Happy New Year IWSG!


Happy New Year IWSG!

Okay, New Year, new deadlines to miss, like yesterday’s #IWSG post.  Well, I’m here now so NBD, eh?

So this happened:  I’m on the train, my first day back to work, feeling the love of a New Year/New Me, having just had the last ten days off to spend as I wished, family, friends, food, merriment, and the like.  A guy sits down next to me on the train and he’s reading a THICK book. I try to peek out of the corner of my eye to catch the title on the spine — it’s the Quiet Car so I don’t want to ask — but I can’t see it.  Also, I note he puts his finger in the pages when he hands the conductor his ticket because he doesn’t have a book marker.  I’m a complete book voyeur and not being able to see the book’s name is really bugging me so after a few stops I ask him, quietly, because it’s the Quiet Car, “What are you reading?”  No response from the guy so either I was too quiet or he wants me to leave him alone so I go back to the book review I’m writing and forget about it.

Except that it’s driving me crazy, especially that he uses his finger as a book marker. I don’t dog-ear pages except to mark magnificent passages to return to and read again later.  I think dog-earing is a form of disrespect to the book; it causes the early deterioration of the paper and generally shortens the book’s lifespan.  I don’t know why I think dog-earing for the rereading of passages later isn’t also marring an otherwise healthy book, but these are complex philosophies that I have evolved over time so we’ll just have to let them alone for now and return to them at a future date or maybe never.

After several minutes of internal debate, I offer the guy a book marker, one my daughter created for me in support of my eco thriller, Oil and Water.   It’s actually a beautiful book marker, and my gesture, albeit a small one, was sincere which is why I was somewhat flustered by his response: “No thanks, I’m good.”  Flat out refusal without as much as a side glance at me or the book marker.

Wait, what’s that sizzling noise I hear?!  Oh, it’s me being dissed.

Feeling both dissed and miffed, I put the book marker back and return again to my book review when he says, again without looking up, but this time with a minor head tilt in my direction, “But thanks, that was very kind of you.”  A few minutes later, we’re pulling into the station, he’s off the train, and I have no idea whether the thanks was born of genuineness or guilt or something entirely different.

What about you?  Ever been on the receiving end of something part dis, part thank you?  And how do you feel about random acts of book promotion?  Unlike my seat mate on the train, I’m interested.

plazos 1.5.17

About Pam Lazos

writer, blogger, environmentally hopeful
This entry was posted in Bees, blog, book promotion, Oil and Water, Uncategorized, writers, writing and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to Happy New Year IWSG!

  1. MariHoward says:

    🙂 I’m the non-introvert here … please accept me all the same, though I talk too much! On bookmarks and dog-ears, our daughter really *reads* books … they return looking utterly READ, beaten up really … but that can be taken as enthusiastic person reading in bed/on the bus/in any quiet corner and keeping book in backpack to snatch bits of reading time – so that’s okay .. I suspect the book doesn’t actually mind …’it’s what I was made for’ it says to itself … Just an alternative story!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I never look up if someone talks to me when I’m reading, or so I’m told by my friends. I just get totally lost, and am also known to miss my stop, or board trains in the wrong direction when I’m reading. But (I think) I’d take the bookmarker if I was offered one.
    Well, you were kind, and he realised it later. I hope you meet someone more receptive the next time. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • pjlazos says:

      I, too, get lost in my reading as I’ve been told. Funny that I didn’t even consider that as a possibility, just went right to the assumption of being wronged.😩 A character flaw I must work on! Thanks for stopping by, Damyanti.😘


  3. Out my great respect for physical books I’m anti-dog ear and anti-book mark. If the bookmark is too thick, you shove it in too far, or leave it in too long, it makes a widened gap in the binding of the book that never leaves, worse than a folded corner, I think, because the book could forever automatically flip open to that page as you are scanning through it/reading nearby. Maybe the guy was simply anti-book mark. I go so far as to not open my favorite books all the way when I’m reading, hoping to leave the binding as pristine as possible. I mostly e-read these days so this doesn’t stop me up anymore. I used to always get teased for it though 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ken Dowell says:

    I think he must have been reading Oil and Water and was so wrapped up in it he didn’t want to lose focus.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Zeannaroux says:

    This happens to me a lot. I love talking about books and if I see someone reading one I like, I nearly always have the urge to ask them their opinion on it.
    I practically lived in a library growing up and also dislike them being mistreated in anyway.
    It can be kind of frustrating when people ignore kindness. But then I have to look back and realize that I do the same. If I am reading and someone stops me I do get annoyed.
    Especially if they do everything possible to get close to me, all up in my readers circle (similar to personal bubble but smaller with built in noise reduction)
    I agree with everyone’s comments completely. There could have been other factors to reason why he wouldn’t talk to you but he did say thank you at the end.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. PMHeller says:

    I’m glad you were not on a long flight! He was just into his book. Who could resist you? Did he see your smile? Yes, my hubby shuts me out when he is reading and watching a movie!


  7. Liza says:

    I agree with the commenters above. He may have been suspicious of your good intentions. Who hasn’t been cornered by someone who won’t stop talking? People do choose the quiet car for a reason, and he may have felt taking the book mark may have obligated him to speak to you. Nothing against you, he just didn’t want to talk. And maybe, just maybe, he accidentally left his own bookmark, made by his own daughter at home.


  8. Lena Hohenadel says:

    Interesting. As much as I am willing to chat with seat mates if they so desire, there have been a couple who really were careful not to make eye contact, their body language shouting that they wish to keep to themselves. It used to make me feel a bit uncomfortable, but I now find it amusing. I’m sure they have been victims, as I have, of companions who never keep silent. Actually, I really want to say that they never shut up! If I am engrossed in a good book and look forward to my time to read, I’ve been guilty of trying to walk a balanced line. Friendly, but not too encouraging of on-going conversation unless, as more often happens than not, there’s a quick rapport established.
    Perhaps your seat mate has been burned once too often. Perhaps his “literature”
    was x-rated or of political bent.

    Liked by 1 person

    • pjlazos says:

      Ah, yes, I, too, have fallen prey to the seat mate who won’t stop talking syndrome, Lena, which is why I sit in the quiet car! And while I would never begrudge someone their reading time, the whole isolationist thing was a tad bizarre, and also funny. Have a great day and thanks for stopping by.😊


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