and quiet when I read.

pictish Wed 16-Apr-14 10:33:21

sgb - I'm not sure it's a gender thing. I talk to dh when he's WoWing, much to his consternation sometimes, and OP says it's her mum that's guilty.
We're mostly women who live with men, so stands to reason our complaints would take that direction. I think men very likely complain of the same...talking during football/reading/WoW.

Grennie Wed 16-Apr-14 10:35:29

I think if you are only visiting for a fortnight, YABU.

TulipOHare Wed 16-Apr-14 11:15:30

YANBU. Have experienced this before with flatmates and it's bloody irritating. Luckily I am from a family of readers so don't get it from them. It's not unusual (at Christmas, family get-togethers etc) for us all to be sitting around in silence each engrossed in a book. It's not rude, it is peaceful and relaxing.

YANBU. If one person is watching the TV, and another person wants to read a book, why shouldn't they be able to coexist in the same room? The idea that you ought to go to another room because you're not bein 'social' is a red herring. You can be sociably quiet together, and involved in your own pursuits, while still in the same room.

I'm trying to remember a quote from something I read once where, in the main character's family, picking up a book was seen as a 'cry for help' in that, if you were reduced to doing something so incredibly boring, you must actually be looking for attention, so they would all immediatley try to find you something 'better' to do with your time.

AntiDistinctlyMinty Wed 16-Apr-14 11:53:22

Early on in our relationship DH stayed over on a Saturday night. I woke up before him so sat up and started reading my book. He got up about ten minutes later, went and made a pot of tea and got back into bed with his own book. We sat there for hours just reading together. I knew right there that he was the man for me grin

DF on the other hand constantly interrupts reading/tv when they come to stay - it drives me (and DM) up the wall!

ThePrisonerOfAzkaban Wed 16-Apr-14 12:05:33


I used to read 2-3 books a week since I've been with my dp I've not got though 1! In 2 years, every time I try to read I keep on getting interrupted and give up on the book!

kentishgirl Wed 16-Apr-14 12:15:34

I'm from a reading family so don't think it's rude to read around other people when you are both just chilling out doing your own things.

Ex used to get really annoyed by it (twat) although he was only glued to Sky or Fox news on TV continually, and actually had no interest in talking to me either.

New chap is a reader! Thank God! I think it would have been a dealbreaker otherwise, having experienced living with a non-reader.

Jjou Wed 16-Apr-14 14:49:26

DH gets miffed if I 'ignore' him by reading a book. Conversely, on the rare occasions he's engrossed in a book he gives me a blow-by-blow account of exactly what's happening in his at any given time.
Drives me batty!

rumbleinthrjungle Wed 16-Apr-14 15:00:16

This is why I only read in the bath where I can lock the door and get some peace!

My DM also has this brilliant habit of inviting me to watch a film with her, putting the film on and then talking to me about completely unrelated things the entire way through it. Then asking at the end if I enjoyed the film.

"No idea Mum, I didn't hear one word of it."

Oldraver Wed 16-Apr-14 15:05:24

My OH and DS still does, interrupt or look over my shoulder when I'm on the laptop. I've trained OH out of it and its an ongoing work with DS.. To me its not different from reading a book but they seem to think its ok to interrupt, OH is a big book reader and he wouldn't like constant interuptions but a screen seems fair game

SuburbanRhonda Wed 16-Apr-14 15:08:51

If I'm reading and someone interrupts, I put my finger on the sentence I'm reading and look up distractedly, to let them know I'm going back within seconds to my more interesting pursuit.

DH knows the look and has learned not to bother trying to engage me when I'm reading grin

ThatBloodyWoman Wed 16-Apr-14 15:12:54

I listen politely to the first couple of interruptions, then announce 'can you ve quiet now,I'm trying to read'.
I don't pussyfoot around.I give a clear request.
If they continue to talk, I then glare and tell them to shut up.

lessonsintightropes Wed 16-Apr-14 16:38:06

I knew DH was a keeper when he let me read uninterrupted. YANBU.

Objection Wed 16-Apr-14 16:40:31

Kill her.

Objection Wed 16-Apr-14 16:40:33

Kill her.

Objection Wed 16-Apr-14 16:47:40

Crikey, its light hearted to post that once but vaguely threatening twice.
Computer malfunction, sorry!

ThatBloodyWoman Wed 16-Apr-14 16:51:24

Twas a little unnerving Objection

<edges away>

lessonsintightropes Wed 16-Apr-14 16:58:28

<hides behind thatbloodywoman>

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