July 2, 2005

"What the hell was going on in the 3rd century?"

Do you ever go to a bar alone... and read? And if you do, do you read books that you'd feel weird about showing to a stranger who asks what you're reading? And if you do and a stranger does, do you end up having a long conversation about the Gnostic gospels?

8 comments:

knoxgirl said...

I have only once, reading "The World According to Garp," and it too led to a very nice conversation with a male stranger. I don't know if he was trying to hit on me or not, but if I hadn't had a boyfriend at the time, it would have worked! Simply because you just don't expect engaging conversation from a strange guy at a bar...

Ann Althouse said...

Maybe cities need bars that are ostensibly oriented toward reading, where shy folk can meet people. Just bring the book you want to talk to someone about and look for someone reading something that interests you. Or maybe everyone will be too shy and it will just be like a library -- where everyone gets drunk.

Dave said...

Well, I know that in Dublin, James Joyce aficionados go various pubs to read his work.

But then they're not alone when they do that.

Ron said...

Perhaps coffee houses will mutate in such a fashion that they will retain their relaxed atmosphere, and then start to serve drinks as well...

Why can't we have something like "High Vin," where we all share wine and amuse bouche at a certain time of the day, like High Tea? That would be warm and friendly....

lindsey said...

I've long thought Starbucks should offer to put a little alcohol in people's coffee. Kahlua, Baileys, rum, whiskey, etc...

Drethelin said...

not being of an age to go to bars, I haven't ever done that, but knowing myself, I'm sure that if I ever went to bar I'd bring a book.

I HAVE sat in the mall and read, or in the coffeeshop portion of some bookstores, mostly because due to driving distance(and the goddamn construction on east wash), it's easier to go there and hang around than to head home when driving my sister somewhere.

Ann Althouse said...

Drethlin: In Madison, the bookstore cafes and regular cafes are full of young people reading -- often sitting alone.

Andrew Shimmin said...

I went a summer without cable television (I really am a martyr) once, and had to go to a bar to watch baseball. I always brought books with me. The secret isn't in the selection of the book to bring, it's in making up plausible lies about whatever your reading, when asked about it. If you don't want to talk to the asker, say the book is about farm subsidies. Not only will nobody care, they also won't care why you're reading it.