I finally left for my semester abroad this week which has meant a great deal of travelling. Planes, traines, automobiles, other John Hughes references, you name it. Most of my travel has featured people reading in public. Waiting for the plane, on the plane, waiting for the train, on the train. It got me thinking about reading in public and what kind of vibe whatever you read sends out. When someone sees you reading in public they not only judge your book by its cover, they judge you by your book’s cover. It takes a lot of confidence to read a book in public, especially certain types of books.
So what books do I have the confidence to read just out in the open?
Glad you asked.
1. A textbook
Not that I ever would. For the most part textbooks are incredibly boring. However, I would be comfortable reading one in public. At least you look moderately intellectual and maybe it can induce some sympathy.
2. Harry Potter
It’s safe. It doesn’t matter your age, no one judges someone for reading Harry Potter. I actually think that may be considered a federal offense in some states.
3. High Fidelity
Really just because it is one of my favorites. It’s well known enough that people will recognize the title but old enough that not every other person in the terminal will be reading it. Plus it sends out a beacon to everyone around you that you have good taste in music.
4. Calvin and Hobbes
Simply because I don’t trust people that A) haven’t read Calvin and Hobbes and B) don’t like them. However I have never actually met those people. I still don’t trust them though.
5. Lord of the Flies
Only because one time I was reading this on campus and someone walked by and yelled “NO! PIGGY!” and it was such a great moment I want it to someday be repeated.
The list of books I would never read in public is much longer. I wonder what that says about my self confidence.