Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Safety First, Readers

I interrupt my regularly scheduled posts (ha) with a public service announcement for overeager readers.

I used to think that there was nothing wrong with wanting to read anytime, anywhere. I almost always carry a book with me and I love reading whenever I get the chance, even when it might not seem normal or socially acceptable. My mother often had to remind me that "but the last chapter ended on a cliffhanger!" was not an acceptable excuse for being late to dinner or ignoring my relatives. But lately I've noticed some people taking the idea of reading everywhere a little too far.

Just Say No, even if it's the last chapter. Source.
Yesterday I saw a woman reading while walking along a winding, wooded road with blind curves and no shoulder. It wasn't a busy road, but the few cars that were on it tended to drive quite fast, and she was walking in the lane with her back to traffic and her nose in a book.

Then today I passed a guy listening to music and reading a graphic novel while bicycling. He was on the sidewalk at the time, at least, and I was more impressed than anything (unlike when I see cyclists texting), plus it actually reminded me of this amazing video of life on a bike, BUT STILL, that's two random readers in as many days who have left me FEARING FOR THEIR LIVES. (She said overdramatically.)

Seriously though, is there something going on? Maybe there's an underground movement of risk-taking readers that I don't know about. Maybe they have safety light bookmarks and patches on their brimming backpacks that say: Xtreme Readers! Books First, Safety Second!  Except they're readers, so they'd be more likely to spell "extreme" properly.

Anyone else out there seen crazy readers lately, or risked your own life and limb for a great book?


  1. This is hilarious! I'm lucky I can actually ride my bike, let alone do anything else on it. I even have trouble staying upright while grabbing the water bottle for a drink. :)

    1. Haha, yeah. I ride a great deal but I don't think I'll ever develop that guy's, um, skills. :-)

  2. I cannot read while riding the stationary gym bike (or on the treadmill) so I have to respect his skills-but seriously. His mother would be horrified.
    Yours should be relieved that you appear to have developed an appropriate awareness of the reading/danger judgment-making matrix. Better late than never.
    Perhaps you should develop a "safe reading/bike/hiking trails" map for your area-or found a reading/biking/hiking club. You could have members take turns being the designated watcher-outer.

    1. I can read on a stationary bike, but definitely not on a treadmill or, I imagine, a bike that is actually moving!