06 November 2008

Public Displays of Reading

Does anyone else read while walking? I do. All the time. Especially during that really boring 800 metres between tram stop and home. (Actually, come to think of it, I never read on the way to the tram stop in the morning, only on the way home in the evening.) People look at me strangely sometimes. But I know that if I bumped (probably literally) into a fellow Onion, they would understand.

Because we are a company full of book nerds. Passionate, passionate book nerds. (Although, now that ‘book’ means ‘cool’ that might be a contradiction in terms.)

Here is a list of PDsR (public displays of reading) that other Onions have confessed to…
  • On a plane. Crying over the ms of Judith Clarke’s new book, Winds of Heaven. And not Hollywood-style glamorous tears, but swollen-red-face-shiny-nose-wet-Tshirt-person-sitting-next-to-you-thinks-you're-completely-weird tears.
  • In a café. A bunch of Onions in gales of laughter, followed by an embarrassingly loud and lengthy coughing/choking fit. (That was your fault, Justine - the luge-ing scene in How to Ditch Your Fairy.)
  • On the way to work. Looking up to see the train pulling out of Melbourne Central Station, letting out a huge sigh of realisation that it's a long way back - and a change of train - to Parliament Station. Stephanie Meyer, Bella, Jacob, Edward - curses to you all.
  • In church, as a child. Caught reading about the boarding school antics of Enid Blyton's hockey-playing heroines through the crochet holes in a beige poncho. Got in all sorts of trouble. But did it again, and again.
  • In the pub while the rugby's on. For some reason, this seems to inspire a high degree of disgust (and occasional amusement) from surrounding rugby fans, be you in Ireland, Melbourne or New Zealand at the time. But this Onion doesn't like rugby!
  • Reading at the dinner table. Always guaranteed to irritate one's parents.
  • Huddled behind a little hidden-away wall near an alley. Finishing a chapter of Philip Pullman ... even though she was already late... and it seemed to be raining.
  • Stopped dead under a street light at the tram stop. Looking totally demented while juggling the A4 pages of the first manuscript of Maureen McCarthy’s new (awesome!) book Somebody's Crying – because of being totally unable to walk home without knowing how the book ends.

Ever been caught reading somewhere inappropriate?


Unknown said...

Tales from Outer Suburbia made me cry on the train at least three times, but I could stop reading. That page 15/16 spread just destroyed me (but in a good way).

Anonymous said...

"Mummy... Mummy, are you listening? Mummy, I'm taking that book AWAY!"

Misrule said...

When I was commuting on the train into the city, I always tried to see what people were reading with a view to blogging it, but people are very inconsiderate to their fellow sticky-beak commuters, keeping the cover of the book firmly on their lap or elsewhere where it can't easily be seen. So I make a point of holding my book up on the train so other people can see what I'm reading, in case they're as nosey as me.

I've always read everywhere--walking, on the train, at the red lights in the car, on the loo--but I do recall a train trip to the Blue Mountains a few years ago when I read the first Georgia Nicholson book and kept bursting out laughing aloud. It was kind of embarrassing, but the book really was funny. (I haven't read any of the others, that said!)

emily said...

I read everywhere - I think my parents are the only ones in the entire world who tell me that I need to stop reading. I cannot function if there's a book near me that I haven't read.

I've gotten many looks from reading in weird places. One of my favorites was when we were watching a movie about a theoretical super volcano apocalypse, and I was reading a David Sedaris book. In retrospect, that was a bad idea. The main character in the movie had just said something like, "There will be 65 million dead, and hundreds more homeless," and I burst out laughing (I had just finished my favorite chapter, and he is absolutely brilliant). Everyone in the entire class turned around and stared at me.

Like Misrule, I've also gotten a lot of weird looks from laughing at Georgia Nicholson books entirely too loudly. And also, she should read the others! They are possibly even funnier.

I additionally have a tendency towards flipping out at characters in books and shouting stuff at them. This happened a lot with Libba Bray's The Sweet Far Thing.

teacherninja said...

In high school I was reading a Stephen King novel under the desk while the science teacher was showing a film. At a horrible part I actually yelped aloud. Oops. Busted.