Reading the Reader

r u what u read? 

Here’s a handmade response to “The Symbolic Reader,” a chapter in Alberto Manguel’s A History of Reading.  In this section, Manguel is describing the power of the presence of a book to influence our perception of the person holding that book:   “The assocation of books with their readers is unlike any other between objects and their users.  Tools, furniture, clothes–all have a symbolic function, but books inflict upon their readers a symbolism far more complex than that of a simple utensil.  The mere possession of books implies social standing and a certain intellectual richness;” (214).  I take a book to read when I’m at the fitness center, walking the treadmill or riding a bike.   How do the gym rats perceive me?