Off Tangent Thoughts: When Someone Interrupts My Reading

Whether you only read when you’re curled up in bed under cozy blankets, or you’ve perfected reading and eating / walking / napping at the same time so that you never have to put your book (or ereader) down, you’ve almost certainly been interrupted in the process. I know I have, and it usually makes me wish I was a literal bookdragon / bookwyrm who could breathe fire and incinerate the offenders.

Last month, Charvi @ Not Just Fiction started an awesome new meme:

Off Tangent Thoughts (OTT) is a bi-monthly meme that has a basic list-based format wherein bloggers express their points in the form of a short or long list with the points under the list being merely a couple lines or even complete paragraphs.

The current prompt is “Thoughts you have when someone interrupts your reading” β€” incredibly relatable, and incredibly frustrating.

Thoughts I Have When a Stranger Interrupts My Reading

  • Seriously? I put on headphones for this exact reason, I’m not even listening to music because I wanted to concentrate on my book.
  • Is it not actually clear that I’m ignoring you and hoping you’ll give up? Repeating your question isn’t going to make me suddenly change my mind.
  • Do I need to physically get up and change seats? Apparently this is what I get for plopping down in the first available spot I saw.
  • Grrrr. Stop talking to me. Go. Away. 
  • I’ve been told I can’t tell when people are hitting on me, is that what this is? Or are they just trying to make conversation? Either way, I don’t like it. (And I wouldn’t go out with someone who interrupts my reading.)
  • There are all these other people around, why don’t you talk to one of them instead? Oh right, everyone else is staring at their phone. And probably some of them are reading too.
  • I was raised to be polite, but there is a time and a place and this is not it. [gives single-word monotone answers to their questions without looking up, hoping they’ll get bored / pick up on the hint] 
  • How and why are you still here?
  • Excuse you, don’t touch me or my Kindle. I’ll sue β€” or bite.


Thoughts I Have When a Friend Interrupts My Reading

  • Remember that time when you asked me how I have time to read between classes and extracurriculars and work? Well, part of the answer is that I don’t constantly stop to make small talk about reading. 
  • I know for a fact that we’re Goodreads friends, and that you actually look at my Goodreads sometimes because you brought it up the other day. So you can go read my review instead of asking me about a book I apparently read three years ago, that’s what the site is for.
  • You do realize that we don’t have the exact same taste in books? Please stop asking me for recommendations on the spot, it takes time for me to go through the books I’ve read to find ones that I think you, specifically, would enjoy. It’s an art.
  • Also no, I don’t have recommendations for books to buy as a gift for your cousin’s best friend’s fiance’s little sister. Why would you even ask me that.
  • Yes, I would love to hang out with you … some other time that is not right now. I know we’re both super busy, but I’m sure we can work something out as long as you leave me alone now because otherwise I’m not sure how much longer we can be friends.


Thoughts I Have When My Parents Interrupts My Reading

  • said I was coming / would do that later / am busy! Did you not hear me the first fifty times??
  • Why do I have to help my brother with his homework? I don’t even know how they teach math or English these days because screw Common Core, and just because I survived high school doesn’t mean I can teach him anything.
  • If we’re being practical, I guess I should be grateful to them since they got me into reading in the first place.
  • And took me to get my first library card.
  • And bought me this Kindle.
  • And they pay for the wifi I use to download books. Still …
  • You would think that someone who told me all about how much they loved reading “when they were my age” and who regularly gives me book recommendations that I may or may not immediately forget about, would know better.

What goes through your mind when someone interrupts your reading? Have you found any (ideally legal and nonviolent) tricks for making them go away sooner? If you’ve also done this meme, feel free to leave your link below!


29 thoughts on “Off Tangent Thoughts: When Someone Interrupts My Reading

  1. “I put on headphones for this exact reason, I’m not even listening to music because I wanted to concentrate on my book.” THIS. IS. MEEEEE!!!! Ugh especially in college dorms, coffee shops, the bus. Like stop.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This post is such a mood and so relatable – especially the parents part. I mean being grateful is kind of hard when no one leaves you alone and lets you do your thing for a little while!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I relate to this so much! Especially the part about helping my brother or sister with homework. I can’t even remember what I learnt! If I try to read around friends they’ll just start asking about the book, so no reading done.

    Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ahahahaha honestly me to my mom. “Who sat down with you and read books for KIDS with you as a kid hmm??? Yes, that’s me. I get the credit for setting the basics for you. Now get yourself out of your room it’s unhealthy.” I usually don’t mind if a friend asks me about a book that I’m reading… unless it’s a book that I’m super invested in and I’m getting to the BEST PARTS.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. parents are simultaneously the best and worst about reading – like at least I’m not out partying and doing drugs?? πŸ˜‰

      and that’s true! I do enjoy spreading the love of reading or getting to vent about it … just maybe not when I’m in the middle of a book, lol.


  5. i could relate with every point you made! i just hate when people need to ask every question about the book whe they could just read my reviews or google things ughh

    Liked by 1 person

  6. omg my dad is the WORST for interrupting when I’m reading. I love him to death, but honestly, it’s like he doesn’t see I’m holding a book. He’ll just start having a full-on conversation with me about something. I’m like, dad, I’m trying to read??? we can talk in a couple of minutes can I finish this chapter first at least??

    Liked by 1 person

  7. This post cracks me up! This happens to me with my husband. He can SEE the book, but that doesn’t stop his chatter. πŸ™‚ My only saving grace on public transportation is that I am an English speaking American living in German speaking Switzerland, so no one asks me nada!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ah lucky you! I’m always super jealous when I read about characters who legitimately just don’t hear people calling them because they’re so caught up in their book, because I’ve never experienced that … maybe because I used to try to read and walk at the same time, and I still read on the bus / in the train so my brain feels like it has to stay somewhat aware of my surroundings? lol


  8. β€œI put on headphones for this exact reason, I’m not even listening to music because I wanted to concentrate on my book.”

    OMG it’s me. But lowkey I do this in public even if I am not reading because I don’t want to talk to strangers. It baffles me though that for some reason holding a book and reading it doesn’t give the same “Go fuck yourself” vibe that people staring mindlessly on a cellphone does. Either way the person is busy, and you are damn rude. LOL

    Anyways, I loved reading your thoughts!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. YES like I am genuinely confused by people who randomly strike up a conversation with strangers, like I know extroverts exist but …. why.

      if i’m in a particularly bad mood i’ll bring my over-ear clunky headphones with me so that I’m even more visibly “busy” (and for all they know I legitimately can’t hear them talking to me), but when I have to make do with earbuds it seems like a 50/50 chance of success. sigh.


  9. HAHA I won’t go out with someone who interrupts my reading either πŸ˜‚
    I love how you divided the lost into different segments ❀️❀️❀️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. right??? like I want to want to spend time with the person I’m dating, and that’s just not possible if they’re going to interrupt my time with my One True Love (reading).

      thanks Charvi! it’s an awesome prompt and I had tons of fun writing it πŸ’•


  10. I think I am an unpopular opinion here but I am a social reader! I love when I get interrupted mostly because I am always reading and if people don’t interrupt me I have less of a social life. If people walk past I tend to look up and smile (if it’s strangers and it’s not a travel setting because travel comes with anxious Olivia and she is not talkative) to let people know I don’t mind chatting πŸ˜› And my friends and family are used to me chatting and reading at the same time. I sometimes read a line and then have a conversation, then read a line, then talk… people find that frustrating but I am all up for it xD

    Liked by 1 person

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