Saturday, May 20, 2006

She Reads Books

Now that I have had my bicycle stolen, I am riding the bus again every day and can once again focus my attention on trying to find out what books people are reading.
When a man is reading a book on the bus I am interested, but in a different way to when I see a woman reading a book. When I see a man reading a book, perhaps I manage to see the cover and find out what it is. That is interesting to me because I like to know what people are reading. But when I see a woman reading a book and try to see the cover, I am also paying attention to how the woman looks. Naturally I am soon aware if I feel some attraction to her. I might be attracted to a woman on the bus or anywhere, but if they are reading a book and there is some attraction, this attraction is amplified by the simple act of their reading a book. What is it that makes this attraction burn so much brighter? Yes, maybe it occurs to me that I could have a conversation with her about books, because she likes books and I like books. That is something we would have in common. But I don't consciously think about all that, I just see the woman reading a book and must know what that book is, then if she inadvertently flips the book at such an angle that allows me to read the cover, I can find out what the book is. It doesn't even matter if I have never heard of the author because I will write it down on the spot and look it up on Amazon as soon as I get to a computer. I will have a burning and irresistible impulse to find out more about that book, that writer, as soon as possible, then proceed to wonder a million things about why that woman was reading that particular book. Is it by her favourite writer? The first time she read him? Does she only read historical romance fantasy, or whatever it is? Does she fantasise about a book-loving man interrupting her fervent reading to ask her what that book is, by any chance? Would she tell him to leave her alone and that it is none of his business anyway? God, I hope not. If a woman did that, it would break my heart into a million pieces.

2 comments:

The J Man said...

If I saw a girl (at least, a reasonably attractive girl) on a bus reading *Journey to the End of the Night,* I would have to talk to her, no matter what.

What about you, Stuart? Is there any book so dear to your heart, that if you saw a girl reading it, you would rise above your natural reticence, and dare to speak to her?

Stratu said...

If I saw a girl reading Knut Hamsun's 'Mysteries', that would be it. The moment of truth. If I failed to muster the courage to talk to that girl, the only alternative would be to jump off the bus and hurl myself beneath the wheels.