First Impressions

Books you want to be seen readingAh, who among us hasn’t been trapped in such a quandary before? I know I have. I know I would much rather my coworkers (and even strangers) seeing me reading Jane Austen rather than Veronica Roth, but sometimes I can’t help it. Luckily for me, though, a lot of books do overlap in my “books I want to be seen reading” and “books I want to read” piles. But, for the sake of argument, here are a few books of each category from the comic:

Books I want to be seen reading, but don’t want to read:

  • Moby Dick – Herman Melville. I’ve tried, and I plan to try again, but I’m kind of dreading it. Sigh.
  • Ulysses – James Joyce. Okay, I only kind of want to be seen reading this because frankly I think anyone who pretends to understand and actually enjoy this book is probably as much of a pretentious douche as Joyce himself was, but depending on the situation, I might want to at least appear to be a good sport by making the attempt.
  • The Help – Kathryn Stockett. Occasionally—not often, but occasionally—I’ll decide I want to appear as though I’m all “up on” Oprah’s book club and the associated works. This would probably be my go-to for such a desire.

Books I want to read, but don’t want to be seen reading:

  • Twilight – Stephenie Meyer. Disclaimer: I don’t want to read this because I want to read this; I want to read it because I would feel better about bashing it if I knew anything about it other than hearsay. I also kind of want to go through it with a red pen. But I don’t think I want to read it THAT badly.
  • 50 Shades of Grey – E. L. James. Again, I don’t particularly want to read this book because I think it’ll be good…but I am kind of curious. I know it’s not the height of literature but maybe it could be a guilty pleasure.

I actually can’t think of any more books I would necessarily want to read but wouldn’t want to be seen reading, because I generally don’t read things I wouldn’t want to be seen reading. Sorry, that sentence sounds really redundant but…I’m tired, sue me.

Anyway, what books do you want to read, but don’t want to be seen reading?


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7 thoughts on “First Impressions

  1. Love this. I know exactly what you mean, although I think eReaders have kind of eliminated the embarrassment of being seen with particular books. If you read it on your eReader then nobody else on the bus or in the coffee shop need know what you’re reading.

  2. Aside from not wanting to be pulled into awkward conversations with strangers ABOUT my book when I’d rather just READ my book… I don’t think there’s really anything I’d read that I wouldn’t want to be seen with. But, yes, the ereader thing is definitely a plus for those circumstances, probably a contributing factor to the surge in erotica lately. I think there’s a difference between saying, “yes, I’ve read this book,” and, “I’m reading this book RIGHT NOW! All the naughty scenes!”

    • Haha, very true about e-readers! I also agree with you about awkward conversations with strangers. Sometimes I don’t necessarily mind, like if I’m reading an incredible book and want everyone to know about it…but on the other hand, if I’m reading an incredible book, I just want to read it!!

  3. Lolita was awkward to read on the bus… but it’s legit literature, at least. 50 shades would not have been taken on the bus. I also enjoyed reading Twilight in high school, as embarrassing as that is now. It hooks you. By the time you get to the last one, though, it’s just bad. The Help was actually a good book. Oprah’s people pick some good ones. Also, for what it’s worth, I would totally judge you for reading Ulysses in public. Nobody actually reads that, amiright?

    • I remember when you tried to get me to read Twilight freshman year… 😉

      I would totally judge someone for reading Ulysses pretty much at all, including myself…actually, no, I pretty much judge anyone who likes James Joyce at all, because ew, James Joyce.

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