The other day a man sat near me in the break room holding a book. Naturally, as inconspicuously as I could, I tried to look over at what he was reading. Not inconspicuously enough, because a co-worker sitting in front of me asked me what I was doing. Apparently my eyes looked like they were going to disappear into the side of my head. 😂
I can’t be the only one, right? Whenever I spot someone in my vicinity with a book in their hands, I try to take a peek at what they’re reading. Name a method — I’ve probably done it. The three that I’ve used commonly are:
THE TRAFFIC CONGESTOR
I’m that person who’s impeding the flow of pedestrian traffic because I’ve slowed down trying to take a peek at a passers-by’s book. More often than not, this happens when I’m taking public transport which is the best place to catch another book-lover other than the book store, library, or park. During peak hour, it’ll be the thing that prevents me from getting a seat because I was too focused on my mission lol. The people around me are also probably thinking along these lines:
I have terrible eyesight even with my glasses, but if there’s a friend around and a book that’s too distant to be peeked at, I’ll ask them to have a look. My close friends are used to this request already, so I don’t get any weird looks. Shout out to you guys. You’re the real MVPs.
THE SCREW IT
I’m quite the introvert, but nothing gets me out of my shell like the sight of someone reading. I can’t help but feel an automatic connection with them. Like: yes, friend! Book friend! Bless you, friend! It’s like I’m a foreigner in a strange land who’s spotted someone of my race. Sometimes the urge to know just burns so deep I can’t help but act on it, so five times out of ten, if the person is near me, I’ll strike up a conversation with them about the book they’re reading. Because I understand the pain of being bothered mid-read, I’ll usually keep it short, but every now and then it blossoms into a lovely conversation about books.
It happened quite recently actually, in the same break room. I’d noticed this person come in with the same book for a couple of weeks now. Started a conversation with him. Turns out he was reading We Are Pirates by Daniel Handler a.k.a Lemony Snicket and we ended up sharing our memories of reading A Series of Unfortunate events. It’s always fun connecting with a stranger over similar interests!