Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Catcher On The 405

As I've noted more times than was really worth doing, I read a good bit.  have been less given in recent times to reading when out and about, finding that a book is rather encumbering when I don't have a backpack on me (after I finally managed to give it up after convincing myself that it wasn't so indispensable). I still manage to read occasionally when I'm traveling by Metro, and here is where an unhelpful manifestation of my concern about self-image comes about.

I don't pick books based on what I imagine people will think of me. It would be an exhausting, futile endeavor since I can't begin to imagine what my decisions do to affect public opinion most of the time. Still I do consider what people think once it's too late. There I'll be with a book that I fancy grants me some prestige or which could grant me greater appeal in the eyes of the fairer sex, and I'll start angling the book towards her.

It's a terrible habit. I hate little more than affectations, and there I go turning a deliberate, genuine interest in the book into a pose. It doesn't work anyway. Most people on a train aren't to be drawn closer under any circumstances. Of the few who are, a high percentage will not themselves be drawn into what you've got going on. On the rare occasion that a book used as bait does catch a fish, it's no terribly bright fish at all.

There are also those books that I imagine could make me look bad. It doesn't seem to me that many books are well enough known to scandalize on the basis of their contents, so I don't worry so much on that account. I do think twice when the book bears cover art that is to any degree risque. I fantasize about catching a dirty look or a remark from somebody proper. Of course, I put them in their place with a withering stare-down or a pithy slam. It hasn't happened yet. Maybe the thing to do is to be more proactive. If I work up the nerve, I'll report the results.

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