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Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day!  I hope we all take a moment to reflect on the cause for which he died and realize just how far we still need to go to truly gain equality for all.  For those of you who are lucky enough to get the day off of work, I hope you enjoy it to its fullest.  For those of us who still have to work, well, hopefully the day will be quiet and relatively stress-free.

On to this week’s Musing Mondays, hosted by Rebecca at Just One More Page…, and a chance to get our brain working again after the weekend!

Today’s MUSING MONDAYS post is about tidy reading around people.

When is it inappropriate to read in front of others? Is it ever appropriate?

I’ve never given this much thought actually but upon reflection, I realize that there are certain situations where I feel very uncomfortable picking up a book.  I have no problems reading in public.  I am actually trying to do it more often, sitting at the salon, waiting in a doctor’s office, waiting in the car, and so forth.  I wish more people would do this because then I wouldn’t have to listen to their inane chatter as they desperately try to fill the time by talking to friends on their cell phones. 

However, I do feel uncomfortable reading in front of friends and family members when I am a guest of theirs.  For example, we stayed with my brother-in-law and sister-in-law for the holidays.  I brought many books with me in addition to my computer and my study materials knowing that there would be plenty of time to read, study, and stay caught up on my blog.  However, once we got down there, I found I only brought out the computer or one of my books whenever my sister-in-law ran errands or while my brother-in-law was at work.  I felt uncomfortable reading in front of them because they are not big readers and because I felt that while I was there, I should keep them company and engage in conversation with them.  I do not normally feel like that; in fact, I wish more people were comfortable with sitting in silence because it brings people closer together, in my opinion.  Still, when we got home, I was surprised at how little I had read and how far behind I was on my blog.  I did the same thing staying with my brother and sister-in-law over Thanksgiving.   The funny thing is that they all know I am an avid reader.  Yet, I feel like every time they see me reading, they think I am being deliberately rude and exclusionary when really, I am just trying to fill some quiet time with a pastime I enjoy! 

So, my thinking is that at least for me, I find it rude to read in front of family members and friends, whereas it is perfectly okay to do so in front of strangers.  How does everyone else feel about this?  Have others experienced something similar?  Do you let it really bother you?  How about when others read in front of you? 

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