Reading Books in Public: Pros and Cons

Ask any bookworm what their haven is, the answer will always be curling up in their comfy bed with an unending supply of books, food and coffee/tea.

See, we’re such simple creatures.

But have you ever wondered why we like to stay holed up in our bedrooms instead of venturing outside with our books? Because reading in public is a complicated process that may involve inevitable death due to embarrassment. And apparently I do have a death wish because you can frequently(read: always) find me reading in public.


And so I decided to make a list of pros and cons of reading books in public because I’m obsessed with lists and have a severe need to analyse everything. But this can be very useful for you, so keep reading on!



1. Efficient time management

This is so helpful if you have a TBR like mine which is threatening to crash down upon your head leading to inevitable death.

Unfortunately, I have to go to school almost everyday which highly limits my reading time unless I read my books there. Most of my reading is done in my free classes, lunch break and in the 5 minutes between two classes, when one teacher has left and the other hasn’t arrived yet, because EVERY MINUTE COUNTS!


2. The awe and respect

Most bookworms are pretty antisocial and quiet and don’t have hundreds of people coming around to talk to them, which is fine since we have to read our books anyway. But more often than not someone will gape at the size of the book we’re reading from the corner of a room and look at us with awe and respect like wow you actually read for pleasure, you must be a superhero.

It’s a huge thing for them.

I remember starting the Lunar Chronicles in the beginning of the school year and I was so into that series that I would finish one book each day. So I took a different book to school everyday and one of my classmates was amazed when she fond out I was actually reading and finishing them in a single day.


3. You’re armed with your weapons

It’s pretty much common knowledge that books, especially hardcover books can be excellent weapons. You won’t know until you’ve been a prey to a book attack or accidentally dropped books on yourself while trying to take Bookstagram pictures*

So yeah, now you have a foolproof way to deal with the annoying people in your life!


*I know you’re reading this Cait

4. Books make for excellent hidey-holes!

Are you desperately trying to avoid someone who’s coming right your way and is about to see you in 3….2…1…NOW?

Just lift up the book to pretend you’re reading. Tada!

Aren’t books a lifesaver?

5. Warding off work

Now this is slightly rare but sometimes when people see that you’re busy reading with eyes glued to the pages, they tend to leave you alone.

Oh well, she looks busy with her book, I’ll give this work to somebody else.




6. Finding other booklovers

But hands off the best advantage of reading in public is that another bookworm might see you reading their favourite book and may come over to gush and scream over the book. They might even lend you their books and you might become fast fangirl friends!


So don’t shy away from reading in the public!


On the other hand though…


1. People who judge you

I can’t even remember the number of people who start judging me when I whip my book out.

No, I’m not an all-knowing smarty pants.

I’m not trying to boast okay, just let me read

No, I don’t hate talking to people I just like reading much more!

Yes, I actually do things other than reading(unfortunately)



2. Damaging or loosing books

Your books aren’t really safe in the world out there because people are stupid and careless and don’t respect these wondrous pages filled with words.

You might keep your book down and turn your head for one second only to find that your book has magically disappeared like all your food does.

omg noooo.gif

They somehow end up with broken spines, folded or torn pages and the worst- food or water stains. And let’s not think of the possibility of the covers folding over if you don’t keep them carefully in your bags. The mere thought of this might encourage you to never take your book out of your house.


3. Embarrassing outbursts

While reading in our cozy beds it’s safe for us to scream at our book, cry when a character dies or just giggle at funny and adorable characters. And we get so used to that freedom that we often forget that out in the real world people are actually watching us and it’s not normal to yell ‘DON’T DIE’ while commuting to work.

This can lead to high levels of embarrassment or death.

So now you have to exercise great control over every inch of your being to not betray your emotions, which is NOT easy when your favorite character dies. You’d be surprised at how often that happens.

Because writers are plain rude and love to toss our feelings off a cliff.


4. Getting comfortable

This is a major problem because reading in public drags you away from your comfortable lair a.k.a your bed . You can’t lay back into your bean-bag in a train, lie down on your side at school or just be comfortable in any possible way.

Honestly, we should all start carry our reading homes with us like turtles and tortoises.


5. Constant interruptions

Sometimes Many a times it’s impossible to read more that a couple of sentences before someone interrupts your peace and happiness.

‘What are you reading?

‘So what’s this book about?’

‘Can’t you read sometime else?’

‘OMG did you hear about-‘

‘Wait, you’re reading?’

No, I’m actually volunteering for the next Hunger Games. Want to join me?


6. Being tagged as a nerd

Oh yeah, that happens too.

But I’ve got used to it, plus I now take pride in being called a nerd. Yes, I read big books and cry and yell at them. I’m a nerd through and through. What do you do beside gossiping and loitering around?




So the question is do you read in public and which above listed incidents have you faced? Do you think you’re going to change your reading habits any soon? Do let me know in the comments below!

25 thoughts on “Reading Books in Public: Pros and Cons

    I used to read most of my books in school and my bus/van when I used to go to my old school. And the amount of awed looks I used to get. It made me so happy (for some weird reason). But in this school the class doesn’t even end and the next teacher is outside, waiting. I mean teachers have no chill.
    The only reason reading in public sucks is that I can never sit comfortably and how much noise do these children make. Like keep your mouths shut please…I’M READING! Also damaging books. Also not being able to read even one page because suddenly everyone is interested in what I’m reading.
    This post is SO GREEEEEEEEEAT, Charvi! And I love lists ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    • OMG yess how can I forget the bus rides! It used to take me one freaking hour to get home which meant plenty of time for reading and fortunately I somehow block all noises while reading πŸ˜€
      I love the awed looks too! Feels like you’ve made a blockbuster film or something, lol. And I hate when teachers arrive early!! Like omg this much time you can’t give us?! And why does everyone have to take interest while I’m reading I’ll never know!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I used to read a lot during my commute to work.. on my kindle though.. so no one knew what I was reading… books are the only things that made the commute manageable…
    I love all your points… you have a very funny way of writing 😍😍

    Liked by 1 person

      • Ya I mostly don’t mind ppl knowing either.. except when it’s a romance novel with a naked dude on the cover 😜😜😜

        Liked by 1 person

      • Haha.. good for u… I love reading romances when I’m in a slump… they are easy to read and I don’t have to think too much… 😊😊

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Oooo reading in public. I don’t often do it anymore, when I was at school I’d often go off and read in the library before my mates came out or I’d sit in the corner we used to hang out at. But generally I don’t read in public anymore, I don’t have time too, and I can’t on buses as I get travel sick which is annoying.

    But interruptions are the most annoying thing, I used to get them all the time. Death glares are your best friend there xD loved this post

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I FEEL CALLED OUT.πŸ˜‚ (Also I literally just dropped a stack of hardcovers on my head trying to take a photo today so…there is that.πŸ˜‚)

    Also YES to this list! I actually don’t go out that much that I need to read in public, but the cons really get to me?! I hate damaging my book and I HATE interruptions, but worse is when I can’t concentrate because there’s too much other stuff going on. Ugh. But better to be reading than dong nothing right?! We must fight that TBR somehow.πŸ˜‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • πŸ˜‚Something tells me it won’t be the last time either πŸ˜‚

      Oh what a life to remain holed up in your house! I envy you Cait. I usually am able to concentrate despite the amount of noise and all but not when I haven’t really gotten into a book yet, so yeah that’s frustrating.
      True! πŸ˜‚


  5. I remember back when Kindles were unheard of in my country, people would often talk to me about it, ask me what it is. Or when I used to read in Japanese with a dictionary in the buses πŸ˜€ sometimes old ladies would strike up a conversation πŸ˜€ in my Northern country, it’s pretty unheard of πŸ˜€ hahaha. Was fun.

    But I’ve actually never heard the “are you trying to look smart” one xD I just… can’t even imagine why they’d even say that lol… People are odd.

    I do hate the question “what are you reading” though. Because like they’re gonna know.. the book is probably not even released, and the person asking me probably reads 2 books a year when I read 100. I don’t think I’ve ever had people regonize a book I’m reading. I just sort of roll my eyes when they ask that xD and say “a book”. And they probably think I’m awful xD

    Also, solution to all your reading nook needs: A BEANBAG. Will not disappoint.

    And yep, nothing wrong with being tagged as a nerd xD I am TOTALLY a nerd.

    Great post, really enjoyed it πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ah yes, striking up conversation over books is the best! I don’t own a kindle but I read a lot on my tablet and phone which people often assume to be technology addiction ugh.

      Omg yes! Like you’re just asking to be polite. You give shit about books and are probably never going to read it even if I tell you it’s amazing. I do have quite a few classmates this year who read books so we often strike up a conversation 😊

      Beanbags are love! My childhood library section used to have a number of beanbags and I loved curling up there!

      Thank you so much for commenting!


  6. I always read in public, but I often end up regretting it a bit, because I laugh aloud a lot while I’m reading. And berate the characters for whatever idiotic scheme they’ve come up with. Or shout “I knew it!” when the plot twist I predicted happens. And this gets me a lot of odd looks… Because apparently these aren’t normal things to do in public πŸ˜‚

    Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ah I totally get you! I mean people do this while watching movies and this is no different! There should be a universal acceptance about such things for bookworms xP

      Thank you! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  7. This POST! Too real. The interruptions are always welcome as long as people are 1) also obsessed with this book 2) refilling my coffee – because 99% of the time I am reading in public it’s at a coffee shop or 3) announcing that there will be free donuts for everyone (still waiting on this one…)
    I also just wear the embarrassing outbursts because they have literally happened at least a ZILLION times! My boyfriend has even started filming me near the end of books…. he says the tears/screams/laughs are inevitable now. So I just let it come. and people look at me like I’m that troll in the dungeon from HP1 and I just keep laugh/cry/screaming.

    Liked by 1 person

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