Meme: Reading In Public

I found this meme in Between The Covers (originally from Booking Through Thursday) and now is perhaps the best time to do this meme yesterday I tried to read a book during my 90 minute bus journey from college to home.

Reading In Public. Do you do it? Why, or why not?

I should be ashamed that I'm saying this, but my answer is no. At least not very often in the last three years. Most people who knew me from school would be surprised, because back then I wouldn't let a free minute slip by without reading a few pages off a book. On the way to school, on the way back, free hours, lunch hour. Sometimes I'd even be holding a book open with one hand even when I'm having lunch. But all that has changed now. The MP3 player has replaced books as my must-have on the bus, so I don't read there. And there are hardly any free hours in college, and even if there are any, I'll be busy completing long overdue assignments every single free minute.

Yesterday, however, I was actually desperate enough to open a book when I was coming back home from college. I've been late thrice in a row in returning the books to the library -- I didn't want to make it four. But I hadn't anticipated the difficulties of reading on a bus that's moving at about 60kph on terribly potholed roads. The bus was shaking so badly that I could only manage to read 20-odd pages in one hour -- less than a third of what I would read in that time had I been siting someplace more comfortable.

Lying comfortably on my bed without any noise nearby to disturb me is the way I prefer reading. And I like reading books a few hours at a stretch. A public place is the last place where I can read that way, so until I change my reading habits, that's definitely out of the question.

Meme: Trying A Simpe Meme

Looking around the blogosphere, I found a whole lot of bloggers who occasionally do memes on their blogs. I even found one blog, Booking Through Thursday, that's entirely dedicated to book related memes, and I thought, why not try a simple one on my own blog. So here it is...

Now for those of you who haven't heard of memes, here's a definition: "a unit of cultural information, such as a cultural practice or idea, that is transmitted verbally or by repeated action from one mind to another." (For a better idea about memes, especially blog memes or "blemes", read this post.)

  1. Grab the nearest book.

  2. Open the book to page 123.

  3. Find the fifth sentence.

  4. Post the text of the sentence in your blog along with these instructions.

  5. Don’t search around and look for the "coolest" book you can find. Do what’s actually next to you.

Now, for the nearest book, there are thirty two of them lying two feet away from me on the shelf. I ignore Step 5 (because I'm still on Step 1 [*wink*]) and pick up one of the "coolest" books, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. In the fifth sentence on page 123, Hermione is trying to get Professor Lockhart to give her permission to go through the restricted section of the library.

"I wanted to -- to get this book out of the library"

That's one easy meme. And a really pointless one. But at least it got me started on memes. Next week, I'll hopefully do (if at all I actually manage to do) something that's a bit more difficult than this one.

PS. In memes everywhere, I've noticed that the blogger tags a few people (usually five) to continue that meme. Unfortunately for me, I don't think there's much of a chance for me to find five people who will actually read this post, much less continue it. So I'm not tagging anyone, but you can continue this meme if you want to. And do leave a comment here if you found a really interesting sentence that just happened to be sentence 5 on page 125.

What Book Are You?

I was going through the blog, BookLust today and came across this post. I took the Book Quiz at Blue Pyramid. Here are the questions (options in brackets) and my answers. From my first answer, it's obvious that I'll have something more to add to everything, [*winks*] so I've put my own comments in brackets.

Q1: Are you long winded or concise? (Well, I do tend to go on and on and on... / Concise.)

A: Well, I do tend to go on and on and on... (and on and on and on...)

Q2: Do you feel old?

A: No. (Isn't 21 is a bit too early to start feeling old?)

Q3: Which of these is your mantra? (Just the facts ma'am... / Truth is stranger than fiction.)

A: Just the facts ma'am... (If fiction weren't strange, I wouldn't be reading books, would I?)

Q4: What do you study more? (Philosophy / Science)

A: Science. (As a matter of fact, I don't study anything except on the day before exams. But for the sake of argument, let's assume that I study science; I've never had to learn too much of philosophy for my Electronics and Communication Engineering course.)

Q5: How do you feel about messiahs? (A messiah would really help. / What messiah?)

A: What messiah? (The way things are going these days, the messiah himself would need help.)

Q6: Aren't dinosaurs cool? (Yes! / Uh, if you say so...)

A: Yes! (What could be more interesting than watching a velociraptor chasing its prey at a speed of nearly 24 mph (39 kph)? I'm assuming that I'm not the prey here.)

And the final result was:

You're Jurassic Park!

by Michael Crichton

You combine all the elements of a mad scientist, a brash philosopher, a humble researcher, and a money-hungry attracter of tourists. With all these features, you could build something monumental or get chased around by your own demons. Probably both, in fact. A movie based on your life would make millions, and spawn at least two sequels that wouldn't be very good. Be very careful around islands.

Not entirely surprising there. Jurassic Park is one of my favorites. But I was expecting something more on the lines of Ambrose Bierce's The Devil's Dictionary or maybe Tom Sawyer. But Jurassic Park will do just fine.