July 22, 2010

Reading with Faulkner (Or Some Other Drunkard)

So, this is more of a question than anything. What is with all these people that read in bars? I keep seeing people (mostly men, but sometimes ladies) posting up alone at some table in some noisy bar and they're sitting there, sipping an IPA and reading a book. And what I'm wondering here, is whether or not this is actually a passive-aggressive pick-up technique. I mean, I know that when I am reading, I don't want to talk to people. That's why I'm reading. Because I feel like reading and not like talking. But there's the bar thing. Bars are noisy and socially lubricated. They are not conducive to concentration. People sitting by themselves are fair game for some random leering sot who feels like conversation and a little thing like a book is not going to save you. If you want to read in peace you can read in a park or your home, or any number of places. You may argue that one can't buy beer in a park. This is true. But you can buy beer in a store and take it to a park. So, what I'm thinking is that these people are just sitting there, with their book, hoping that someone will talk to them. Is the book just a pick-up accessory, like a puppy or intense cleavage? Does anyone have insight on this?

5 comments:

Charisstopher said...

I've noticed this too - totally a passive pick up maneuver. The best is when they prop the book so you can note the fact that they're reading something Very Important.

Elizabeth said...
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CD Baby said...
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Ben Moral said...

Maybe I'll comment as myself, instead of my employer.

I'm sure at least some of them are just looking for a clean, well-lighted place.

Or maybe waiting for someone? Put their laundry in across the street and want to sip a beer while they wait?

But mostly they're probably scamming.

giverinner said...

I used to do this at my local pub in Vancouver (the BC one). People really find it bothersome, like the reader thinks s/he is better than the regular bar patron. Not so. Some people just really likes books and beer and see nothing wrong with the mash-up. My routine was two-fold: school nights it was one slow pint reading then put the book down and maybe talk to the bartender a bit for pint two, especially if he was a pretty girl. Weekends was the same except tacked onto pint two was maybe a three, four and, occasionally, five. It's super tough to read when you're drunk; don't even bother. Sometimes I forgot my book there but they always knew whose book it was since the rest of the patrons were stupid frat boys and slutty girls who only read bathroom walls looking for their names and/or phone numbers. But I still contend there's nothing wrong with reading at a pub. My house has lots of books but beers on tap? Not so many...