Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Stand Up for Your Book (Day 16: Ultimate Blog Challenge)

When was the last time you looked at a book reader?

Just looked?

I did. 

Yesterday on the way home, I passed Flora Fountain, an area that is a landmark in the Fort area of South Bombay. As I waited for the traffic signal to allow me to cross, I saw a girl standing in the middle of the walkway around the heritage monument. There was a messenger bag lying at her feet, and she was completely engrossed in reading a book.

At first I thought, she was waiting for someone, and reading the book to help pass the time. That’s what I would have done if I had to wait for someone. But then I would have stood quietly beside the iron railing surrounding the monument, and there I would have read, oblivious to the world. Who enjoys being jostled around when you’re trying to read?

Apparently this girl had no such issues. She stood there reading, immune to the stares, the comments, the laughter around her.

And then I saw another girl standing about six feet away from the first girl, and then a guy, standing an equal distance away from the second girl. All in exactly the same pose, both hands holding the book at chest level, both feet touching, each with a book in hand, a different colour and type of bag at the feet.

As far as I could see, they were all reading different books, so it wasn’t a book promotion.

There was no placard or board to explain the significance of this human installation. To help the rest of us understand why these three people had chosen to just stand there and read. If they were trying to make a statement of some sort, shouldn’t they have come out and said it loud and clear?

At one point, I considered walking up to them to ask them what it was all about. And then I remembered that I didn’t enjoy being disturbed while I was reading.

Most people looked, laughed and moved on. Being a reader myself, I stood there for a few seconds longer, and wondered what they were trying to achieve.

Were they trying to encourage the habit of reading?

How long had they been standing and reading?

How long did they plan to stand?

What would happen if it suddenly started raining? Would they run for cover? Or would they continue to read, to show that the habit of reading was proof against any physical discomfort?

I hoped they’d have the good sense to run. Experiments can always be conducted another day. But a wet book doesn’t make for good reading.


  1. My family carry a book or atleast a newspaper when we go out, and read when we get time.Reading is a good habit. but I do not like when my son reads and has his food.

  2. Aha this was a very interesting (especially as I'm attempting to write a book)
    I haven't heard of anything like that being done before! How unusual!

  3. Agreed, Kalpana, the dining table is one of the few places where I discourage reading too. Otherwise every other place is just right for a book. Why waste time when you can spend it reading?

  4. Yes, Sophie, I found it very unusual too. If I see them again today, I plan to ask them what they are up to.

  5. I wonder what this was all about but I will keep this action in mind in case someone wants to promote their book. :)

  6. Hi Sonja, welcome to my blog. It is a good idea for a book promotion, isn't it? It might help even more if the book readers throw their heads back and laugh uproariously to show what a great book it is.

    Then again, that won't work for murder mysteries and tragedies.

  7. I really wonder what they were doing holding the book. I might have been the curious cat and would have asked what they were upto...

  8. Bhavya, I'm beginning to wonder why I didn't give in to my curiosity.

  9. that's so weird!! maybe they were promoting book reading habit..or maybe they had challenged themselves that who among them could continue reading despite the situation around? flash mobs are such a rage now, but this doesn't look like a flash mob...

  10. Cynthia, I applaud your patience and understanding.. My curiosity wouldve got the better of me and made me disturb them(I would claw anyone who disturbs me, hypocrisy I know..But curiouser na..)

  11. God you are so patient.. i have a feeling that I am the cat which curiosity killed O_O.. no seriously I would have just surely asked those guys what they were upto :D

  12. That's very surprising...but it gave way to a very interesting read and more so an equally curious account of interesting people :)

  13. How odd! Usually I find a comfortable place to curl up and lose myself in a book. I can't imagine just whipping out a book like that and reading with the world and people literally moving around me. I would have been so curious to know what they were up too!! Definitely would have had to find out what book it was that they were so engrossed in.


  14. How odd and totally out of place!
    I wonder too why they were standing there and reading!!
    I can't stand and read for long.

  15. did u meet them again? i so want to know the story behind their actions...

  16. Wondering why they were there?? Standing and reading for how long??.... curiosity!

  17. "Experiments can always be conducted another day. But a wet book doesn’t make for good reading." - Nice. :) Do you plan to solve the mystery? Don't forget to tell us what that meant! :)

  18. Cynthia I am actually jealous of these people. I want to have this kind of time and probably even energy to just read. Must be such a pleasant sight...




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