“A Book A Day Keeps the Librarian Away!!!” This sign was part of last year’s Summer Reading decorations, which were put up by a couple of our teen volunteers. I didn’t get a chance to ask them back then what this even MEANT, and I’m not sure if librarians should be offended or not, but I guess anything goes in the name of promoting literacy, right?
I don’t know who made this “Batman Returns His Library Books” poster, but my hat is off to you.
This afternoon, post-work meeting, I was reading alone in a local bar (don’t judge me) while I was killing time before ANOTHER meeting (see? I needed a beer with my book and BLT). A group of guys came in, presumably after a work shift (their occupation shall not be disclosed out of respect, but it was obvious by their manner of dress) and sat down next to me.
They ignored me for a while, and then I guess their drinks kicked in, and since I was the only girl in the bar and the only weirdo READING at the bar, one of the guys decided it was just weird enough to merit saying something to me.
He wasn’t a jerk. I just want to say that outright. I didn’t feel uncomfortable or demeaned or anything like that. But while I found the conversation rather funny, it was also illuminating as to some peoples’ attitudes about books and reading.
Here are some of the highlights from our brief conversation. (These are all comments from HIM. I did my best to remain neutral and polite and pro-book without sounding condescending.)
“So, do you always read a book at a bar on Tuesday afternoons?”
“I tried to get into reading, but I just can’t do it.”
“So, you actually LIKE reading? Like, you’re enjoying that?” *points at my book*
“My buddy listens to books. Maybe…maybe I could do that. Could I do that in my house?”
“I think my niece has some late fines. Can you take care of them?”
And then he offered to buy me a shot. (I was tempted, but politely declined.)
“Maybe I’ll see you in the library sometime.”
As far as strange bar experiences go, it was rather tame. But it did show me that when you read in public, you leave yourself vulnerable to judgment and random conversation. At the very least, I hope that, in some small way, I influenced him to maybe think about reading differently. And it’s always kind of fun to do reader’s advisory outside of the library.
Or maybe I’ll just stick to reading at home.