Judgement Day

I’m pretty sure my librarian thinks I’m going to murder someone.

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And it could have been worse. I was going to check out The Psychopath Test by Jon Ronson too, if it had been on the shelves. I don’t know why, but I must be on a creepy horror kick. Oh well.

Usually I feel great reading in public. I feel a point of pride about whatever I’m reading, or someone will start a conversation with me about my book. In general, it feels good to project my personality through my literature choices to the strangers around me. It’s like fashion for nerds.

But what about those times when the current read doesn’t quite fit what you want people to think? For example, a middle grade novel. I spent an entire morning in a coffee shop once, reading Mockingbird by Katherine Erskine and crying. The entire time, I was wondering if people thought I was a middle school teacher testing new material or a crazy person. Never mind that people probably didn’t know what Mockingbird is; I felt the judgement, whether it was real or not.

Or, perhaps, when I was reading Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. There are many people who feel VERY strongly that that book is utter garbage spewed by an unfeeling capitalist, so I always hoped that no one would confront me about capitalism on the train. I just didn’t need that in my life.

So this week, when I checked out two books about psychopaths and one book from the children’s section, I sincerely hoped that no one was watching me and assuming that I murder people in my spare time. But, as I go forth onto buses and trains and read these books, I will proudly raise them aloft, daring anybody to question my decisions. After all, if I am crazy, do you really want to have that chat?

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