Like my fictional hero, Rory Gilmore, I almost always have at least one book on my person. So when bits of time come up, I can read. I read, to quote the great Dr. Seuss, while waiting for a train to go, or a bus to come, or a plane to go, for the mail to come or the rain to go. But my very best reading time is on my lunch break at work. I can take 30 minutes, forget all about work problems, and just chill out with my salad and my book. It is the very best part of my day.
Some well-meaning soul comes along to “rescue” me from my apparent boredom. The problem is that they are sorely mistaken. There is literally not one other thing I would rather be doing right now. I especially don’t want to be listening to how shitty your day is and then seeing pictures of you and your wife on vacation. I have my own shitty day and my own unflattering bathing suit pictures to deal with, and I’m trying to forget about them by READING MY BOOK.
If I was typing away on a laptop, you wouldn’t bother me. If I was talking on the phone, you wouldn’t bother me. Reading is not something I do because I don’t have anyone to eat lunch with. I deliberately take a late lunch and sit by myself so I might have time to read another Malcolm Gladwell essay, or finish The Book Thief so I can review it later.
I would say about 70% of the population understands that my book is a “Do not Disturb” sign, and to them I say, thank you. Your thoughtfulness in sitting at another table makes it possible for me to re-charge and be my charming and lovely self in the second half of my day. The rest of you need to listen up:
I’m not bored. I’m reading.