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Tell him "oh I've read that one. I hear in the end the protagonist punches the villain in the face."
Sounds like an asshole to me. There's nothing wrong with wanting to keep to yourself, especially when reading, but that's such a douchey way to go about it. Good job for having the confidence to approach him though OP! Don't let him spoil guys for you.
I think it's rude when I'm reading in a public place, clearly engrossed in what I'm reading and ignoring everyone an everything around me, and people come up to me wanting to talk. Especially if they ask what I'm reading when the cover is clearly visible for them to read. I really hate when people try to talk to me while I'm reading. Maybe he could've been nicer, but maybe OP should recognize social cues that signal when someone doesn't want to talk to other people.
If you're reading in a public place then it doesn't matter how engrossed you are in a book. If someone smiles and asks what you're reading, there's no reason for you to be rude. You chose to read in a public venue, so act like an adult and have some manners about it. Or go home and don't worry. Or to a library where most people will leave you alone. Otherwise be a decent human and not a dick.
Op literally just went over to talk to him. If he seemed disinterested/tried to hint her to leave her alone then that's one thing. It wouldn't excuse it in my opinion, but the fact that was his instant reply to someone trying to interact makes him seem much worse. Reading in public doesn't mean everyone leave you alone. As someone else admitted, some people wouldn't mind the interruption at all. Honestly this is really the rudest thing I've heard. "Um, I'm trying to read" coldly could be "nicer", this is just makes you a douchebag. If you have the confidence to say something like this, you have it to say "sorry, but I really just want to read".
To clarify, I did not say his behavior was justified or he needed to be rude to OP. However, I do think it's rude to interrupt people who clearly don't want to be interrupted. I often read and work in coffee shops. I see many others who do to. That doesn't mean I'm looking for conversation. Sometimes I just enjoy going to get coffee and read. I hate when people try to talk to me. I'm polite, and quickly try to disengage from the conversation, but I find it annoying when I can't just sit and read in peace and I'm made to feel obligated to be part of a conversation I'm not interested in. It's probably better to just be aware of social cues that indicate when someone isn't interested in conversation. Things like reading a book or wearing headphones are pretty clear cues.
19 - I do agree with you, even though I'm on the opposite end of the spectrum most of the time in that I love when people engage me in a conversation about books and what I'm reading as long as it's a genuine interest and they keep it short. It's probably because I don't actually have people in my life who read. But I do have those moments when I'm reading and it's a very climactic part and I get interrupted. It's really annoying. So I never interrupt a reader. The guy is definitely a dick, though. But just because someone is reading in public doesn't mean it's an open forum like somebody said here.
33 - Although I agree that us readers shouldn't be so cold and rude to people who talk to us while we're reading, it's also a bit of a pain if the reason they are interrupting us is cuz we seem bored or lonely when we are reading a book. Non-readers need to understand that we actually love reading and that there are times when it just sucks to have to stop in the middle of an exciting scene. Too many people act like reading is "not much of anything" and can't understand how anyone could like it. The thing is, there should be kindness and consideration on both ends and we should all just be nice and try to understand one another :) Some people don't mind being interrupted, others do. Wanna take a risk and start a conversation? Fine. But do it because you are interested, not to "save them from being bored." And if you don't like being interrupted, just kindly say so. :)
I would have responded "well I heard fans of that book are real asshats"
Shit, I have to admit that while you did get blindsided and I have sympathy for you, the dude was a fucking savage
Oh this is sad. I'm the kind of person who reads a lot of books and if someone asked me what I was reading I would probably waste their day going on and on about books and authors and they would leave with a list of what they had to read right now.