Books · Witterings

What are people reading?

I do not deny that the title of this post would give answers that could and would go on forever. But actually I think I am trying to sum up a few days recently where I had the chance to observe more than normal.

I spent five days away at a health farm. A place I have visited many times before to relax, sleep, eat, be pampered and also heal. It gives plenty of opportunity for me to do even more reading than I normally do. This post is not about them books, numerous though they were, their reviews will feature in the coming days.

One of my favourite places to sit and read whilst away.

No what intrigues me is what everyone else is reading? It is not just me who goes away and takes a book (or 6) to read.

First off there were plenty of kindles. I am not against them, I have one, it is a boon when it comes to books and I finished one book on it within a day of being there and started another the night before I was due to come home. However, I probably counted at least 6 – but this does have a downside. I could not see what they were reading! Not sure how this can be overcome on a Kindle – a screen on the back showing the cover? But then I think all the Kindles that I saw, had fancy covers on, so that would be no good. I am Kindle coverless, mainly because it annoys me for some reason. So I am not sure how to overcome this and I worry that in the future everyone will have them and we will not be able to see what others are reading. I am always intrigued to see if I have read the book or do I need to look out for it, if it looks like the reader is particularly engrossed in it.

Now of course on the Kindle, you can be reading books that you do not want anyone else to know you are reading. Bet you know where this is heading……… Yes there was a plethora of ladies reading Fifty Shades (Grey, Darker and Freed) to the point where I did think of for goodness sake.  One lady was particularly upset when she got to the end of the book (Grey) and blamed her friend for making her read it. Another lady’s husband was interested to see his wife reading the book, and kept asking her where she was up to and what was going on. I felt like telling her to let him read the book for himself. Then there was the discussion, between a group of ladies who had moved on to other erotic fiction and was rating and comparing it to Fifty Shades.

Whatever you think or say about this book it has people reading and discussing. For that it must be commended.

So what else was being read, whilst others relaxed. I saw plenty of Katie Fforde (Going Dutch – read that) which I was thrilled about as I have only discovered her books this year. An Alexander McCall Smith, which caught my eye because of the colourful cover and was the latest No 1 Ladies Detective novel. Ironically enough I took one of these with me, but did not pick it up this particular visit, but it has now made it to my bedside table.  Elizabeth Noble, The Girl Next Door (oo read that I thought!) S.J. Watson; Before I Go to Sleep (Got that on my shelf to read!) Philippa Gregory; The Other Boleyn Girl (read it but must get round to reading more of Gregory). A couple of Jill Mansell (tried but never got on with them) and a Carole Matthews (never got round to reading this author). Mary Higgins Clark(that is who my mum is reading at the moment) and only one “celeb” autobiography (why on earth would you want to read about her?).

It is amazing how seeing what people read (and surreptitiously doing it whilst reading yourself) evokes reminders of books and authors to read and discover or ones to perhaps avoid?

I wonder what makes these people choose them particular books at that particular time? Are they conforming (Fifty Shades) or are they just reading for sheer enjoyment of a series (McCall Smith). And what did they think of my choice of books which ranged from an Agatha Christie, to a young adult book, a début novel and a kindle? Well I hope they have gone away with some suggestions at least.

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7 thoughts on “What are people reading?

  1. I have had exactly the same conundrum when faced with so many people having kindles now…I can’t see what their reading and going up to ask seems excessively nosey 😛

  2. I also miss the element of being nosey that we cannot indulge in with eReaders!

  3. I love seeing what other people are reading, it is a close second in my favourite book spying past times, my favourite is definitely browsing through people’s bookcases 🙂

  4. That is the downside of kindles! I love seeing what other people are reading, especially if they are reading a book I haven’t heard of before. All the books people were reading are escapist/chill out books, which sound perfect for the venue.

  5. I guess the kindle encourages conversation, because we have to engage with people to find out what they are reading 🙂

    I’m reading ‘In the Shadow of the Banyan’ by Vaddey Ratner on kindle at the moment and just finished ‘The Memory of Love’ by Aminatta Forna also on kindle, but planning on taking books and kindle on holiday next week (yes a very late holiday in the very last week).

  6. I think it should be compulsory for public Kindle readers to wear a badge with the book title on it! I wouldn’t like to interrupt anyone whilst they’re reading.

  7. Fortunately, we do have sites like Good Reads and Librarything to help us follow what others are reading. A (mildly) interesting thing about the FS phenomenon, which could easily have been explained by ebooks sales alone, is that it has been equally (or even more?) successful in print. I have certainly seen plenty of people on the train reading the paperback. I have a hunch that these days people would be more embarrassed to be seen reading books about unfashionable subjects (e.g. religion, politics, banking, morris dancing) than books “containing adult themes” (to use the wonderfully twee phrase from TV listings).

    I hope you are feeling suitable refreshed after your health break.

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