Thursday, May 03, 2007

Booking Through Thursday: RIP

Booking Through Thursday

No, not THAT kind of R.I.P.

Reading. In. Public. Do you do it? Why or why not?

The shuttle van will be arriving in another few hours to take me to the airport where I intend to stick my nose in a book while I wait until boarding time. Once on the plane, my book will again be in hand and I will spend the flight in Mythago Wood. You see, reading is one of my favorite ways to pass the time, especially when waiting. I sometimes read while waiting in line or at the doctor's office, for example. I most likely will be reading while dining the next couple of nights since I will be alone, eating in a hotel (or one near it) restuarant, which is another time you can find me reading in public.

I have no qualms about reading in public and do it frequently. I never mind being asked what I am reading, although I have discovered that reactions vary. I think some people ask just to be kind. These seem to be people who really do not care but think they should ask out of politeness. Or perhaps the bored look on their face is just because they have no interest in the type of book I am reading. I most enjoy the light that comes into another reader's eyes when they find out I am reading something they are interested in or have read. Such encounters can lead to good conversation. (Note: there are times I do not like to be interrupted while reading, of course; specifically when I am eating lunch in the breakroom while reading and a certain someone decides to tell me about her most recent health problems).

I am the person who is always craning her neck to see what you are reading. I may not approach you, but I will be checking out the cover to see the title or author's name. I love to see people reading in public. I feel a sort of connection with that person, no matter what book he or she may be holding in his or her hand.

I recently acquired a couple of bookcovers to help protect my books from bends and curls while stored in my purse or bag. It was a very pratical purchase, not to mention I love my bookcover with handles! Still, I feel somewhat guilty about covering up such beautiful covers. I mean, what if there is someone out there like me who wants to know what I am reading?


  1. I like to see what others are reading too.

    I only buy purses that are big enough to carry a book.

  2. Hi Wendy, love your answers. So well said and thoughtful.

    I love to see what others are reading too, and most of the time (when I'm not reading), I enjoy people-watching and observe what they're reading. Similarly, there are times I do not like to be interupted when I'm reading, especially during my morning coffee. I like being alone with just my book-of-the-moment, for that solid 30-45 minutes...

    Happy BTT!

  3. I love to see what other are reading--you're answers were great! Have a great Thursday!

  4. I always try to see what other folks are reading. I'm sure they do the same to me! LOL...

    My answers are up on my blog.

  5. Wendy,

    I too have no qualms about reading in public, and like you, I read while I wait, and always have a book with me. With the advent of the audio book, I now also read while I drive (which leads to people staring at me when I'm laughing out loud in the car, seemingly at nothing), and I've also taken to "reading" while I walk or exercise, as I take along my mp3 player with my latest audio book.

    I also enjoy checking out what other are reading, and have been know to strike up conversations, especially if someone is reading a book I really enjoyed. And like you, I also hate to be interrupted when I'm trying to read during lunch. Of course, it seems none of my coworkers are readers themselves, because otherwise, they would stop trying to talk to me when I have my face in a book. Sigh...

  6. Very well thought input you have!

    I tend to like to read alone with no interrupt. That probably because I get interrupt by people all the times, that it doesn't leave me room to read. By the time I'm able to, it times to go. I really don't mind chatting with people but sometime I like some "me" time too.

    And like you, I tend to try to see what people are reading too. I don't apporach either, but it always interesting to see if they have same taste of reading then mine *grin*.

    Happy BTT !

  7. I read on the bus on the way to and from work. Although sometimes I admit I pretend to read because my bus is sometimes full of interesting characters who might be good for one of my own books :)

    Today while I was waiting for my haircut appointment, I pulled out Laura Lippman's WHAT THE DEAD KNOW (fantastic!) and a guy who was also waiting asked me what it was, that his book club is always looking for things to read. I wrote the name of the book and author down on the back of my business card (with my own books on it, in case he wanted to check those out. Yes, shameful BSP but necessary promotion for struggling writers).

  8. I agree 100% about feeling a connection with someone who is reading in public. If I see someone who is reading something that I really enjoyed I feel like that person is instantly my friend. We have something in common. We have the same people living in our imaginations. I love that feeling. I'm very shy in person, so I would never approach someone to ask what they are reading, but I like it when someone asks me.

  9. I always want to see what someone else is reading! If the title isn't visible, I'm miserable.

  10. I like seeing what others are reading too. It makes my TBR list even longer.

  11. Hey Wendy! I love your answers! Very true!!! I bring a book wherever I go, and yeah it kills the time too.

    I grin when you mentioned you will crane your neck to see what the others are reading...I do that too, hehe. Sometimes, when I caught someone reading a book which I had read, I will have this urge of going to that person and telling him/her:"Hey, that's a good book you're reading!!!" Probably sounds insane huh?! LOL. Anyway, I haven't made a fool of myself to-date!!! And I totally agree with you on the 'connection' part. ;)

    Happy BTT and Happy reading! :o)

  12. Great answer! Loved reading it and can relate to so much of it. Especially the part about craning to see what others are reading in public. I do that all of the time in airports and on airplanes (where I see more people than just me reading a book). :) I feel a connection with them, as you said, but I am never brave enough to go up to them and ask if they like it.

    Happy Reading!

  13. I love peeking at what people are reading in public! I have issues with public reading myself (easily distracted), but it's great to see someone out reading. I once saw a lady on a plane reading The Robber Bride and was very excited about it. I left her in peace, but it was difficult!

  14. I posted on this very topic a few weeks ago when I was scowled at by a soccer mom for reading at my sons practice. I agree with you!

    I'm reading these comments and its funny how all of us crane our necks to see what others are reading. It's like a book lovers tic. ha.

  15. Hahhhaa...I snoop too, and not altogether discreetly. Great post!

    (I can't read always on moving vehicles without getting queasy. Plus, these days, I have to either hold it arm's length away or remove my regular glasses and hold the book a half-inch from my face to make out the type!)

  16. Love your answers! I'm always peeking at everyone else's books and it drives me nuts if I can't see a title. The idea of covering books to protect them in my purse hadn't occurred to me. My purses have to have space for a book, preferably a divided section so they won't bump into keys and other junk. I take them everywhere, but I'm easily distracted like Andi. That doesn't mean I don't try.

  17. The reading bend to look at what other's are reading made me laugh out loud - I try to do that on the train sometimes - a convenient stretch works too or a pretend gaze out the opposite

  18. I always snoop on what other people are reading! Sometimes I'll keep watch over the top of my book, waiting for that moment when they shift their book enough for me to see the cover. And if they're sitting next to me I always check to see if the title and author are printed at the top of the page.

  19. I skipped this week's meme. But I read anytime I am not driving a car or being polite at a meal so yes I read in public too. And I always check out other people's books.

  20. I see I am not alone in my curiosity to see what others are reading. :-) While sitting in the airport today I noticed a couple of women trying to take a peak at what I was reading. Of course, I had a bookcover on my book and so it must have infuriated them that they couldn't tell. I felt a little guilty about that, I admit.

    Chris - I tend to do that too--buy purses big enough to hold a book.

    Alice - Thank you! Alone time for reading is a must for me sometimes. That often happens for me right before bed.

    Karina - I sometimes wish my commute to work was longer so listening to audio books would be worthwhile. Alas, it's not. :-(

    Julia - I find that my lunch time at work is the worst time to get in reading because of all the interuptions. Sometimes I just go sit in my car for the quiet and alone time.

    Karen - I admit to doing that too sometimes, pretending to read while people watching. :-)

    Kookie - Yes! That's exactly how I feel.

    Sheri - I remember that soccer mom you talked about on your blog. She doesn't know what she's missing.

    Bookfool - I used to not have the problem with the corners of books. I think perhaps it's because they go in and out of my purse more frequently nowadays.

  21. I'm always reading in public, and like everyone else, I have the 'reader's tic' of trying to see what someone else may be reading! And what is it about coworkers detailing their health problems to someone is clearly trying to both eat and read?!

  22. I think reading both in public and in private are absolutely essential! :)


Thank you for taking the time to visit Musings of a Bookish Kitty. Don't be shy! I would love to hear from you. Due to a recent increase in spam, I will be moderating all comments for the foreseeable future. Please be patient with me as it may take a few hours before I am able to approve your comment.