Monday, January 18, 2010

Musing Monday...Don't Get Between Me and My Book!

I am a bit late today with my musing, but the niece was home for a surprise holiday weekend visit, she and Bandit, and I had to see them off at the airport. But now, let's check out this weeks questions from Rebecca at Just One More Page.

Today’s MUSING MONDAYS post is about reading around people.

When is it inappropriate to read in front of others? Is it ever appropriate?

Is it inappropriate to read in front of others? What? I think it is inappropriate for other people to be around when I am trying to read! Ok, may be that is a bit extreme. But it is inappropriate for them, strangers especially, to disturb me!
"Are you reading?"
"What are you reading?"
"Is it a good book? I don't reading many books."
Oh really? What a surprise. ;-)
Yes, there might be a few situations where it is not appropriate to bring a book. A wedding, especially you own...your prom....a funeral, certainly your own...high tea with the Queen.

But there are so many when it is appropriate, even a necessity, especially for ones mental sanity. In other answers, the issue of waiting rooms came up. Now of course, if you are alone, a book is a requirement. Unless something really entertaining is happen in the waiting room, perhaps some other interpersonal interactions you might not be able to avoid hearing. Not that you are Actually, a book is still needed then, so you can pretend to be reading and not listening. I find that makes people more talkative.
Now if you are with someone else, unless some sort of emotional support is required, you should each have a book. If emotional support is required, ok, put the book away for now. Sometimes that is the price to pay to appear to be a civilized person.

But how about a social gathering of some sort? Well, I guess it depends. If everyone is a party sort of thing, I guess some people might be offended if you take out a book. Even if they are dull or boring.
But say it is a more relaxed gathering. Maybe in a situation where others, even if 'with you' are doing their own think too. For example, I was at my bro and sil's yesterday. The bro was on the computer, the sil and niece watching football. If I had thought to bring a book, I think that would be totally appropriate. If everyone was sitting there talking, yes, I guess you could not get away with that.
Like maybe it is not appropriate to take out a book when we were actually eating dinner.

Bottom line, I can't think of a time when you are alone when it is not appropriate to be reading. Certainly any situation that requires waiting. And, in fact, it is darn rude of other people to interrupt your reading at such times. If someone else starts talking to you I find it best to pretend you are so engrossed in your book that you don't hear them. They usually stop after a little while. When with others, the degree of appropriateness is determined by how much you can get away with.
Maybe by how small the book is. If you had a tiny book you could fit in your palm the possibilities would be endless...


  1. Lol, Caite, you are a riot! I loved your answer it's inappropriate for others to be around when you are trying to read. Cracked me up but so true. It is definitely de rigeur to have a book in a waiting room but unfortunately there are people in there who do not know how to wait quietly. They insist on yapping to other waiters.

  2. lol- I totally agree. I love the 'What are you reading?' Duh - I have a book in front of my face for the sole purpose of dissuading you from talking to me. lol.

  3. I agree - people should leave when you want to read! Can't they hear the books calling your name?

  4. I once took a book to a party in college once. And I did read it. That says either a lot about me or a lot about the party!!

    And I think you should always have a book with you "just in case." Though I agree ... a wedding or funeral would not be appropriate.

  5. Maybe you should get some books printed palm-sized and patent it? Could be a big money spinner!

  6. Happy Monday! I gave you a blog award!

  7. It all depends on the ocassion and who I am with. Sometimes I just read through a meal with friends because it's casual and we all tolerate each other's quirkiness. But we all acknowledge each other's presence so it's all good. :)

  8. LOL You're hilarious. Thanks for the 'where not to bring a book' list, I'll be sure to make a note of them.


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