May is “Get Caught Reading Month”

by Ruth G.

When I heard that it’s “Get Caught Reading Month“, two childhood memories came to mind:blume

In fifth grade, a friend of mine passed me a book she said I had to read. She had covered it with a book jacket made out of a paper grocery sack, and had written the phony title, “Police Dog” on the front. (To further the deception, she even drew a fairly decent drawing of a German Shepherd). What was inside? Judy Blume’s classic, “Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret”. She being a church-going Catholic, and I an over-earnest Baptist, we didn’t want to “get caught reading” such a “racy” book.

In eighth grade, I used to try to read books during the time that my English teacher, Mr. Reardon, explained how to diagram sentences. It would make him so mad. I remember the last time he “caught me reading” and said, “I catch you one more time and I swear, I’m pulling out the pin.” I had no idea what it meant to “pull out the pin” (sewing pins? bobby pins? what?) but I could tell it wasn’t good.


Weird-Readings-In-Public4__605Probably, the originators of “Get Caught Reading Month” weren’t intending to promote sneaky reading. Probably the idea is to let your reading flag fly.  I encourage you to try some flagrant public reading (even though some warn of the perils of reading in public.)  Who knows? You might get asked out on a date.  Just don’t set yourself up for ridicule (see guy at left).

Please share your memories of sneaky reading (ever pretend to take a bath but just read a book in the dry tub instead?), or your favorite public place to read, embarrassing story of laughing/crying while reading in public, or anything else remotely connected with “Get Caught Reading Month”.  Thanks!


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7 responses to “May is “Get Caught Reading Month””

  1. Michelle C. says:

    When I was twelve I went on a school trip to Washington D.C. I really wanted to read this romance novel I had found (To Love a Man by Karen Robards), but I was embarrassed by the cover and title so I created a book jacket for the paperback. The book jacket ended up causing more people to be interested in what I was reading than the cover probably would have and my plans for sneaky reading were foiled!

  2. Liz King says:

    My husband made me stop reading Marley and Me on the plane ride home from our honeymoon. I was nearing the end (and the sad parts) and just COULD NOT control my tears, especially after having been separated from our lab for 10 days. He was afraid people would think we were fighting on our honeymoon!

  3. Stacey says:

    For years I went to summer camp in upstate New York. After the first summer I packed multiple flash lights for backups after the first one was confiscated. I still love to read by flashlight.

  4. Ruth G. says:

    I love that you can still remember the title of that romance novel, Michelle! I remember being right around that same age and reading a romance novel while trying not to get caught by my mom! But I sure can’t remember the title…

  5. Ruth G. says:

    Awesome memory, Stacey! Reading your comment actually evoked the smell of my old sleeping bag — that old “canvas tent” smell — and the image of the rings of light on the book page as I read by flashlight. Good times, great memories…

  6. Jackie says:

    I used to make a breathing hole under my bed covers and read as long as I could get way with it.

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