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Saturday, June 30, 2007

Public reading

It's meme time! I literally have only minutes left in the month, but I couldn't resist this one when I stumbled across it. From Shelly's Book Shelf, the questions for June 2007:

1. Do you read while on public transport or when on long journeys by train/tram/bus etc? And if so what is your preferred reading material for these trips?
Well, not anymore. But back in my single-girl days when I had a career and a commute, I got from the suburbs to downtown on the trolley. It took me a while to be able to read on the rails...I got terrible motion sickness. I soon learned to read while seated facing forward, though, and eventually I could even do it if seated facing backward. I got a lot of reading done on the T!! I'm terribly out of practice now, though. The only opportunity I have to read while traveling these days is on long car trips with the family, when my husband drives. And I get nauseated trying to look at maps. I guess I've lost my "sea legs", so to speak.

2. You see someone reading a book on the tram/train/bus and are impressed/want to get to know that person, what is the book? Name three possibilities. Bonus: Have you ever gotten a book to read because you've seen someone else reading it on public transportation?
Oh, I don't need hypotheticals...I did this all the time. I met a good friend on the trolley the day he started reading over my shoulder and struck up a conversation. It's a long and kind of funny story, but the upshot is that he became a very close confidant for a time (we've lost touch, alas, as our lives have taken us in different directions) and he also introduced me to several other people who became very important players in my life. So, yay Dave! And the book that got him talking to me was The Fifth Sacred Thing, by Starhawk.

Another time I was reading on the trolley and was in those final pages where your concentration just cannot be broken and you devour the pages with ferocious intensity until you finally finish. (Or is that just me??) I guess my seatmate got a kick out of that, because when I closed the book and put it in my lap with that satiated sigh, he asked if the book was good. In retrospect, I wonder if he was doing a little good-natured mocking or maybe even some clumsy but well-intentioned flirting. Of course, I was still in the world of my book and just took his comment at face value. I gave him a brief summary and then gave him the book. I never saw him again. I think I freaked him out. That book was Ender's Game, by Orson Scott Card. Hm, come to think of it, it was Dave (from the above story) who recommended that book. Neat.

I've also scribbled down titles for my "to read" list based on seeing other people reading them, although I can't recall any right now.

3. If you were wanting to catch someone's eye, what book would you be reading? Name three possibilities.
Hm. It depends on the person, and why I wanted to catch their eye. Maybe something controversial, to spark conversation. Especially political books--if it supports their views, great. But perhaps something counter to their views would work to get conversation started as well. (I know that would work with my husband...he cannot resist debating people!) In my college days, it was usually something obtuse and philosophical like the writings of Kant, or Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. Okay, I did like to try to chew on stuff like that--still do--but mostly I wanted people to think I was really deep and intelligent. I once impressed the hell out of an interview panel when they asked an icebreaker question about what I was currently reading for fun and it honestly turned out to be a book about quantum physics (The Fabric of Reality, by David Deutsch). That's...just what I was interested in at the time!

Of course, all of these answers are looking back at about five years ago. Now I mostly read chick lit and books about early childhood development. :p

1 comment:

  1. It's never too late to join in and I'm glad you did. I really enjoyed your answer to number 2. It's great that you made friends that way.

    Thanks for playing. :)