Love it or hate it: Reading in public

by Patty Templeton

Love itMusic may be my life, but books are my heart. To get all Ursula Le Guin about it, “Words are my matter.” I’m the type of broad who slides a novel in her back pocket before heading to a concert or a poetry tome into a haversack before hitting the road. I can read anywhere. There’s not much better than wrapping a hand around a strong cuppa Joe, sitting in a cozy diner booth, and cracking open a book. Bars? The only problem with reading in ’em is lowlight. Sitting against a strong sycamore? Make friends with the ants and it’s fab. At a family party where everyone’s watching the Super Bowl? Reading saves my sanity.

There’s a downside to even that which we love. My one worry on public reading is that if the book is good, like the one I just started, Albee’s play “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf,” I can focus on the fictional to such a degree that the real world falls away. A runaway train could come clamoring toward my park bench and I’d be smushed to goo without noticing. The only whole body part they’d find would be my hand still clutching a book. Perhaps, if the universe were having some kicks, my ejected eyeball would be resting on a poignant sentence.

— Patty TempletonHate itLet’s be precise here: For this straight, male writer, nothing is a bigger turn-on than seeing a lone woman sitting alone anywhere – bar, coffee shop, park bench – reading a book. Beyond being attracted to people who like books, it’s the quiet confidence, the desire to be in public, yet simultaneously lost in another world that gets me going.

I wish I could do it myself. As much as I’d like to exude the actions and abilities of those who attract me so, I can’t do it despite years of trying.

I’ll get two paragraphs in and see my mind wander around the corner and back again. The cacophony of espresso machines is louder than normal. Dimwits at the bar are even more dimwitted. The television in the corner is showing monster truck highlights. Everyone who walks by is potentially someone I know. All the while, I wonder if I, too, am adequately pulling off the quiet confidence of a public reader, despite the fact that I keep rereading the same two paragraphs.

Reading is hard enough. If I could only do it in public, I may give it up entirely.

David Holub


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Social Media

Most Popular

Get The Latest Updates

Subscribe To Our Weekly Newsletter

No spam, notifications only about new products, updates.


On Key

Related Posts

DGO February 2023 Page 10 Image 0001

A stoner Shakespeare Snowdown

Was the Bard truly a pothead like scholars hypothesize? In honor of Snowdown 2023, we’re finding out. Hark, fair maidens and noble gentlemen, it’s Snowdown

Receive the latest news

Subscribe To Our Weekly Newsletter

Get notified about new articles

Explore the weed life with DGO Magazine

Contact Information

Find Us Here:

Leave us a message