Do Not Disturb. Reading in Progress.


How often does this happen to you?

You decide to do some reading. So you pick up your book and turn to the chapter where you last stopped, only to have someone sidle up to you and start talking or asking questions?

Annoying, isn’t it?

I’ve had a few instances myself, a few times during my lunch break at work or even while I’m at home. I would turn to the page where I left my bookmark, settle in for a cosy reading session, my eyes acclimatising to the chapter in front of me… when someone decides to ask me a question.

At that very point as I’m about to read out the words aloud in my mind.

Oh, the agony! Really? All those times during office hours you could have asked me all that you wanted to, and you wait until I start reading. It’s a conspiracy! Of course I no longer face that problem since I’ve already left the company but still, when it happened, if looks could kill, the questioner wouldn’t live to see the sun rise the next morning.

This reminds of a scenario that occurred sometime in January or February this year. I packed some lunch from home and decided to have it at my desk in the office. I brought my book with me so after a delicious meal of overnight couscous with bacon, capsicum and mushrooms (reheated in the office microwave), I decided to catch up with my reading. I had only gone so far when my then manager came back from his lunch break. He proceeded to ask me a question, a little dense as to not noticing that I had my attention elsewhere, and waited for my response. He saw me holding the book in my hand, my eyes darting up at him and then down at my book…

And yet somehow he proceeds to ask the most ridiculous question in the world.

Sorry, were you reading?


It’s similar to when you’re using your headphones while you’re listening to music or watching a movie, and someone comes up to you and starts talking to you.

Excuse me but do you not see that I’m in the middle of something here? Maybe we need a sign that says, “Warning! Reading in progress. Any interruptions will be dealt with severely. Further interruptions will result in serious injury. Or death.Something like this.


Or this:


Now excuse me while I build an anti-reader wall around me so I can read in peace.

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