Musings From A Bookmammal

Musing Mondays–What ARE They Reading???


Click here to play along!

Click here to play along!

Musing Mondays is a weekly meme that asks you to muse about one of several “bookish” questions… or, you can just ramble on about anything you like that pertains to books! You can join in by clicking the graphic above. Go ahead–it’s fun!
Here’s my Musing Mondays ramble for this week:

I love to see the books strangers are reading. When I go to the library, I enjoy noticing the books other folks are borrowing. At the bookstore, I like to see what other people are buying. But most of all, I like to catch strangers in the act of actually reading—and then trying to get a glimpse of the cover to find out what it is.

reader 1        reader 3       reader 2

If I see someone in my doctor’s waiting room with a book, I always try to get a look at the cover. Same thing at airports, while waiting for the oil in my car to be changed, at the park near my office . . . anywhere that I see someone reading a book. Best of all is when I see someone who is reading a book that I’ve read myself, or, better yet, reading a book that I own. Instant connection!

Plus–I’m the type of person who always has a story going on inside my head, and seeing a person with a book is just another story prompt for me. WHY did she pick that book? WHERE did he get it? Is it for a class? Is he reading it to impress a special someone? Is that book going to be a life-changer for her? I can go on and on . . . and sometimes I do.

But nowadays, there’s a catch.  A big one.  I can’t do this when the stranger is reading an eBook.

EBooks add such an air of anonymity to what you’re reading. No one knows what it is, unless someone is literally hanging over your shoulder to read the screen—and even I won’t resort to that. This definitely takes some of the fun out of my reader-watching activities. Finding readers “in the wild” with actual books is becoming more and more rare—and I miss it.

What about you? Do you notice what strangers are reading? Have you ever “caught” a stranger reading a familiar book? Please share! 

The wonderful photos above were taken by photographer Ourit Ben-Haim and can be found, along with many others, on her fabulous blog She hasn’t posted in about five months now, and I miss her.

(Also–thank you to CleopatraLovesBooks for giving me the idea for this post! One line in one of her posts over the weekend stuck with me and prompted this rambling!)

Author: bookmammal

I love books, reading, writing, cooking, eating, reading while eating, and sharing thoughts about all of the above–plus a bit more! I usually post about topics relating to books and literacy during the week, and then participate in a variety of non-bookish memes on the weekend. Please feel free to join in! Some random things about me– –I have multiple bookshelves in every room of my home except the bathroom. They’re all filled to bursting. They help to make my house my home. –I have two cats who I love dearly, but who I definitely do NOT dress in human clothing. Ever. –I’ve never had a cavity. –I make a mean spaghetti sauce. –I’m a newcomer to yoga and I love it. –My day is not complete without a little chocolate.

12 thoughts on “Musing Mondays–What ARE They Reading???

  1. I like to see what others are reading. sometimes it leads to a conversation about books and that is fun. Here is my MM

  2. What a fun post–and something I didn’t realize I do, too!

  3. I also like to see what people are reading. And if they’re reading something I like, I have to restrain myself from trying to talk to them about it LOL

    • When I worked at the bookstore I would comment on what people were buying if they seemed open to conversation–but it’s trickier otherwise. You don’t want to POUNCE on people and say “OMG I loved that book!” That could be scary! 🙂

  4. Books are great conversation starters!!

    Have a great reading week!

    Here is my post.

  5. I really miss seeing what everyone else is reading. Great post 🙂

  6. Oh that’s exactly what I wrote about a few weeks ago! I hate how behind e-readers people could be reading 50 Shades or War and Peace

  7. I too like noticing what people read, but I haven’t given much thought to the problems with e-readers because of the times I’ve seen people with book covers (or at least a brown paper bag made into a book cover) covering their book, or hardcovers without the slipcovers. I myself have done all three so I guess that’s why I haven’t noticed it as much? Personally I prefer hearing what they think of a book rather than just seeing what they’re reading, but then I’m sometimes too shy to start up conversations with random people when I see they’re reading something XD I do look up the books as soon as I get the chance, though!

    • That’s interesting–I don’t see too many people with book covers on their books.
      I don’t often strike up an actual conversation with strangers about what they’re reading–sometimes I think it’s more fun to imagine why they’re reading their book–but that’s just me!

  8. A couple of times I’ve seen someone reading a book I’ve read but I’ve never started up a conversation about it. Here’s my musing:

  9. Hey! even i love to take a look on the books other people are reading 🙂

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