How To Catch People Reading In Public


For my PopSugar challenge, I’m getting a little panicky. Ever since it was announced, I’ve been worried about how to fulfill it, and I have not yet had a sighting. The category is: a book that you’ve seen a stranger reading in public. But I don’t see people reading in public.

I don’t go out much. I was an early adopter of eBay and Amazon. When I realized I could get pretty much anything delivered to me, I was all in. There was even a time when I had my groceries delivered. (I stopped that after I asked for celery and got 1 piece of celery. Literally 1 piece.)

So, I go to Costco and the grocery store every week. I might pop into Target or Walmart monthly for paper goods or shampoo. Sometimes I drop something off at the post office, or go to the doctor/dentist/eye doctor. I ALWAYS have a book with me. (Honestly, I feel more naked without a book than without my phone.) If I have to stand in line for more than 30 seconds, I whip my book out and read.

But I don’t see anyone else reading at any of the places I go. Or at least, not books. Most people I see are staring off into space, or more often, staring at their phones. It could be that they’re all reading amazing books on the Kindle app, but it’s more likely they’re checking their Facebook or Instagram. And even if they are reading an amazing book, it’s not like I’ll ever know about it.

Same if I see someone reading a Kindle. I can’t see the title. Reader rule #1: Never interrupt someone reading. Never ever ever. The book gods will chew you up and use you as paper for the book you hate the most.

So, where do people read books? Does anyone have an answer for that? The library? A local coffee shop? I do go to the library, but primarily to pick up or drop off books. I don’t linger and stalk people. I do believe that most people at the library read their books flat (because hard backs can be hard to hold).

Then what happens if I finally do have an elusive sighting of another reader (a stranger, it specifically says) and their taste in books seems awful (Or, at least not appealing to me)?

What if I counted a book shown on Instagram? Those people are mostly strangers, and it’s obvious some of them are reading in a public place… does that count?

Help me! Tell me where you see strangers reading in public!

8 comments on “How To Catch People Reading In Public

  1. scr4pl80 says:

    Laughing here. So true. Maybe a doctor’s office although hopefully you don’t have to go to the doctors! Take a walk around a book store and see what people pick up to read there. I haven’t gotten to this category yet. I have so many other books already in categories that I can wait for the opportune moment to arise, but thanks for reminding me to keep my eyes open!

    • doreeweller says:

      Actually, a book store is a fantastic idea! There’s always someone reading something in the Starbucks inside B&N! I’ll just have to stalk them in case the cover isn’t showing…

  2. Lea Christensen says:

    I like the Instagram idea, as I have been having some anxiety about this one as well…I never see people reading anywhere either!! Or I fear I am so busy reading to myself that I may not notice…what about a book you see on tv? I watch a lot of tv and I am always investigating what they are reading instead of paying attention to the scene…technically they are strangers…

    • doreeweller says:

      I wondered if I’m just not paying attention too… lol. TV seems valid. If I can’t find any strangers, I’m going for TV or Instagram, I think. It’s only February, so I’ll stay on the lookout, but I’m not waiting for the last minute on this…

  3. Ramona Mead says:

    I have two ideas for myself on this. One was a gal reading one of the Outlander books in a coffee shop and the other was someone reading on an airplane. I see people reading in public all the time: at the library, at coffee shops, doctor’s office waiting rooms, in parks, automotive waiting rooms, while eating solo at a restaurant. Just keep looking! Also, I think your Instagram idea is great and totally legit.

    • doreeweller says:

      Maybe like Lea said, I’m just too busy reading to notice other people reading. I do have a plane trip coming up in April, so that probably would be a good time to look around see if I can catch anyone reading. I’ll try to keep my eyes open, but if the book is good, it’s difficult to be invested in real life!

  4. I can’t recall the last time I saw someone reading a real book, as opposed to a magazine in a doctor’s office. Even when I have a book with me, it’s usually some collection of old comic books reprinted in a more durable form.

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