WHAT...THE...HELL is the deal with strangers who want to talk to me while I'm reading in public?
Most recent example:
Last week I went outside to enjoy some reading during my lunch break. Generally, my reading spot at work is inside this big gazebo in one of our courtyards. It's perfect because it's always shady, has benches to stretch out on, and is hidden from a lot of the nearby buildings by bushes and flowers. The perfect private reading alcove. (I may or may not refer to it as "MY Gazebo" in my head. I'm a little possessive.)
Anyway, in all the times I've sat there to read, I've always had My Gazebo to myself. However, last week as I was reading, another woman (who I had never met) came into My Gazebo with her lunch to eat. Okay, no problem. I look up, we exchange "Hi"s, she grabs the bench on the other side, and I go back to my book. She reaches into her lunch bag and starts munching away. We are peacefully co-existing.
She looks up at me and says, "I'm glad I found this place to eat. The student union is crazy today."
And I'm like...
But okay. I nod and say, "Yeah, busy time of the summer in there," and...go back to my book.
BUT OH NO. She continues. "Beautiful day. So glad the humidity went down. Hasn't it been awful lately?"
"I hope it stays like this. I'm taking vacation next week and it would be great if we had more weather like today's."
The non-readers out there might think I'm being bitchy or antisocial. But let me just lay it out for you: if someone is reading in public, they do not want to be disturbed by someone they don't know unless that person has something of terrific importance to say. This would include things like:
-"Excuse me miss, but there is a bomb under your seat." (You should verify first that it's a real bomb and thus a real threat.)
-"It appears that that plane in the sky is about to crash on or near your person."
-"Derek Jeter just walked into the room and intends to propose marriage to you." (insert childhood celebrity crush of your choice)
-"Oh Em Gee, I read that book and LOVED it! Let's discuss!"
I'm sad to say that I've had interruptions like the one above countless times. On commuter trains, in libraries (LIBRARIES!!), at a coffee shop, you name it. Don't get me wrong, people--I'm social. I strike up conversations in elevators and grocery stores and wherever. And of course if a friend were to interrupt me while reading, I would welcome it. But I'm not looking to make new friends when I have a book in my hand. JUST NO.
The moral of my story is this: the next time you want to interrupt a stranger who is happily ensconced in a book, because you have nothing to do and figure this is a great time to discuss last night's So You Think You Can Dance, pull out your iPhone. Or plan your grocery list. Or doodle on a napkin. Just don't do THAT.
What say you, readers? Am I too touchy? Do you have other reading pet peeves that take precedence over this one? Or is this a problem of yours as well?