RANT: On Reading in Public

I wouldn’t necessarily describe myself as an anti-social person; slightly introverted, yes, but I won’t (normally) go out of my way to distance myself from people. Unless there’s an upcoming party, and I know that everyone will get horrifically drunk and I’ll be horrifically sober and awkward. Or if someone I don’t like will try and talk to me. Or if anyone tries to talk to me.

I spend lots of my time waiting – waiting for trains, waiting for buses, waiting on trains and waiting on buses. My terrible eyesight means that, unlike most of my generation it seems, I can’t while away the minutes stabbing at an electronic device, so I seek refuge in a book. Obviously, because I’m a book blogger and I feel that my sole purpose in life is to rad as many books as physically possible and then wax lyrical about them – in a way, it’s my job. Not that I get paid for it, but that’s not the point.

I love it when y’all get in touch with me to share your thoughts on what you’ve read, be it something that I’ve written, or something someone else has written, and I think that it’s even better face-to-face. So if someone goes up to me in public, sees me reading Memoirs of a Geisha, and then proceeds to have a lengthy conversation about said novel, I’d be more than happy to launch into a full-scale discussion spanning context, characters and God-knows-what. I’d then probably try and marry you, if you were an eligible teenage boy, because we (well, I) need more teenage boys with an interest in literature – there have got to be some out there.

BUT WHAT I REALLY DO NOT LOVE *deep breaths* is when someone tries to have a conversation with me whilst I’m engrossed in a book. CAN THEY NOT SEE THE OBVIOUS SIGN THAT SAYS ‘DO NOT DISTURB BECAUSE I’M READING AND I’LL RIP YOUR FACE TO SHREDS IF YOU INTERRUPT ME’? I wouldn’t mind if they wanted to talk about books (seriously, I’m happy to talk literature any time, any place, anywhere. I once wrote a blog post during school.), but anything else, I DO NOT CARE. If you’re lonely, be like me and get a book. If you’re sad, get a book. BUT WHILST I AM THOROUGHLY ENGAGED IN MY BOOK DO NOT INTERRUPT. So here is my list of what not to ask someone who is evidently reading in public:

  • What are you reading? *holds up cover with a flounce*
  • What’s it about? *holds up cover again*
  • Is there a film? (don’t even get me started on book-to-film adaptations; that’s a whole other rant)

Etc., etc. You get my gist. The moral of the story is don’t talk to me when I’m reading, unless it’s about books. Because otherwise you will IGNITE THE WRATH OF ISOBEL AND SHE SHALL BEAR DOWN UPON YE LIKE A PILLAR OF FLAME.

Do you mind being interrupted when you’re reading? Or do you turn into a screaming banshee if anybody dares even breathe on you? Any thoughts, and I’d love to hear from y’all!



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