Pride and Embarrassment

I realized something interesting about books I was reading in public. Some books I would hold high and almost invite people to see what book I was reading. Some books, I would hold low and cover the spine. This pride and embarrassment syndrome was almost unconscious, but I noticed it.

I definitely think a book is good or bad BEFORE I actually read it. What am I making this judgment on? What are the factors that make me want to advertise or hide the book I am reading? Does it make me look smart that I am reading that book? Does it make me look stupid?

Books for Dummies is an incredibly popular series of books, but I rarely see someone reading one on the train. Usually I see newspapers and magazines. I wonder if people reading the New York Times hold the paper up higher than people reading People magazine.

I imagine I am not the only one who does this. How much of our behavior is so focused on other people’s opinions?

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