What are you seen reading?
I love reading. Reading on my iPad with my Kindle App or Zinio for magazines is my vice, er… favorite method now. But I miss something in airports and airplanes when others are reading e-books because I can’t spy on what they are reading. That voyeurism gave me fodder for conversation, ideas about what is good to read and told me something about the person.
When I was about 27 years old, I sat on an airplane reading Fortune magazine and this distinguished looking older business man across the aisle was intrigued and said “It is unusual to see a young lady reading a business magazine. Tell me what you do?” Instead of going feminist on him, I enjoyed the rest of the flight learning about business from this man (the magazine could wait). Ever since then I have watched and read the titles of anything anyone was reading.
When returning from Turkey last year, I was on the plane reading a book I picked up at the Istanbul airport that lead to recommendations of similar historic and non-fiction books from a flight attendant and two fellow travelers. I have loved those books, especially Queen Noor’s book, Leap of Faith: Memoirs of an Unexpected Life. This connection, based on what people saw me reading, has lead to many hours of education and enjoyment.
One of these days I will update my LinkedIn profile to contain my recommendations for reading. I LOVE learning about people by the books on their list and what they read on their travels. The LinkedIn list might be about what they want you to think they read. What people read when they travel tells you what juices their brain or helps them relax and, either way, it is very telling.
I am now reading The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid and The Accidental Buddhist. I am not certain what impressions this would leave on others but I can assure you someone would read the titles and form an impression.
Have you ever not taken a book in public because you didn’t want people to see what you were reading?
What do you think your reading material says about you? What assumptions have you drawn about people based on what they were reading?