Seen on the Scene: Reading in Public, by Lisa (Lit and Life)

Lisa blogs at Lit and Life, and her title pretty well sums up the content of her “primarily but not exclusively books” blog. She’s a married Midwestern mom of three (including a recent high-school graduate), book club leader, reading-challenge enthusiast, and columnist for

Please welcome today’s guest blogger to The 3 R’s, as she shares what she’s learned about the reading lifestyles of the rich and famous!

When I first talked to Florinda about doing a guest post, I had the idea to write a post about what famous people read.  The idea had come to me after seeing some old black and white photos of movie stars from the 1940’s and 1950’s reading.  It seemed simple enough for me to scout out similar photos and do some research to find out what those same stars liked to read. Not so fast!  Would you believe the star that I found the most pictures of with a book was Marilyn Monroe?  In one photo, she was actually “reading” James Joyce’s Ulysses!  Wouldn’t you have thought that the studios, who controlled the images of their stars, would want the public to think they were smart, that they spent quiet evenings at home reading, instead of out carousing where they might show up in the tabloids?  Evidently not.
Okay, I thought, surely I can find images of more current famous people reading.  Oh no–it’s easier to find pictures of them grocery shopping!  But they do read.  This I do know because you can find lists of some well-known people’s favorite books.  Well, at least they’ve read one book..or know the name of a book that will make them look good if they say it’s their favorite! These well-known people appear to like the classics:
Alec Baldwin – To Kill A Mockingbird
Bill Gates – Catcher In The Rye
Steven Speilberg – Treasure Island
Pierce Brosnan – The Grapes of Wrath
Mel Gibson – 1984
A few were particularly fond of books from their childhood:
Nicole Kidman – The Chronicles of Narnia
Bette Midler – Alice In Wonderland
Among the lists there were several surprises:
Chevy Chase – Moby Dick
Jim Carrey – Crime and Punishment
Jerry Lewis – The Fountainhead

While I was looking for pictures of celebrities reading, I noticed something interesting.  There are an astonishing number of pictures out there of people reading.  Older people and young lovers in parks, mothers and children in libraries, commuters on subways (and can I just say that the people who are reading look so much happier?), and children in their bedrooms.  There are images of people reading in the U.S., France, Japan, and Jordan.  People reading magazines, newspapers, ereaders and books. 
Seeing all of those images made me happy.  Book sales are down, newspapers are folding but people are clearly still reading.  And seeing people reading seems to make other people happy–so happy that they want to take a picture of it. When it really comes right down to it, it doesn’t matter what anyone else is reading.  As long as you are reading…and passing a love of reading on to the next generation.

*A note from me: I am an Amazon Associate. Book links in this post are provided by and will generate a small referral fee for me if used for purchases.

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