Jump to content
BananaKiwi

Are You Comfortable Dining Alone With A Book To Read?

Recommended Posts

Whilst packing for our holiday I’m selecting books to take with me.  I remember my Italian Grandmother saying to me in my early 20s as I packed for London to take a book with me on a date – I thought she had lost the plot at first, but she explained that should I be stood up, I can still enjoy my evening with a good book as a companion over dinner.

 

Working overseas for many years, I would often dine alone with a book, feeling awkward and uncomfortable at first.  It took a while before I no longer felt like the only Gooseberry on the Fruit Salad.

 

A book was a good “ice-breaker” and encouraged several social evenings which lead onto dates.

 

Have you dined alone with a book?

 

Does it take courage?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What a lovely story.  What a wonderful grandmother. Gosh, how wise.

Dining alone is always a serious challenge for me, so I chose room service.  Even so I need something to read, and during an enforced stopover I have to admit that ,yes, I did browse through the telephone directory.  :cry: 

So, what books are you taking with you on holiday?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If I am eating out alone, even just coffee and cake, I always take a book. I don't much like eating out alone in the evening, though, and I would eat crisps in my hotel room to avoid it!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would absolutely LOVE the chance to eat alone. With just a book for company. That sounds like absolute bliss.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If I am eating out alone, even just coffee and cake, I always take a book.

If I find myself with time enough to spare for a cup of coffee before my bus/lift home and have come out without a book I have been known to nip into a charity shop and buy a book just so's I had something to read. Even half a chapter of some random novel is better than eating or drinking bookless

(the local paper will suffice if it's a Thursday)

 

In the 'overnight alone in a strange town' scenario I'd either buy something during the day to eat in my room, or dine out early in the evening.

I have been known to take a book  when dining out with Mr meg embarrassed-smiley32.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have been known to take a book  when dining out with Mr meg embarrassed-smiley32.gif

 

:lol:

 

Luuuurve that smiley, meg!

 

'Minor' eats out, like cake 'n' coffee, would be okay.  But then I'm a bit of a people watcher and easily distracted, so wouldn't get much reading done.  Proper meals, no.  But then I don't really like doing anything that you'd normally consider a 'social' event on my own, so mostly wouldn't do it.  This is my problem and I'll have to deal with it...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I often eat out alone with a book at lunch.  Like Hazel, I think it's heaven, and probably for the same reason.  I was once doing that at a restaurant and a small child commented on it in a loud voice and his mother said, wearily, "She's reading at lunch by herself because she's very lucky."  

 

I'm not sure I'd do it out of town for dinner, but I might.

 

So, Meg, does Mr. Meg mind?  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The nature of my work means I am often in hotels for weeks at time and dining alone with the iPad - it's great, I can read a little news, read tech articles, catch up with Zite and then read a book or graphic novel. I'll admit to being slightly disappointed when I was in Milan recently with colleagues who insisted we all go for dinner together each night :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This isn't strictly on topic, but it is about dining and I doubt that there is a thread for it.

 

I'm thinking of when my childen were babies and 'dining' alone ..  . well almost. I breastfed them and, much as I loved them and wanted to do it, it bored me silly (I'm not someone who can sit and do nothing for long). So I bought a book stand and read throughout the feeds. I know I was supposed to be 'bonding' but I much preferred to 'bond' through play.

 

I even bought bookstands for a couple of expectant mums who had baby showers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This isn't strictly on topic, but it is about dining and I doubt that there is a thread for it.

 

I'm thinking of when my childen were babies and 'dining' alone ..  . well almost. I breastfed them and, much as I loved them and wanted to do it, it bored me silly (I'm not someone who can sit and do nothing for long). So I bought a book stand and read throughout the feeds. I know I was supposed to be 'bonding' but I much preferred to 'bond' through play.

 

I even bought bookstands for a couple of expectant mums who had baby showers.

 

Angel, I think that was brilliant, with a baby that age it was probably the only time you managed to read anything and  I bet they fed well because you were relaxed. :clap:

 

I prefer not to eat alone when out, always feel awkward, and if I must try to  have a book with me. At home on my own there is always an audible book on the go for mealtimes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Angel, I did the same thing, although one time I lost control of a hardback book (John Le Carre--whichever one came out in 1991) and whacked my daughter in the head with the spine of the book. Boy was she mad! But it didn't make me stop and we laugh about it now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I always read when I dine alone. I don't travel much now but when I did I would always have a book to read in a restaurant. I would try to choose one that could lay open without me having to hold it.

 

I always take a book to the pub to enjoy a quiet read and a pint or two.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wouldn't leave the house without one. Check keys, money, phone, book! Anytime I eat out alone in the evenings a book is an absolute necessity, it does take some time to get through my meal though! I often go for early morning coffee and toast, or porridge in the winter, to my favourite cafe just to read my book.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Like Hazel, for me solitary dining is but a dim and distant memory now. When I lived on my own I read at every meal, although more often magazines than books. This was mainly for practical reasons; once I got a Kindle that would easily lay flat on the table that started to change.

 

As for when I'm out, it would depend on the establishment. Coffee shops I'd read in, no question. If I ever graced a fast food place with my presence (and I admit a liking for 'posh' burgers like Gourmet Burger Kitchen), then possibly. In a proper restaurant? I'd feel very awkward and self-conscious and so probably wouldn't.   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If I do end up eating out alone, which will only happen if I'm away for home for some reason, I will quite happily read a book while waiting between courses.

 

At home I eat my food, then I find somewhere more comfortable to read.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I used to work away a lot which meant eating alone. As long as I chose a one-fork meal (scampi and chips was a favourite!) reading was not a problem :)

Once I made the mistake of ordering prawns in garlic butter not realising I'd have to shell them. There were lovely but I really missed my book that night!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have done it on a few occassions - sometimes just while I am waiting for food to arrive and sometimes during the actual meal part (not so easy when I need both hands for knife and fork).

 

I have got good at using things on the table to hold the book open without covering the words.

 

I usually do this a lot more around my birthday as I take time off work and my husband is a teacher so he can't which means I do a lot of visiting places and treating myself to lunch out - only 6 weeks to go and I'll be off doing that again!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have never really eaten out alone, but I have always been a very solitary person anyway even now I am married with two teenage children I will curl up and shut myself off with a book - I think it comes from being an only child.  I think the closest thing to this is when i am at work, and on my lunch break I sit with my lunch and a book and shut myself off from everyone around me for an hour!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

and on my lunch break I sit with my lunch and a book and shut myself off from everyone around me for an hour!

 

I think everyone should do something like this! Having some sort of signal, whether it be eating a sandwich or reading a book (or both) that means, just for a little while, "No, I am not open for business!" makes the break so much more valuable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think everyone should do something like this! Having some sort of signal, whether it be eating a sandwich or reading a book (or both) that means, just for a little while, "No, I am not open for business!" makes the break so much more valuable.

 

In offices, the only way I've ever found to make this work is to leave your desk.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have never really eaten out alone, but I have always been a very solitary person anyway even now I am married with two teenage children I will curl up and shut myself off with a book - I think it comes from being an only child.  I think the closest thing to this is when i am at work, and on my lunch break I sit with my lunch and a book and shut myself off from everyone around me for an hour!

 

I'm an only child, Apple, and I strongly identify with that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In offices, the only way I've ever found to make this work is to leave your desk.

 

Yes, that or risk causing even more issues by being strict about it. Some people still get very funny about the idea of setting aside a proper break during working hours :-\

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...