Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Reading in Public

I'm a periodic follower of People Reading, a blog that features pictures of people reading in public spaces and brief interviews to find out what they're reading and why. It seems to have sparked an interest worldwide -- the original blogger is based in San Francisco, but fans of hers have started similar projects in a variety of other locales.

It got me thinking: are you careful about what you read in front of other people? I actually don't do much reading outside of the privacy of my own home, though (as I've reported before) I frequently listen to books when I'm out and about. I always bring books with me on plane rides, though now that I'm back within driving distance of my parents I go to the airport less and less. I do remember sitting next to an elderly woman on one trip and wondering if she was noticing any of the "scandalous" language in my book (Ian McEwan, if I my memory serves me right -- so how bad could it have been?). She probably couldn't even see the print from where she was sitting...

And I definitely skip over certain articles in fashion and celebrity news magazines when I'm at the salon just in case someone from work happens to sit down next to me under the hair dryers.

I wonder how many people edit their reading material for public consumption -- either to avoid strange looks or maybe to elicit them, depending on their purpose. Or maybe these are just my own neurotic tendencies rearing their ugly heads?

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