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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!

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!

SolidGoldBrass Wed 16-Apr-14 01:02:10

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

hellokittymania Wed 16-Apr-14 09:17:22


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.

shoppingbagsundereyes Wed 16-Apr-14 09:57:59

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.

SolidGoldBrass Wed 16-Apr-14 10:01:31

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.

AMumInScotland Wed 16-Apr-14 11:24:32

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!

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