As someone who often tries to make out what other people are reading, I dislike this immensely about ebooks.
Also annoying about e-books... you can't give them to your friends to read. I've even experienced someone not accepting a real book they were interested in because they only use their kindle now.
In Japan it's not uncommon to use a book cover to hide your paper book from prying eyes. I wonder if this had any role in the early adoption of ebook readers in Japan -- built-in privacy, no custom cover necessary.
I hate people seeing what I'm reading, so I've been an ebook devotee for nearly 15 years.
Look -- just ask! Say "What you got?" I'll hold up my book cover ("Slimed", a history of Nickelodeon kids shows in the 90s) and you nod and say thanks and we move on. Any attempt to discuss the book will be met with awkward silence.
@4 This may be assuming a lot, but being entertained by the written word puts you pretty high up the totem pole before extra marks for content are applied; what is that you're hating about people seeing what you're reading?
I actually enjoy it very much when strangers see what I'm reading. Once on the bus a person in a slightly altered state of consciousness caught sight of what I was reading and raved about it comically, loud enough for nearby passengers to hear. After he disembarked, the otherwise aloof passengers asked me about my reading selection (Dorkin, E. Fun With Milk & Cheese. Slave Labor Press: 1992, San Jose, CA).
Banks exploit people for profit?

No way! I cant beleive it.

Only a true intelectual would read a book uncovering the secret truth of the bankster class.
Maybe he was staring at the cover illustration rather than the title.
@6: honestly, I don't really know. I guess I'm just kind of private about that stuff? I'm not generally a shrinking violet, but there's something about books and music that seems too personal for me to advertise.
@9, I find myself staring at the cover illustration much more than the title.
Jeezus people! Stand behind your choices and opinions. Are you so ashamed of your interests that you feel the need to hide them? We're not in a total surveillance police state (yet). Ideas aren't outlawed, and you needn't fear being turned in for reading the wrong books (yet). At least with actual books it takes an eyewitness willing to report you (unless you bought it online, or used a credit card). The NSA already knows every e-book in your library.

Face to face interaction with actual humans in public should be cherished, not avoided. If we all retreat into anonymity, there'll be no humanity left.

And yes, I think your fellow passenger was just fascinated by the cool jacket art. I would be too.
@12: Fuck humanity.
I recall reading on some blog or other that the popularity of ebooks and "Fifty Shades of Gray" might very well be linked: while the physical book might be embarrassing to read in public, the ebook version is anonymous.
Charles: is that book worth a read?

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