Friday, July 6, 2012

Do You Read Dangerously?

I enjoy randomly searching for topics to write about for my blog on Google. Doing so, helps me break up the monotony of blogging about the same thing day in, day out or coming up with a new idea to write.

Last week, I stumbled across an entertaining article published in the New Zealand Herald titled Do You Read Dangerously? by Christine Sheehy. With a title like, Do You Read Dangerously?, I had to read the article to see what it was all about.

There are many ways in which readers put themselves in danger. One example is walking while reading. Can you imagine slipping, tripping, etc. while walking because your so engrossed in what you're reading? In Sheehy's article, she writes that she "...was delighted to discover this recent article published by Time magazine, offering a definitive guide to the art of reading-while-walking."

The Time magazine article Sheehy is referring to in her article is titled, A Book Lover's Guide to Reading and Walking at the Same Time by Lev Grossman.Grossman gives the following tips to safely read while walking in public
My first move is to clamp the book under one arm, inside-out, at my current page, like a running-back with a football, so I can whip it out at a moment’s notice.

Then I pick my spots. Short bursts is the approach. You look for a stretch of open sidewalk, maybe a half a block, you hastily memorize the major obstacles, and then you glance down at the book. You’re speed-reading here—you don’t so much run your eye over the page as grab the next few sentences all at once. Then the book goes back under the arm. You look up again and digest the words as you walk. You check your location and bearing, like a submarine, and you prepare to dive again.
Strangers look at you a bit funny, but come on—they’re strangers. Not like the characters you’re reading about. Sure, they may be fictional, but they’re not strangers. They matter.

In extreme cases I’ve even been known to draft off the backs of other pedestrians, the way cyclists do in a crowded peloton. I pick a target who looks like a fine upstanding citizen, with somewhere to be and a tolerant view of humanity. I find I can follow the person at a discreet, respectful distance, keeping his or her feet at the upper edge of my peripheral vision, and use them to lead me around fire hydrants and sidewalk café chairs and people hailing taxis, like a seeing-eye dog.
I enjoyed reading both Christine Sheehy's article and Lev Grossman's article. I hope you'll find them both entertaining and educational as well!

Until my next post, be careful and stay safe if you decide to read dangerously!


  1. I've known people who do this but I don't know how far they get through books really... and how much they absorb.
    However, I like to really sit down and read the book the way it's supposed to be read... slowly, with purpose and enjoyed. Even if I'm in a crowded cafe with screaming babies, noise, music and all the rest of it... I normally feel as though I'm the only one sitting there in complete silence, with nobody around me... reading my book. :D


    1. I don't read and walk either... Nor any other "dangerous" activity while I read either. I enjoy sitting down in a comfortable or cozy spot and reading my book to my hearts content. I agree with you, Mozette, that books are meant to be read slowly, with purpose and enjoyed!