Who Is a Reader?

Gabriella Horváth

Hello, my name is Gabriella Horváth and I feel the need to talk about the topic of  reading. To be honest, I’m very disappointed. It is a terrible feeling that people judge me for my chosen free-time activity. And now I will talk about it in detail.

I’m a reader, so what does that actually mean? It means that you enjoy reading; when you have  some time you gladly pick up a book, and you like to talk about the books that you have read. But  what people often misunderstood is that we don’t read just anything; we carefully pick the books that we  want to read based on the genre, age rating, author, book cover, and synopsis. But when  someone says “book lover,” people don’t think of that. They think that we read ANYTHING, especially when it’s for school.

What they also frequently misunderstood is that we are not the nerdy, shy and innocent people we are so often assumed to be.  According to the stereotype, which is from teen movies, readers are the schools’ nerds, with big glasses and straight As, who have no life except studying and who have no friends. Well, if anyone knows a reader nowadays, they know that it’s not true. And it is very bad that there are some secret readers out there who don’t want to say that they love reading because they are afraid of others’ reactions. Personally, I’m a great student but I don’t study THAT much; I have friends, and I’m not shy and not a fully introverted person. I just enjoy escaping reality with books, falling in love with fictional  worlds and characters, being in a community with people who read the same books. It also can  be an opportunity to learn new words and expressions or to read in another language which easily can extend your vocabulary.

And what is an example of really great books like what I’m talking about? you might ask. Well, I’ve  read a lot of books from different genres BUT the books series that kind of changed me is the Throne  of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas. It’s about a eighteen-year old assasin, named Celaena Sardothien, whose fate is very difficult. Her first love was killed; her master sent her to the salt mines of Endovier, which  meant instant death to everyone. Well everyone, except her. Then after a year in the salt mines, the  Crown Prince of Adarlan offers her freedom, with one condition: she has to win his father’s competition. Then, after she really thinks through Prince Dorian’s offer, she takes it, but that means that IF she  wins the competition, she has to be the King’s (whom she hates the most in the entire world) personal  assassin for five years. After they arrive in Adarlan, everything is very-very difficult for the young assassin:  she can’t use her real identity, she’s afraid of her own feelings, and a mysterious rival makes everything even more complicated. But what happens when someone starts to kill her competitors? Or when she finally makes friends? Or even when she falls in love with someone again? Well, the answers for that question are in the eight-book-long series. And it just keeps getting more and more dangerous, and we will meet a lot of new characters as well. But why did it change me? Because  Celaena went through a huge character development, during which we learned that you always have to believe in yourself, you can find friends and family members who will always have your back, and maybe you don’t have to be alone to do something, since accepting help from your loved ones is very important.

I hope that my speech helps those readers who are “ashamed” of their free-time activity to “come out” and be proud of being a reader. And I also wanted to help non-reader people understand us a bit better and not to judge us on the basis of a stereotype.