When I worked at Starbucks, one of my favorite conversations with customers in the midst of pulling shots and steaming milk was about what they were reading. While this is pretty indicative that I was meant to work in a bookstore, often the question would be turned to me, what was I reading? I would pause, first trying to remember what was currently stacked on my nightstand, and then pause again, evaluating what I thought the person I was talking to might think about what I was reading. What would they think about the Christian Living book I was making my way through, and not for the first time? (Ann Voskamp, A Thousand Gifts) Or the YA series with werewolves and vampires and angels that I was devouring as e-books from the library? (Cassandra Clare, The Mortal Instruments series) I’d make a guess and then say something I felt comfortable revealing. It would always be something I had read lately, just not totally transparent about what I truly was in the middle of reading.
I would hazard a guess that I’m not the only one who has done this. We all want to look good and be accepted. What we read and like can be a vulnerable thing to share. When you tell someone that you really like something, you’re showing your hand. What if they don’t agree? What if they don’t like it too? Not all of us are emotionally mature enough to separate rejection of what we like from rejection of ourselves.