It’s Saturday! Musings on Reading in Public Places

Epstein Family Photos

This morning I got up at 04:50 AM (!!!!) and went with my husband to Ein Gedi (near the Dead Sea) as he was participating in the 10 km race there.

Naturally, I took my book with me.

Reading in a public place while waiting, is basically similar in all places, whether it is a waiting room in a clinic, your child’s swimming lesson or for a race to end.

It’s not the same as reading at home.

There are people walking by, claiming or vacating the seat next to you, there may be background music or loudspeakers with announcements (at the race there were all of the above).

More importantly, you have to keep an eye on the time. How long do you have left before your child exits that door or until you have to be ready with the camera at the finish line.

In short, reading without relaxation.

But, in my opinion, still worthwhile!

The trick to making the most of reading in such situations is having suitable reading material. I don’t think I would have managed to read an academic article (or anything else that requires serious concentration) this morning. However, I’m still reading the fascinating book “The Tiger’s Wife” by Tea Obreht , a book which easily “draws me in”. So, despite stopping frequently, I was very glad I had brought the book!

7 thoughts on “It’s Saturday! Musings on Reading in Public Places”

  1. Hi Naomi!

    What a great topic – I love it and agree that reading in public places is much different from reading at home.

    I commute to go to the various places I work – some are near, some further away, so I always have a book with me. There is always someone asking me if the seat next to me is free and once or twice I have even been asked what I am reading and if it is good (and have started nice conversations on books!).

    Hope you enjoyed the day! Have a good rest – you need it, after waking up so early : )

    Thank you for another great post!

  2. Never thought about it that way 🙂 hmm … actually much of my reading is in public places: on the tram, waiting … never leave the house without a book in my bag;

  3. How true – reading in public requires quite different skills (ignoring, for example) and materials. I always have a ‘train book’ in my bag. It is one I keep purely for reading on the train so takes me ages to read – I don’t dare read it at home as I might forget to put it back in my schoolbag and it gives me something to look forward to every day (my secret selfish treat for myself). I’ve never been asked about what I’m reading but do see people checking out the cover. My train books have to be ones you can put down and pick up again without having to re-read any pages/sections. They must also not be too exciting (once nearly missed my stop as I was so engrossed in my book!); just simple, easy to read stories. (Right now it’s Jonathon Coe’s “the terrible privacy of Maxwell Sim”).
    Nice to see a post about something other than just English lessons!

  4. Louise!
    Thank you so much for sharing! What a great idea – a “train” book!
    I guess I should add to the list of things one needs to keep an eye on when reading in a public place is “not missing your stop!”.

    B.T.W – There’s a book related post on this blog every Saturday.

  5. Funny, keep thinking about this post and some of the comments – actually every time I pick up a book: seem to have them scattered about: my bag-book (aka – tram book) [easy to get into and out], my work books [related to projects I am working on, lucky for me they are on topics I am passionate about] and there is my toilet book – which contains heaps of info and things to think about, I can only take it in bit by bit …

  6. Judy!
    I think you are not alone among book lovers in that you juggle several books at the same time. Each type of reading material for the right time!

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