The word that comes to mind for many is “rude.” Why? I can’t understand it. Why is reading around other people who aren’t considered rude? If there’s conversation, I will set my book down and participate. If there’s food, I will set my book down and partake. If there’s a television show on or people are on their phones, I will read.
Please, someone, either agree with me so I know that I’m not alone or chastise me and give me a valid explanation for why this is rude. How is it any more rude than playing a game on my phone? (Don’t get me wrong: if there’s nothing going on, I see nothing wrong with pulling out the ole phone to pass some time. I’m just saying that if a person can be on their phone, I should be able to read my book.)
When someone speaks to me, I will set down my book and listen to what they have to say, leaving it cast aside until silence returns. When there’s nothing to say and nothing being shared between the present company, I honestly see nothing wrong with turning to a book.
Maybe it’s the idea of bringing a book somewhere in the first place. Is it rude that I’m prepared for down-time?
So, here’s this: if anyone has any thoughts on the topic, I would really like to start a discussion about it. I’ve never really asked openly for anyone to please comment with the expectation of anyone actually following through with it, but I’m really interested in others’ opinions on this. Do any of you take books when you go to a friend’s house? What about if you’re dropping by to visit family? Do you think it’s rude in some instances and not others? This is seriously open to anyone, not just the bookish community of fellow readers and writers.