On being a book ninja

As I laid out in confession #8, when I see a book (usually when I am on the bus heading to work) in the hands of another I am overcome with an obsessive desire to know what they are reading.  It consumes me because I think, what if that is the most amazing book in the whole world and I haven’t read it yet?  For a book lover, that is a very serious issue.

But because I am an introvert I will never just come right out and ask someone because I want to avoid the possibility of small chat.  You see my problem here?  So I have found sneaky ways to discover the titles of a book in the hands of another.

Bus tactics:

  1. Sit next to them if the seat is free.  Pretend to look for something in your bag and as you are reaching in, steal a glance over at the title on the top of the page they are reading.
  2. If the seat next to them is not free, sit behind them if you can.  This one is simple – just lean forward a little, read the title at the top of the page and quickly sit back.  If you take too long you risk them “sensing” you behind them and then they are just plain creeped out by you.  And you don’t want to be the creepy person.  Alternatively, they may recognize that you too are a book lover like them and you become *BFF’s.  (*note, I have not made a new BFF through this manner…yet.)
  3. If all the seats around them are taken then sit where you can and stare forlornly at the book in their hands.

Restaurant/Cafe tactics:

  1. Scout out where the bathroom is.  No matter where the reader is sitting you will purposely pass by the table.  If you are lucky they are holding their book up and you can see the cover clear as day.  If not, that’s fine, you are on the way to the bathroom anyway so you have a second chance when you head back.
  2. When you get to the bathroom look yourself in the mirror, stare at yourself incredulously for a moment wondering what the hell you are doing.  Ask yourself why this incessant need to know what people are reading can’t be better served simply by asking them and then head back out.
  3. Pass by the reader, casually, calmly – score!  They have the book down on the table.  Good, pass close by, take a quick look at the title and head back to your table with a look of triumph on your face.  Ignore the look of sadness in the eyes of your friends who have watched this entire display.

There you have it folks, tried and tested by yours truly.  Have any stealth tactics you want to add to the list?

book ninja


About Geeky Book Snob

Learning stuff since birth. Happy introvert who likes socializing when she's not busy being an introvert who likes to read.

Posted on August 20, 2012, in General Musings & Thoughts and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Oh my god. I do the same thing. My favourite part of Goodreads and people’s sidebars is the Currently Reading tab. I go crazy in a library because there’s so many people reading that a) I want to hug them all because of it and b) I *need* to know what book they picked up.

    Speaking of. Would you mind if I added you on Goodreads?

  2. Kindred spirits! I just joined Goodreads so am still getting used to it, would love to connect there as well. Thanks!

  3. Fun stuff ! Unfortunately the Duck is still trying to find her flock of book geeks. Wht must you all read math ? It makes the attempt even sadder to have discovered AP calculus atop as the title..

  1. Pingback: What Are They Reading? Frodo Edition | Geeky Book Snob

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