Literary Transgression: Reading at Group Gatherings
This post is part of a long-running and sporadic series of Literary Transgressions! These Transgressions feature posts by me, Kate, or one of our delightful readers in which we share an embarrassing literary admission with some commentary. If you’d like to join the madness and share your own Literary Transgression, please e-mail us at literarytransgressionsATgmailDOTcom. We’re always looking for guest posters!
Remember when you were a kid and it was perfectly acceptable to just hole up in a corner during social gatherings and read a book while adults socially ebbed and flowed around you? Transgression admission time: I really wish I could still read instead of being social at certain gatherings!
I was a tag-along at a conference last week filled with ‘adults’ who all knew each other and had loads in common. As the odd girl out (and the youngest person there by about twenty years), I desperately wished I could just be my 10-year-old self again and dig out my book without being glared at for committing social rudeness.
And it’s not as though I want to do this all the time and at every social gathering. Hardly! Most of the time, I’m perfectly happy talking to others and hearing all the news. But there are certain occasions when it’s just pure politeness that keeps one smiling and nodding and it’s for those moments that I wish I could still run off and read something. It would surely be a better use of my time.
I can’t remember when it stopped being okay to sit in stairwells reading for hours at the family Christmas party or when reading became an alone-time activity, confined to bits of free time and certainly no longer a social escape hatch, but I wish I had appreciated the freedom of reading whenever and wherever when I still had it.