Monday, April 27, 2009

Social Pariahs

Ah, the joy of reading in public. Unfortunately, reading in public is treated kind of like masturbating in public. If someone sees you do it, they are stunned. Some brave souls will talk to you, but the conversation inevitably goes something like, "What are you doing?"

"I'm reading."

"What are you reading?"

"A book." You show them the title. Now you would think that the solitary act of reading, would clue people in that you aren't looking for a conversation. Not so. Normally, the inquisitive chap will continue to talk to you. This often happens at bus stops and laundry mats. I don't know why.

Seeing people read a book should not be that uncommon of a sight. It seems like it is, though. And the larger the book's page count, the greater the chance someone is going to think you are reading it for college or some other institute of learning.

And then there are the people who proudly tell you they either don't read or can't remember the last time they picked up a book. I imagine this is supposed to be impressive. "Look at me! I'm ignorant!"

And watch their reaction when you tell them you are reading for ... wait for it ... pleasure. That will really make you feel like a social pariah. How dare you? Are you molesting children, too?

Some books are perfectly acceptable to read in public. Anything with Harry Potter (which I've never read) comes to mind. Those vampire books for teen girls are pretty safe, too. Try reading Necessary Illusions or some Beeline smut novel and see what happens, though. People take your boldness as a personal attack and they are more than happy to let you know it.

Yet they remain curious.

I've done a lot of reading in public. Most all of it has been for pleasure. I've noticed that magazines don't earn the same reaction (photos make it seem okay in the average joe's eyes) as books, and graphic novels really puzzle people. Such is the nature of the beast, I guess. When far too many people have never stepped foot inside a book store, you have to expect such things. There's not much we can do about it, we reading elite.

Of course, you could always put on headphones, too, but that starts a whole other conversation ...

Monday, April 20, 2009

AK Press

For all you political/social junkies of a left bent, I have to recommend AK Press' Friends of AK Press. For $25 a month, you get everything AK Press publishes for that month for free. You have to sign up for 3 months minimum, but it is worth it. You get every book, DVD and CD that the anarchist publisher does, and you get like 20% off all items in the catalog.

This month I got two books that averaged $18 a piece, so you can see it's a good deal. That said, if you don't like political/social books from a leftist/anarchist perspective, this is not something you should do.

I have friends who have done it after hearing me talk about it, and they seem to like it. Check it out if you think it may be for you. It's a damn good deal, and you'll be neck deep in quality books in no time.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Introductions ...

This is my blog dedicated to books. As a writer, books are kind of near and dear to me. I don't think enough people read, and when they do read, they read crap (John Grisham comes to mind). I'm going to focus on what I like to read, book news and so on.