Hello! My name is Nancy and I am a freak magnet. Yes, I know this is not a title that anyone would aspire to hold let alone admit to. Yet I find that it is the most logical reason for why I am constantly plagued with less than favorable public reading environments.

I would love to read at home and some times I do so, but I can be easily distracted and dissuaded from my mission. So I decided to make some quality time for me and my books. I would set aside a day (MONDAY) and go and visit a different location in search of the "perfect" spot for me and my reads.
I began my quest by visiting the public libraries in my area believing that those would be the epitome of peaceful, quality reading time. Wrong Wrong WRONG!!! For the past six weeks I have been plagued by some of the most unusual and offensive characters around. For instance, when did the public library suddenly become the "in" spot for nappers, snorers and apnea afflicted people? I truly believe that they all wait for me to walk into the library just so that they can come in and sit by me. Honestly, I have yet to spend time at the Library and not have to vacate my spot because I am unable to concentrate on my book due to the noise that my sleepy neighbor is making. I have done all that I can do but walking away is always the best policy...believe me. I have tried it all and it is the best solution.
Then I have had people ask me about the book I am reading, which is great. I don't mind giving a quick synopsis about the book I have and then getting back to the task at hand. If only it would stop at that point..but no, never in my universe. Unfortunately the small verbal exchange seems to mean that I want to talk.....NO! I come to the library to read, sorry I know that may seem rude, but that is why I am there and not at the local coffeehouse. Besides I hate it when people question my reading choices and if I have read Twilight or if I know where the bathroom is or if I know how to spell "planned" (yes I was asked that) or if they could use my phone. See what I mean?
This last Monday adventure proved to be most difficult. I was seated in a new spot and after a bit I acquired a neighbor that decided to clear his throat for what seemed an eternity and then he proceeded to have a conversation with himself and then shouted at the load speaker announcement. That was my cue to get up at go. I somehow managed a nice spot only to find another snorer...so i vacated again and found a spot in the corner near the teen section to encounter a couple in make out mode that proceeded to give me the evil stink eye. Ok! I got up yet again and nearly am mowed down by two children chasing and screaming at each other. That! was my breaking point. I had spent an hour at the library and barely read a chapter. I had to move several times in order to find some peace that never came and was so frustrated I had to leave and decided to call my friend.
I asked her why does this kind of situation always happen to me. What is up with the library? She proceeded to tell me that it was the fact that I was a Freak Magnet. At first I denied this possibility but what other explanation could it be. I am almost afraid to try other public places to enjoy my reads but I am willing to try. I am asking. What other places do you go to for some good quiet reading time? I am begging for suggestions. HELP!

10 comments on "Am I A Freak Magnet? My endless search for a peaceful place to read"

Rhiannon Hart wrote: September 25, 2009 at 1:41 AM

Oh god, I feel your pain. There's nothing more annoying that noisy/snoring/interrupting people when you're trying to read. But you know what? It's always the busiest places where you get peace. Quiet, no. But you're left alone! At my library the drunks snooze in the YA section, because it's away from the front desk and the screaming children. It's kinda gross and unsettling, and I'm 24. Poor teen kids! I read on the tram or at home--libraries just aren't stay-and-sit places anymore. Did I mention screaming children?


dd03 wrote: September 25, 2009 at 2:47 AM

Hey, girlie!
Yes, you are a freak magnet.
I like you.
See.
Freak magnet. ^.~

I've found the best place to read is in a busy place such as B&N coffee shops, restaurants, coffee shop (not starbucks...we have an indy called The Coffee Depot. It's made for reading/studying, unless it's an entertainment night...but I digress.)

Oh...I find that if I put on my nano. The earplugs are a dead giveaway to leave me alone...I'm in my own world and not listening to YOU. Works for me. Give it a try. (you don't even have to play the thingy, just put in the plugs.)


So Many Books, So Little Time wrote: September 25, 2009 at 4:14 AM

I read in bed late at night. It's one of the only times that my house is silent!


elnice wrote: September 25, 2009 at 6:01 AM

LOL, the only time I have any peace to read is after 8 in my room. Distractions, yes, but if I make too much noise cleaning or doing other things I would wake the kids. So reading it is (well and blogging)


rebrebs wrote: September 25, 2009 at 9:15 AM

wow, that's crazy, I am glad the library I go to is usually dead.


~THE OPTIMISTIC PESSIMIST ~ wrote: September 25, 2009 at 5:14 PM

Snerk! yez u iz. I calls the way I seez it.
But I lurvs you anyway.
Humm iz that why we get along sooo well.. Could it be???

Hi Im Linda and I am a freak magnet. If there is a bipolar nut job *usually with BO* in any store I go in.. bamn they are on me like jack!

Maybe we should have a support group?? ^*^


Mardel wrote: September 25, 2009 at 10:20 PM

Somehow, just being approachable-or a nice person who comes across as approachable will bring the freaks on. If you walk around with a scowl on your face, not many people will bother you. Unfortunately, then you get the frown lines....


Anonymous wrote: September 27, 2009 at 1:12 AM

Or how about the park? ummm, i never had anyone as me anything at a park...

And you are probably exaggerating a little their... anyways...


Jeane wrote: September 27, 2009 at 5:54 AM

I feel your pain. At my library it's always teens giggling or people on their cell phones. Our children's librarian seems to be pretty good at noisy kids out. I think they made a new rule about sleeping in the library because I haven't seen any unkempt sleepers there, but when I lived in San Francisco the downtown library was notorious for being a bum hangout. I've found, like Mardel, that the park is peaceful! No one bothers me, reading on a bench.


Ravenous Reader wrote: September 27, 2009 at 9:32 AM

No exaggerating at all. These are my unfortunate experiences of which I seem to have, which is funny because I have traveled to many libraries and seem to have the same issues. This last Monday was the deal breaker, to have that much go on in one place....


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Upcoming YA Bay Area Book Events

I have compiled all the SF, bay area YA and NA events in this section. If you know of any events that I have failed to post, please let me know. Also, please keep in mind that some events may change and it is best to verify all events prior to attendance.

2014

JULY

MAGGIE STIEFVATER
Books Inc. event at the Alameda Free Library
Wednesday, July 23 @7:30pm

MAGGIE STIEFVATER

Kepler's in Menlo Park
Thursday, July 24 Time TBA

Not YA but a favorite author of mine
DEBORAH HARKNESS
Books Inc. Palo Alto
Tuesday, July 29 @ 7pm

ERIKA JOHANSEN * The Queen of Tearling

Book Passage in Corte Madera
Tuesday, July 29 @ 7:00 pm

DEBORAH HARKNESS-THE BOOK OF LIFE
Book Passage in San Francisco
Wednesday, July 30 @ 12:30pm

DEBORAH HARKNESS

Copperfield's Petaluma
Wednesday, July 30 @ 7pm

AUGUST

RACHEL DEWOSKIN
Book Passage in San Francisco
Monday, August 4 @6pm

GAYLE FORMAN, NINA LACOUR & JANDY NELSON
Books Inc. in San Francisco
Wednesday, August 6 @ 7pm

ANN AGUIRRE, VERONICA ROSSI and CORRINE JACKSON
Book Passage in Corte Madera
Friday, August 8 @ 7pm

SEPTEMBER

SARAH J. MAAS and VERONICA ROSS
Kepler's in Menlo Park
Friday, September 12 @ 7pm

WENDELIN VAN DRAANEN and MARK HUNTLY PARSONS
Kepler's in Menlo Park
Wednesday, September 17 @ 7pm

GRETCHEN MCNEIL and ANNA CAREY
Books Inc. San Francisco
Thursday, September 18 @ 7pm

OCTOBER

LAUREN OLIVER
Book Passage in San Francisco
Thursday, October 2 @7pm

LAUREN OLIVER and JANDY NELSON
Kepler's in Menlo Park
Thursday, October 2 @ 7pm

RICK RIORDAN (ticketed event)
Fox Theatre in Redwood City
Wednesday, October 15 @ 7pm

CORY DOCTOROW and JEN WANG

Mrs. Dalloway's in Berkeley
Thursday, October 16 @ 7:30pm

GARTH NIX and MICHAEL GRANT

Kepler's in Menlo Park
Thursday, October 23 @ 7pm

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