The bibliophiles have struck back.

Just a few weeks after the “I hate reading” page materialized on Facebook and earned more than 450,000 “likes,” a few book lovers banded together to start the “I hate the ‘I hate reading’ page.'” The readers are off to a decidedly slower start, with just 442 “likes” as of Wednesday morning.

(It got a plug Monday from Galley Cat, MediaBistro’s influential publishing blog.)

The pro-reading page was started by author Glenn Kleier, who wrote the description “Reading is fundamental. To hate reading is fundamentally ignorant” for the Facebook page.

Kleier, who started the page on Monday, said the feedback so far has been positive, except from a complaint from one woman who opposed the use of the word hate -- even if it was in the context of hating hate.

“I deplore the attitude that reading is some unpleasant chore to be shunned with defiance. To loath reading doesn't make you Marlon Brando in The Wild One,” he said.  “Society shouldn't let the celebration/promotion of ignorance go unchallenged.”

Early supporters of the “I hate the ‘I hate reading’ page” may have been smaller in number, but what they lacked in numbers, they made up for in volume. Book lovers and authors drove the early comments on the page.

“I hate that we are even talking about this! It is possible to live without reading... but WHY would you want to?” Eddie Louise Clark asked.

Others, like author Chip Wagar, voiced displeasure with the state of publishing: “The book writing profession makes horse racing seem like a solid, stable business.”

“I've no illusions that response to this page will offset the anti-reading page. After all, I'd waited weeks for someone to mount a counter offensive, and nothing,” Kleier said.  “Fortunately there have been no reprisals yet. Possibly because the opposition doesn't know of this page, given they don't read.”

Photo by ckaroli