Thursday, 4 August 2011

The Dangers of Reading While Walking

The other day I saw a lady walking down the street pushing a baby carriage with one hand, in her other she held a novel, which she appeared to be very engrossed in.  Now it seems to me, that if you happen to be pushing a stroller down the street, and it’s got a baby in it, you should use both your hands and look where you’re going. Perhaps if the stroller you’re pushing has got your extra book in it, you’re okay. (Aside from having an unhealthy attachment to books, but who am I to judge?) Or if the stroller is empty, and you’re just doing it for the weird looks (I knew a guy who used to take his vacuum cleaner for “walks” just for the reaction it got him).  
                What I mean is, if you insist on walking while reading, please do it responsibly.  I myself won’t do it anymore. Even if the book was one I couldn’t put down the rest of the time, I would put it away for short jaunts down the street (and especially for short jaunts across the street). I attempted to read while walking once or twice, but I always have that fear niggling in the back of my mind that I’m going to be swept away by a particularly wonderful set of prose, and then trip and do a face plant on the sidewalk.
                The “king” of horror himself (pun very intended) learned this lesson the hard way. On June 19th, Steven King was walking down route 5, reading a book, when driver Bryan Smith, swerved off the road in his Dodge van and struck King. The author ended up in the hospital with multiple fractures to his right leg and hip, a collapsed lung and broken ribs.  Even Steven King is not immune to the dangers of reading while walking!
                I think I have run into enough things in my life already, I don’t need to tempt fate. I have walked into doors, walls, furniture, and at one point ran full tilt into a cement fence post and shattered several teeth (it’s not nearly as funny as the cartoons make it look).  I’m guessing that little warning in my brain telling me to look where I’m walking , really shouldn’t be ignored. But what if you have a really good book, you say? What if I can’t put it down and I won’t get to work if I don’t walk and read, you say?
Here is some advice from the experts at WikiHow: I had a good laugh when I saw this. You too can learn the fine art of “Readwalking” learn to Readwalk on the beach, through the park, walking your dog or pushing a stroller with your baby in it! Not a lot of time to shop? You’ll be able to read your grocery list and push the buggy at the same time! Stay tuned for “Readrunning” and make that triathlon even more fun when you ad a copy of Moby Dick to the mix! (Just be careful not to drop it while you’re doing the swimming bit.)
Happy Readwalking!

1 comment:

  1. One time I was read-skating on a school trip, I was bored of ice skating so I got my book and did them both. People thought it was hilarious to speed skate right across my path. I actually almost broke my wrist on that trip but not while read-skating.