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.

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5 thoughts on “Reading in Social Settings?

  1. I think it has s0mething to do with appearing as if you’re shutting out the world and everyone in it when you choose to read in public. It puts off people who might want to approach you (even though I find that silly. If I see someone reading a book, that’s not going to stop me approaching them and saying “hi! I love this book! What part are you up to?”) but in this tech-obsessed world that’s fastly changing, something as medieval as a good old-fashioned hardcover book is a little odd. And personally, I find that sad 😦

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Alright, I can see that. I agree; it really is sad that people find phones fine but not books. I guess it is just the time we live in.
      I love when I see people reading books that I like. It’s this utter happiness that I feel when telling them, even if just in passing, that they’ve picked a great one. 😛

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I know what you mean! I was on the train recently and an old man was sitting next to me reading Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith (which I love!) I spent the entire ride trying not to appear like a creep as I kept sneaking glances at what he was up to in the story LOL.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Oh gosh, that’s great. xD See? Isn’t that the type of social interaction that should be encouraged? Books are wonderful conversation starters for strangers. I will gladly set down my book and give an opinionated overview when someone asks what the book that I’m reading at the time is about. It seems like a lot of people would.

        Liked by 1 person

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