The Straight Dope

Go Back   Straight Dope Message Board > Main > Cafe Society

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 08-21-2012, 04:29 PM
Disposable Hero Disposable Hero is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Do people look at you askance because you like to read books?

Inspired by the book snob thread on the other side of the coin what negative reactions or just lack of understanding have people who are regular book readers come across?

I tend to have a book close to hand and have a quick read during any downtime, the advantage is that I have the reputation for being a lot more intelligent than I actually am, the disadvantage is that some people seem to think you're showing off by doing so. One colleague once asked me what I was reading and when I showed her the book (Goshawk Squadron by Derek Robinson, a fictional book about British WW1 fighter pilots) she sort of snorted and commented, "It's no wonder you're so weird" before walking off...if she thought that was a strange book to be reading I'm not sure how she'd react to the really off-the-wall stuff. I was surprised because she was a generally pleasant person otherwise.

Having a book at hand is also a good means of starting a conversation, even if someone isn't a book reader themselves the topic may interest them or just provide a hook to hinge a conversation on.

Of course the nature of the material you read makes a difference but my reading habits tend to be pretty conventional for a ruggedly handsome Irishman with piercing blue eyes and manly jawline like myself, namely military history, science fiction etc but I'll read pretty much anything if it crosses my path. (The Female Man by Joanna Russ was probably the most recent book out of my comfort zone that I've read)

As for non-book-readers, well I think they're missing out but each to their own, there are plenty of aspects of life which I don't find interesting but others do (most sport for one).

That post was a totally incoherent mess, hopefully my meaning is at least sort of clear.
Reply With Quote
Advertisements  
  #2  
Old 08-21-2012, 04:33 PM
MsWhatsit MsWhatsit is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
They did when I was a kid. I took so much shit because I always had a book with me, including "good-natured" teasing about it from most of the adults in my life. It's the reason that to this day I bristle whenever anyone asks me about a book I happen to be reading. When I was a kid, that question invariably led to, "You're so weird" or some variation thereof.

As an adult, though, nobody ever really says anything. Now that half the population (OK, not quite, but still) is carrying around a Kindle or other e-reader, it's not nearly as weird to always have a book with me. I might still get the occasional lifted eyebrow when someone realizes that I'm reading hard sci-fi or a nonfiction science book or something else not currently on the NY Times bestseller list or YA fiction (not that there's anything wrong with bestsellers or YA books; I've read my share of those too) but that's about it.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 08-21-2012, 04:37 PM
obfusciatrist obfusciatrist is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
No, or if they do/did I never noticed because I would never care.

I was the kid who couldn't take a shower without reading every shampoo bottle. I read walking to school. I stayed up all night (my mom was very accommodating, she didn't care if we went to sleep so long as we were in our rooms and quiet by a certain time). I honestly think reading is the reason I have essentially zero interest in music.

Still, I don't go to a dinner party at a friends house without a book in my jacket in case everybody dies and I have to spend a quiet bit waiting for the police to arrive.

So, lots of opportunity but honestly don't recall anybody ever making an issue of it.

What I will often get is, when they learn what I'm reading, some version of "ok, but what do you read for fun." That's annoying.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 08-21-2012, 04:54 PM
LawMonkey LawMonkey is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Not since I was in high school. Variation on the theme: I was also a tabletop RPGer. It blew people's minds that I would spend my spare time doing something that so very intimately involved so many books.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 08-21-2012, 05:03 PM
DrFidelius DrFidelius is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Miskatonic University
Posts: 10,049
Not anymore, but age and a reputation for eccentricity hath privileges. My recent public reading has been almost entirely history, biography, or science fiction. No one raises an eyebrow at a fiftyish man reading a book about Teddy Roosevelt.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 08-21-2012, 05:08 PM
Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Dogpatch/Middle TN.
Posts: 28,711
I live in Tennessee.

The answer, by the way, is Yes.
__________________
"He is an abomination of science that curdles the milk of all honest men!"~~One Dr Chouteh, possibly commenting on Bosda Di'Chi.Or not.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 08-21-2012, 05:17 PM
Antigen Antigen is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: was Montreal, now MD
Posts: 7,114
Quote:
Originally Posted by MsWhatsit View Post
They did when I was a kid. I took so much shit because I always had a book with me, including "good-natured" teasing about it from most of the adults in my life. It's the reason that to this day I bristle whenever anyone asks me about a book I happen to be reading. When I was a kid, that question invariably led to, "You're so weird" or some variation thereof.

As an adult, though, nobody ever really says anything. Now that half the population (OK, not quite, but still) is carrying around a Kindle or other e-reader, it's not nearly as weird to always have a book with me. I might still get the occasional lifted eyebrow when someone realizes that I'm reading hard sci-fi or a nonfiction science book or something else not currently on the NY Times bestseller list or YA fiction (not that there's anything wrong with bestsellers or YA books; I've read my share of those too) but that's about it.
Same here. Mom used to kick me out of the house to go play in the yard... and I'd bring a book. All my reading didn't exactly make me popular, but I got over it.

The eyebrow-lift response you describe is part of why I started that "snob" thread. I get a lot of "you're reading that for fun??" about my non-fiction choices, and a lot of people incredulous that I'm reading anything other than the latest bestselling fad.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 08-21-2012, 05:21 PM
Biggirl Biggirl is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Right here
Posts: 15,435
When I was young, my Old World grandmother who raised me told me that I was going to go crazy because I read too much but I have yet to go up a grassy knoll or into a crowded movie theater to shoot the place up. Yet.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 08-21-2012, 09:54 PM
Lynn Bodoni Lynn Bodoni is offline
Creature of the Night
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
Posts: 20,803
Oh hell yes. Especially my in-laws. My husband and daughter and I were over at their house, some years ago, and everyone was entranced by the crap that was on TV. I dug one of the books out of my purse and started reading. MIL and FIL asked if I was just too good to watch TV. I said no, I just wasn't interested in most TV, and especially not whatever was currently on (a sitcom of some sort, with the typical idiot plot).

As a kid, I was considered weird because I liked reading so much that I'd do it in odd little snatches of time. I was considered ESPECIALLY weird because I read science fiction. Girls weren't supposed to like SF.

Quote:
Still, I don't go to a dinner party at a friends house without a book in my jacket in case everybody dies and I have to spend a quiet bit waiting for the police to arrive.
Before I got my nook, I always carried at least two and usually more paperbacks in my purse. Now I carry my nook and at least one paperback, because the nook might die on me. I will never understand people who go to a doctor's appointment and paw through the magazines and then complain that there's nothing interesting to read. Well, I paw through the magazines too, in case the doc has something interesting that I don't subscribe to, but I've also got my own reading material.

I'm very possessive of my nook. I thought that I'd hate it when my daughter gave it to me, but I've come to love it dearly. I still love dead tree books, but my nook has given me new ways to enjoy books. Alas, it's entirely too easy to buy ebooks.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 08-21-2012, 09:59 PM
Askance Askance is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 6,761
Me? No, never.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 08-21-2012, 10:04 PM
Mrs. Cake Mrs. Cake is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
For a while when I was young and attractive-ish. Got some grief from guys who couldn't imagine I would rather read the book I brought to the diner with me than be chatted up.

At 50, this is not longer a problem. Now I think I get pitying looks from people who think I must be a terribly lonely old thing. Takes away the pleasure of taking a book out to coffee when my husband is out of town. Now I stay at home with the cats mostly. Damn all this Iowa friendliness.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 08-21-2012, 10:34 PM
Battle Pope Battle Pope is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Not since I finished school, caught a lot of crap in a school where rugby and cricket were damn near religions. I was a real book-worm when I was a kid which lasted up until a few years ago when my reading dropped off a bit.

Since I got a Kindle its picked back up again.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 08-21-2012, 10:41 PM
Lamia Lamia is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2000
Not anymore, but I grew up to be a librarian so it's kind of expected now.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 08-21-2012, 10:59 PM
MsWhatsit MsWhatsit is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Quote:
Originally Posted by Askance View Post
Me? No, never.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 08-21-2012, 11:09 PM
RickJay RickJay is offline
Charter Jays Fan
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Oakville, Canada
Posts: 32,026
Nope, never heard of such a thing.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 08-21-2012, 11:14 PM
hogarth hogarth is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
I've only gotten comments if I'm reading in an odd place. Like reading while I'm walking or reading while I'm waiting in line for a roller coaster. I doubt I'd get any comments if I were texting while walking or texting while waiting in line for a roller coaster, though!
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 08-21-2012, 11:17 PM
Siam Sam Siam Sam is offline
Elephant Whisperer
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Bangkok
Posts: 29,436
Thais generally think I'm weird because I'll be reading a book instead of staring vacantly into space. This is very much a country of nonreaders.
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 08-21-2012, 11:17 PM
antonio107 antonio107 is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Not since elementary school.

Unless I'm reading pocket scores, though, in which case I suppose I probably deserve some ridicule.
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 08-21-2012, 11:20 PM
Kamino Neko Kamino Neko is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Only from my asshole ex-boss, who was proud not only about not reading, but not thinking overly much.
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 08-21-2012, 11:30 PM
oreally oreally is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
No but they probably would do a double-take if I said "askance."

Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 08-22-2012, 01:00 AM
Raguleader Raguleader is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
More when I was younger. The general negative reaction (when I get one) is "You read... for fun?"

I still get a bit of that nowadays, but the general tone is more of just head-shaking acceptance than anything else. I generally look at my co-workers who speak with quivering anticipation of their next trip to the gym to pump iron or to go out and play sports with a similar reaction. Both activities are, to me, at best a necessary commitment, something that I have to do because I am obligated to do so, while reading is something that is relaxing and fun for me. So I can understand how they feel that way, they're just geeks about different activities than I am.
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 08-22-2012, 01:03 AM
Tim R. Mortiss Tim R. Mortiss is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
I get a bit of askance looks for reading an actual paper book, when everyone knows that I should be reading an eBook nowadays.
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 08-22-2012, 03:37 AM
MaltLiquor MaltLiquor is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
I think I started reading for fun in the fifth grade. My parents made us read every night from 6-6:30~45 or later 7-8ish as long back as I can remember. I doubt it was that long in the younger years but there was always reading time, didn't matter what you read as long as you were reading. Everyone has always had a book. I find it weird when I see or hear of people not reading. I do not think anyone in my family has gone to college for more than 2 years, and only a couple that did that, so I do tend to scoff at people that use an education to exlpain why they read. I remember having to explain to my teacher in highschool why I carried Carlos Castenada books with me(ok, I was kinda high probably) but they would never see me reading the assigned books. It usually ended up I would read them in a few days and by the time the test came around I would either have to re-read the book or just wing it.

That done I ride public transportation to work every day. I am encouraged on how many books I see. I look askance at people that are not reading. Luckily I will report I see about a third of people on average with their noses in books while riding the train.
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 08-22-2012, 05:10 AM
Raguleader Raguleader is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
On a related note, when it was *really* popular to hate on people for reading Twilight and what not, I felt the need to point out... they're *reading*. Twilight today, the Silmarillion tomorrow, or something like that. Gotta start somewhere.
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 08-22-2012, 08:02 AM
LVBoPeep LVBoPeep is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
I don't get askance looks although I do get a lot of lack of acknowledgement that I AM reading as opposed to being available for conversation. I can work at my desk for hours and not be interrupted but the minute I pull out my kindle for lunch time, it's apparently chat time.

I am told I shouldn't complain because I could leave for lunch and not be bothered but I keep holding out hope that I can just take my lunch at my desk and be left alone. Yes, I realize it's hopeless.
Reply With Quote
  #26  
Old 08-22-2012, 08:08 AM
Sigmagirl Sigmagirl is offline
Go Browns!
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Western Reserve
Posts: 8,180
Quote:
Originally Posted by obfusciatrist View Post
I was the kid who couldn't take a shower without reading every shampoo bottle. I read walking to school.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Antigen View Post
Same here. Mom used to kick me out of the house to go play in the yard... and I'd bring a book.
Quote:
Originally Posted by hogarth View Post
Like reading while I'm walking or reading while I'm waiting in line for a roller coaster.
How I love you all.
Reply With Quote
  #27  
Old 08-22-2012, 08:12 AM
Love Rhombus Love Rhombus is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
"Books are stupid." "I can't understand how you can read all the time, I don't have that kind of brain." Dunno if it's made them think I'm any smarter though (probably not). Though admittedly if I had one of those fancy new phones I might be fiddling with that instead (or reading something on it, more likely).
Reply With Quote
  #28  
Old 08-22-2012, 08:19 AM
Anaamika Anaamika is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Occasionally, though it's very rare now. I do still get the lifted eyebrow, as someone else said, about fantasy and sci-fi, and there is a woman in my office who once said, "I DON'T READ" in the loudest, most disapproving voice possible when someone else asked her.

It also helps that I have a great deal of self-confidence now. Honey Badger just don't give a shit. Judge me, don't judge me, I'll keep right on reading, tyvm.
Reply With Quote
  #29  
Old 08-22-2012, 08:23 AM
Bass Chick Bass Chick is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
I packed a book in my lunchbox this morning.

If someone did give me funny looks I never noticed. Too busy reading.
Reply With Quote
  #30  
Old 08-22-2012, 08:34 AM
ftg ftg is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
I take something with me when I'm going to be waiting. If it might be a long wait I take both a book and a Sunday crossword puzzle. Usually the book is a Math/Science non-fiction book. Most recently Taming the Infinite: The Story of Mathematics from the First Numbers to Chaos Theory by Ian Stewart.

And I get weird looks.

I don't get it. These other people just sit there. Don't read (there's magazines around), don't play on their phones, nothing. They just stare into space (or at me). And I get the weird looks.

Of the course the staff of the office are always asking me about crossword puzzles, why I do them, etc. Not so interested in the books, pretty used to those I guess. They are, if you pardon the term, puzzled by me liking to solve puzzles.

Now, if I started up a conversation with them about the Kardashians, that would be "normal".
Reply With Quote
  #31  
Old 08-22-2012, 08:38 AM
Anaamika Anaamika is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Quote:
Originally Posted by ftg View Post
And I get weird looks.

I don't get it. These other people just sit there. Don't read (there's magazines around), don't play on their phones, nothing. They just stare into space (or at me). And I get the weird looks.

.
The TV! It drives me crazy that every waiting room I go to there just has to be a huge TV for people to sit and stare at, slack-jawed. Can't we just shut it off and have quiet for a while? People can entertain themselves in other ways.
Reply With Quote
  #32  
Old 08-22-2012, 08:41 AM
Marley23 Marley23 is offline
I Am the One Who Bans
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Brooklyn
Posts: 78,236
I'm a little dumbfounded by the question. No, because I don't hang around with 10-year-old bullies.
Reply With Quote
  #33  
Old 08-22-2012, 12:28 PM
Richey84 Richey84 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marley23 View Post
I'm a little dumbfounded by the question. No, because I don't hang around with 10-year-old bullies.
This. Although the cat gives me a nasty look from time to time.
Reply With Quote
  #34  
Old 08-22-2012, 01:28 PM
WordMan WordMan is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Posts: 15,723
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marley23 View Post
I'm a little dumbfounded by the question. No, because I don't hang around with 10-year-old bullies.


I wear cargo shorts when I can, typically suburban dad that I am. I *always* have something to read in one of the side pockets - a book I am reading, my Kindle, a section of the NY Times folded up - something.

I find I pull the reading material out all the time - and the folks I am around tend to say "damn, I wish I had thought of that"...
Reply With Quote
  #35  
Old 08-22-2012, 01:42 PM
Lynn Bodoni Lynn Bodoni is offline
Creature of the Night
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
Posts: 20,803
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richey84 View Post
This. Although the cat gives me a nasty look from time to time.
Cats are legally obligated to give humans a nasty look from time to time. It's in their contract, if they don't do this they have their Cat Card suspended or even revoked.
Reply With Quote
  #36  
Old 08-22-2012, 03:21 PM
Disposable Hero Disposable Hero is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marley23 View Post
I'm a little dumbfounded by the question. No, because I don't hang around with 10-year-old bullies.
Personally I've tended to find that 10-year-old bullies don't grow into decent well-rounded adults, they're still bullies but usually just hide it better because its a little less socially acceptable behaviour in a supposed adult.

Its rare for someone to be outright rude like the woman I mentioned in my OP but its definitely not common for someone to have a book close at hand whenever possible. In my experience at least.

If you read a lot some (many?) people tend to think you're just showing off, I turned off a facebook app where I would list my current read because of the smart comments I was getting, most light-hearted but some very much not so.

Although for a single shining moment I was ahead of the cool curve by being one of the first people to own a kindle, people used to ask about it with genuine interest, now every common schmoe has one...
Reply With Quote
  #37  
Old 08-22-2012, 03:32 PM
misling misling is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2005
I remember getting some comments, ranging from incredulous to nasty, occasionally, but they pretty much slid off, and I don't remember what they were exactly.

ftg: So how is 'Taming the Infinite: The Story of Mathematics from the First Numbers to Chaos Theory by Ian Stewart' ? it sounds interesting.
Reply With Quote
  #38  
Old 08-22-2012, 03:45 PM
tdn tdn is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
I have to wonder where you guys live that you're getting this.

Although I was once talking to my ex-boss about packing for vacations. I tend to pack a lot, and have a ginormous suitcase that's usually packed to the gills. ex-boss said that she'd just shove a sarong in her purse and go. She asked what all I packed, and I mentioned books, among other things. "Books?!? What do you need with books?!?"

Quote:
Originally Posted by antonio107 View Post
Unless I'm reading pocket scores, though, in which case I suppose I probably deserve some ridicule.
Yeah, that got me a few odd looks. I used to do that all the time.
Reply With Quote
  #39  
Old 08-22-2012, 06:57 PM
Seanette Seanette is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by Love Rhombus View Post
"Books are stupid." "I can't understand how you can read all the time, I don't have that kind of brain." Dunno if it's made them think I'm any smarter though (probably not). Though admittedly if I had one of those fancy new phones I might be fiddling with that instead (or reading something on it, more likely).
One of the first things I did when I got a smartphone was find a good e-book reader. In fact, I use my phone for that function (or as a music player when walking or driving) more than I do the Internet connectivity.

Last edited by Seanette; 08-22-2012 at 06:58 PM.. Reason: added a few words so sentence read better
Reply With Quote
  #40  
Old 08-22-2012, 07:23 PM
pulykamell pulykamell is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: SW Side, Chicago
Posts: 30,981
Quote:
Originally Posted by tdn View Post
I have to wonder where you guys live that you're getting this.
Maybe I'm completely oblivious, but I have never in my life gotten a weird stare for reading a book or doing a crossword or whatever. Never. In all the cities I've lived in, it was commonplace to read while commuting on your bus/subway/tram/etc. It would never occur to me that anyone would find this odd.
Reply With Quote
  #41  
Old 08-22-2012, 07:26 PM
jsgoddess jsgoddess is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
I don't think anyone has ever looked at me askance for reading books. People are interested sometimes, and I'll chat about it.

In a waiting room, I can read, watch TV, or sit quietly with my thoughts.


Quote:
Originally Posted by pulykamell View Post
Maybe I'm completely oblivious, but I have never in my life gotten a weird stare for reading a book or doing a crossword or whatever. Never. In all the cities I've lived in, it was commonplace to read while commuting on your bus/subway/tram/etc. It would never occur to me that anyone would find this odd.
Yeah, it sounds weird to me, as well.

Last edited by jsgoddess; 08-22-2012 at 07:27 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #42  
Old 08-22-2012, 07:31 PM
Maserschmidt Maserschmidt is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 4,022
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sigmagirl View Post
How I love you all.
Ha! I just read those same bits to my wife.

Speaking of which, one of the first things I learned about my wife that enamored me of her was that - like me - her grade school teachers searched her bag every day for contraband fiction. Today is our 25th anniversary (woo hoo!) and we still carry books with us everywhere.
Reply With Quote
  #43  
Old 08-22-2012, 08:07 PM
Lynn Bodoni Lynn Bodoni is offline
Creature of the Night
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
Posts: 20,803
Ha. I used to get grounded from recreational reading. I was allowed to read textbooks and other schoolwork, but NO RECREATIONAL READING. Especially science fiction. I didn't watch much TV, I almost never talked on the phone, and my parents almost never allowed us kids to go out without them anyway. So they had to ground me from reading.
Reply With Quote
  #44  
Old 08-22-2012, 08:20 PM
SciFiSam SciFiSam is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
No. I suspect this only comes up when people are reading at times that others are being sociable and reading is like putting a book in front of your face and saying "I do NOT want to talk to you." Which is fine if that's the impression you want to give, but don't complain if they call you on it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lynn Bodoni View Post
Oh hell yes. Especially my in-laws. My husband and daughter and I were over at their house, some years ago, and everyone was entranced by the crap that was on TV. I dug one of the books out of my purse and started reading. MIL and FIL asked if I was just too good to watch TV. I said no, I just wasn't interested in most TV, and especially not whatever was currently on (a sitcom of some sort, with the typical idiot plot).
That's really rather rude. Their question and your response both. Though, did they really ask if you were too good to watch TV or is that just your parsing after many years have passed?

I mean, sometimes you'll watch crappy TV as a group because it's something you can talk over in the quiet bits and make comments about - it doesn't have to all be "watch this and focus on nothing else ever!" But your book? That's just for you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tdn View Post
I have to wonder where you guys live that you're getting this.

Although I was once talking to my ex-boss about packing for vacations. I tend to pack a lot, and have a ginormous suitcase that's usually packed to the gills. ex-boss said that she'd just shove a sarong in her purse and go. She asked what all I packed, and I mentioned books, among other things. "Books?!? What do you need with books?!?"
Well, depends on the holidays she's used to. I've often heard of people taking books on holidays - I mean, there's the whole airport novel phenomenon - but when I'm on holiday it's to see new things and spend time with my loved ones. And I read a lot by any standards. So I used to pack books but they'd always come back unread because I had too many other things to do.
Reply With Quote
  #45  
Old 08-22-2012, 09:01 PM
Nzinga, Seated Nzinga, Seated is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marley23 View Post
I'm a little dumbfounded by the question. No, because I don't hang around with 10-year-old bullies.
Hahaaa! Love Rhombus actually had someone say, "Books are stupid". WTF??
Reply With Quote
  #46  
Old 08-22-2012, 09:18 PM
Kobal2 Kobal2 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Obligatory Bill Hicks quote:

"I was in Nashville, Tennessee last weekend and after the show I went to a waffle house and I'm sitting there and I'm eating and reading a book. I don't know anybody, I'm alone, I'm eating and I'm reading a book. This waitress comes over to me (mocks chewing gum) : "what you readin' for?"... Wow, I've never been asked that. Not "What am I reading ?", "What am I reading for?" Well, goddamnit, you stumped me. I guess I read for a lot of reasons — the main one is so I don't end up being a fuckin' waffle waitress. Yeah, that would be pretty high on the list.
Then this trucker in the booth next to me gets up, stands over me and says "Weeell, looks like we got ourselves a readah". What the fuck's goin' on ?! It's like I walked into a Klan rally in a Boy George costume or something. Am I stepping out of some intellectual closet here ? I read, there, I said it. I feel better."
Reply With Quote
  #47  
Old 08-22-2012, 09:40 PM
InsomniaMama InsomniaMama is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by obfusciatrist View Post
Still, I don't go to a dinner party at a friends house without a book in my jacket in case everybody dies and I have to spend a quiet bit waiting for the police to arrive.
I KNOW, right?! I hate that.
Reply With Quote
  #48  
Old 08-22-2012, 09:52 PM
Sarahfeena Sarahfeena is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by pulykamell View Post
Maybe I'm completely oblivious, but I have never in my life gotten a weird stare for reading a book or doing a crossword or whatever. Never. In all the cities I've lived in, it was commonplace to read while commuting on your bus/subway/tram/etc. It would never occur to me that anyone would find this odd.
Yeah, I'm with you. Never ever have I gotten a weird look because I was reading, or had a negative comment if I bring up a book in conversation. These days, a lot of people on the train are looking at their phones, but plenty are reading their e-readers or regular books. It's pretty normal behavior and no one blinks at it.
Reply With Quote
  #49  
Old 08-22-2012, 11:56 PM
slm2955 slm2955 is offline
BANNED
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 602
Nope
Reply With Quote
  #50  
Old 08-23-2012, 12:16 AM
RandMcnally RandMcnally is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Never. I was really weird as a kid so me constantly reading was the most "normal" thing about me. When in the military I had a reputation as the guy always reading, but it wasn't in a mocking manner. Now that I'm in college, and a history major at that, it's pretty expected. Sometimes my friends in the sciences will be shocked that I read so much because they don't have to.

I did laugh when one of my friends, and engineer, told me that a couple of his other engineer buddies was in one of my history classes and dropped once they found out that they needed to read five books in ten weeks. I laughed and said that the reading load is on par with other history classes. And I take three of them a quarter.
Reply With Quote
Reply



Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:39 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@chicagoreader.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Publishers - interested in subscribing to the Straight Dope?
Write to: sdsubscriptions@chicagoreader.com.

Copyright 2013 Sun-Times Media, LLC.