Good morning, and welcome to what I hope will be the most marvellous Thursday of your life so far!
Today I would like to talk about a subject very close to my heart: reading. Specifically, reading in public. Here are some of the most irritating and troublesome aspects of being a public bookworm:
- Who are you looking at? Sometimes when you’ve been reading for a while, you look up from the page to go over a moment in your head or work something out about the storyline. If you are sitting in public and you look up to make accidental eye contact with a stranger, they tend to look a bit confused. Unfortunately, it’s not socially acceptable to say “I’m not looking at you, I’m reading. Go back to your life.”
- Unnecessary baggage: If you’re about to leave the house and you’ve only got a few pages left in a book, you have to take a spare one with you, don’t you? It doesn’t really matter where we’re going: we must always, always have a good chunk of book available to read. If this means that we sometimes end up taking large handbags to nightclubs, so be it.
- Anti-social issues: When meeting friends, we tend to arrive a bit early so that we can get some extra reading in. Woe betide the friend who turns up in the middle of a chapter, and God help the poor soul who arrives expecting conversation from us when we’ve only got two pages of a thriller novel left.
- What the heck is going on? This one is especially true if you’re on public transport: reading can be an all-consuming activity, and if you’re not careful you can miss your bus stop without even noticing. If you’re sitting on a park bench it can start to get dark or rain without you realising, and in some cases it takes physical prodding from a loved one to bring you back to reality.
- I’m not crazy; I’m a bookworm. Sometimes you are reading a book that is so surprising and engaging that you genuinely have to react verbally (potentially by swearing), or so funny that you laugh out loud. Apparently in public situations this kind of behaviour is a little disconcerting for strangers. Well, strangers, you’ll just have to deal with it. I’m reading an awesome story over here.
Well, I’m off to finish The Subtle Knife. Have a glorious day.