Friday, December 29, 2006

Fake Reading



On the subway and in coffee shops I've been mastering the ability to FAKE READ so that I can listen to what people say around me while seeming interested in my book. One becomes a non-entity with a book in one's hand, reading it with a certain mildly theatrical interest--it disarms people--makes them think you're "elsewhere." To really master this it might be necessary to videotape oneself while FAKE READING in order to study the tape for signs of being unconvincing or inauthentic.

It's very easy to tell when someone is trying to feign interest in a book. Watch a person's eyes and see the artificial movements back and forth over the page. Their eyes lack the rhythmic, almost metronomic movements necessary to create the illusion of being lost in a book. The slightest bit of wandering outside the narrow confines of the printed page should set off alarm bells that you are actually being observed by a FAKE READER. It's like trying to fake sleeping and not blinking, even with the eyes closed. It's an art.

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