Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Reading on the Bus

Obviously, whether that's how you choose your book or not, reading in public automatically brings to question how your reading in public appears to others, and what you're reading can impact that impression. For example, I read poetry. I like to read poetry, but I have no doubt that the people who see me reading on the bus think I'm pompous, or that I think that I'm better than they are, or that I must be smart. (I have felt this way, except for the smart part, about somebody I saw reading Dylan Thomas aloud in a coffee shop. I also thought they were an idiot b/c they were clearly doing it to make other people think that he was cool & smart. But he wasn't.)

Idea: Reading (not aloud) in public as performance. Read in strange places where you normally wouldn't see somebody read. The floor of a public restroom. Under a table in a restaraunt. In one of those chairs at the bank, or grocery store. At a concert (I actually have a friend who does this. The reaction is phenomenal.) At a loud bar (I have done this. It was awkward. I left.) Someplace crazy. Read something crazy too. Or something ordinary.

It's on the level w/ wearing a fat suit & fake pimples and walking around town to see how different people would treat you if you were less attractive. Reading as sociological experiment. Fun.


MadisonGlass said...

I'd be too afraid. I'm a fearful person.

My coworkers have been trying to get me to eat lunch with them. I did it two days in a row. Yesterday I pretended I was talking on my cellphone, and then ducked into my car and lay down so that no one could see me. Today they weren't there when I arrived so I figured I could just say that if they asked. I'm afraid I'm mean. But lunch is suposed to be nice. Being around people makes me nervous. They ask me questions about me and it makes me nervous.

amber said...

That's ok. You don't have to. I probably won't either. But somebody should. Particularly in a public restroom. Like, you know how at Macys they always have fancy bathrooms w/sofas and everything. Go read in a Macys bathroom for like four hours. Somebody should do this.

Colleen said...

I've read in a lot of strange, public places (concerts, movies...once in a fancy mall bathroom when I had two hours to kill). The reaction I always got was that because I was reading, I must be bored and want someone to talk to me. It's hard to make strangers understand that books are more interesting than they are.