There are the flash fiction folks, the poetry peeps, long read lingerers, essay sippers, quote queers, novel nuts, the journalist jackals…sci fi sympathizers, romance unrequited rejects, the mystery mongers, the New York old-timers, speculative spectators, fantasy freaks, comic-con artists, and the not-so-young adult Harry Potters.
I’ve seen them at bars, pretending they don’t want to be flirted with. They do, but in a readerly kind of way. Never approach a reader in a writerly kind of way. They’re too much into reading to be bothered by a writer.
I saw one of them on a bus once, ignoring all noise, paying no attention to yelling crazy people. It must have taken several miserable years of public education to achieve such skill.
Some of them read on their phone, self-reflecting over what they’re reading. Or there’s Kindle which rarely start fires. Plus, there’s other e-readers for those who are literally frightened to turn pages of a book.
They create weird secret societies, like Goodreads. WhyAreYouReadingThatCrap?reads, OnlyReadWhatOprahreads 2.0, which is better than what Oprah read in 1.0. Shelfarifor those who hunt books and apparently can track them down by the empty spaces they leave on bookshelves. There’s Bookstrand Libibwhich can only be found on Bapple computers. And there’s Rifflefor the reading riff raff. Strange are these readers!
At book stores and libraries they bump into each other. You can’t hear them, except whispering, which is a secret language known only to readers. I asked a few of them about it, out loud. They shushed me. That’s why I decided to be a writer.