Friday, September 13, 2013

Reading As A Shameful Habit

In my latest post for Book Riot Reading While Walking I admitted I read while waiting in the line at the Target pharmacy (I'm on a first name basis with the cashier there. Hi Darryl!),  while pushing my cart through the vast desperate consumerist space that is the Hunt Valley Wegman's. I read in nips, as one might moonshine from a hip flask during Prohibition. Why do I secret my book as soon as I see an adult walk by?

Because being seen reading? In the middle of the day? By other adults? It's like having a wart. I feel like I'm going to be judged.  Childish, languorous, wasteful. Don't I have real work to do?

Plug "Reading" into Google Image and the first hundred results contain not one image of an adult reading. It's all cartoon bears and children. So I guess I am a cartoon bear.

People ask, "How do you have time to read?" As if reading is frivolous. I defensively immediately say, "I make time. I work as a book reviewer, okay? Okay? Okay? Hey, stop looking at me funny."

But I shouldn't have to defend.  Reading is what I do to enhance my being.