Communicator (communicator) wrote,

The compulsion to have 'something to read'

coalescent asks 'is reading any old rubbish better than not reading anything?' and people interpret this variously. My answer is no. People can have good lives that don't involve reading, and I can find better things to do with my own time than read rubbish.

But a lot of people in the comments mention that they only feel really comfy if they have something to read. I think this is quite a common feeling. Do you feel a bit panicky if you find yourself waiting in a queue, and you don't have a book to read? And yet - look up and down the queue. Everyone else is standing patiently, without a book. Are they daydreaming? Are they stoical? Am I really in such a small minority?

And we will pass over the entire 'hopping from one leg to another while you decide what book you are taking to the loo' thing. because of course I never do that.

Talking about the comfort of books, as I left to sit by my nan's bedside the week before last I found myself putting a book in my bag (of course) and then another (what if I didn't feel like reading the first one?). I caught H's eye as I put the fourth book into my bag, and had to admit that carrying books had become a sort of insurance or comfort blanket. Is reading a way of blocking thought sometimes?

In conclusion - are we (and I mean you and me) hopelessly effete and decadent? Do you have the same compulsion that I do, to have something to read with you at all times? Do you read in queues and stuff?
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