How to Tune People Out

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Reader Comments (20)

Story of my life. (I'm the one reading.)

January 4, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLarz Blackman

Haha that's like me, but I'm not that rude. It really is hard shutting down a conversation about "Watcha readin about?"

January 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJ

I'm always the one reading too. I've found the best answer to the question "What are you reading?" is "A book." Most people get the hint at that point.

January 16, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBookwyrm

I just hold up the book so they can read the cover. No eye contact. It also has the added bonus of obscuring the view of your face from your "assailant".

April 21, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDonnyboy

I have a habit of doing the "ugh" when I'm reading, haha. I get easily annoyed.

August 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCristine

I hate it when people (especially people I don't know) ask me what I'm reading (or if I'm on a laptop, they ask what I'm doing). It makes me want to strangle them with their own entrails. I feel violated when I'm in the middle of something and someone interrupts me with an idiotic question like that... Ugh...

July 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterIan

The worst thing is not when people ask WHAT I am reading, but WHY. "Is that for a class?" No you dumb shit, books are for your entertainment and edification, not a requirement for school.

January 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJess

How it goes for me:

Them: Whatcha readin'?
Me: A book.
Them: What book?
Me: *Hold book up*
Them: *Read title slowly and painfully, out loud* What's it about?
Me: Stuff.

April 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSir Naff

My parents called while I was reading this comic. It was funny when I started laughing at the irony of that, and then they thought I was laughing at whatever I said.

May 9, 2011 | Unregistered Commentermeloetta

I once had exactly this situation happen to me at work, while reading Pirsig's "Lila".
Annoying co-worker: "Whatcha readin?"
Me: "Um... it's... a book about philosophy."
Annoying co-worker: "Oh, just ask me anything. I'll tell you whatever you want to know."
Me: "..."

May 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMisa

People will not only interrupt reading to ask what you are reading, but even once they openly acknowledge that you probably want to be left alone to read it, if you have set down the book to answer them they will wait until you pick the book up again to return to reading to ask their next question.

July 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLythande

Dammit. No wonder I can't pick up the sexy librarian chicks!

July 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLQ

make shit up. The weirder the better.
"What'cha reading?"
"this book on fetishes. Did you know there's a fetish for popping balloons? I hate popping balloons, I'd rather lick my finger and drag it down the side of the balloon to make it squeak. But each to their own, I guess."

Unless you happen to be talking to a balloon fetishist, that should make them uncomfortable enough to leave.

September 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLily_J

Story of my life...after working as a server, and dealing with crap all day, I sit down at the bar to have a couple drinks and read. Drunk people around you is difficult, and it's even worse with a Kindle! Apparently 95% of the people who have a drink at the bar don't know what a Kindle is, and they ask you everything about it, from what you're reading to how the thing works. I just worked 10 hours running around for you people, can't you give me 30 minutes peace!?

Love this comic, btw, found it today and am running from the beginning, like most of your fans :) Keep up the great work!

December 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKatrina

Technically, they're strong and weak NUCLEAR forces, not atomic forces. Figured that with all the grammar nerds here, you could use a few science nerds to balance things out a bit...

August 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterVasu

For some reason whatever book I'm reading will usually kill coversation even if they are interesting!
"What are you reading?"
"A book about a wizard detective who solves-
"Don't care."
"What are you reading?"
"A murder mystery."
"What are you writing?"
"A suspect list! I WILL figure this one out before the ending!"

Come on! It's not that weird!

August 28, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterZanyCoco

assailant: "What are you reading?"
bookworm: "I will not lie to you."
assailant: "huh?"
bookworm: "you asked me what am I 'read-ING'. If I stop reading to answer your question; then I will no longer be reading, so ANY answer will be a lie."
assailant: [cross-eyed befuddlement]

December 20, 2012 | Unregistered Commenter4eyeZ

I had a co-worker ask me the other day how I stop people from bugging me all the time when I'm reading. My answer? "I'm not friendly." He laughed...but it's true. I just don't answer them.

April 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLupisReapyr


Were you, perchance, reading The Dresden Files? Did you, additionally, subscribe to this comic so if someone ever read your comment and recognized what book you referenced, and commented, you would know?

We shall know soon!

April 8, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAtarii

Just say you're reading Nazi porn. They'll be gone.

July 26, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterswordfish
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