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Thursday, October 3, 2013

A Cranky Minority

You notice someone reading a book you've read and ask how they're enjoying it. What other circumstance readily comes to mind where you initiate a conversation with a total stranger?

Direct from codger-land comes my next question: If the same stranger is using a Kindle or a Nook, what are the chances of you initiating that conversation? Though reading is a solitary act, even a superficial conversation with a stranger can deepen my enjoyment of a book. And perhaps equally important, a visible book title acts as a socially permissible entree for human connection, no matter how brief.

In a galaxy far away, I recall being in the distinct minority when those loud boom boxes were everywhere on the streets. Even when the music temporarily pummeling me was not to my liking, at least I was sharing an experience. When the Sony Walkman soon after became the polite and default way to retreat into a private concert, I got a bit wistful for the chest rattling bass of those boom boxes. Minority status could soon be mine again vis-a-vis my current posture re Kindles etc. There are worse things.

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