I’ve been working at my current job for about 6 months now and in that amount of time I’ve read almost 20 books. About a quarter of that list is true crime. Incase no one has noticed yet, I’m really into true crime stories and have built up a small collection last year alone. Usually I don’t care about what I read in public, but after working in the same place for a while and having your coworkers notice that you read A LOT of true crime, you start to become a little self-conscience.

Since I started working at my current job, I’ve read 6 true crime books

  • The Invention of Murder by Judith Flanders
  • The Autobiography of Jack the Ripper by James Carnac
  • Manson in His Own Words as told by Nuel Emmons
  • Zodiac: The Shocking True Story of the Nation’s Most Bizarre Mass Murders by Robert Graysmith
  • Serial Killers: Up Close and Personal by Christopher Berry-Dee
  • Helter Skelter by Vincent Bugliosi

When I first started my list, I wasn’t concerned about bringing my books to work because a) I figured no one would care or pay attention to me and b) they’re just books. But ya know what, people are nosy. And maybe they won’t say anything after 1 book, but keep reading them and people start to make comments.

During my time with the true crime (I found that way funnier than I should’ve. Blame the wine. And my poor sense of humor) I’ve noticed a few things that tend to happen every time I’m reading one of my books. People will stare at the book in my hands and then give me weird looks. Someone will ask me what am I reading and when I answer their response is usually “oh….that’s….nice.” Sometimes instead people say I read too many serial killer books. My favorite incident so far is when I was getting into the elevator with a group of strangers and one coworker passed by and asked what was I reading. Knowing the inevitable result, I responded with a slightly ashamed tone “Helter Skelter,” to which his response was a very loud “God dammit Gabi.” And then I had to stand in the middle of a crowded elevator with strangers giving me a weird stare because they now knew what I was reading.

I would like to point out that I actually read a wide variety of genres. But no one ever notices when I’m reading Pride and Prejudice. No, they only decide to ask what I’m reading when Charles Manson is in my hands. I was reading Jurassic Park the other week and no one said anything. But the second I finished and started reading Helter Skelter suddenly everyone was wondering about the book in my hand.

I have a lot of feelings about this.

But anyways. Thanks to my new hyper awareness, I’ve taken some extra steps to avoid awkward encounters and questions and stares. For example:

  • Holding book with the cover facing me so the title is not visible
  • Reading in more secluded areas where I know no one will bother me
  • Spacing out when I read true crime with some good ol’ wholesome books in-between to remind everyone I’m a nice girl and am not plotting murder
  • Trying to not laugh while reading about serial killers (The Autobiography of Jack the Ripper was incredibly sassy, I couldn’t help it)

Maybe I could not bring true crime books with me to work, but my lunch breaks are usually the only time I have to read. And it’s not like I’m shoving my books in anyone’s face. Maybe people in the elevator really aren’t judging me and I’ve just been extra paranoid (which makes sense considering my reading material). I read this genre because it’s a topic I’m fascinated in and is no different than reading any other narrative.

So what’s the moral of this post? Read what you want to read regardless of the genre or story. It’s your time and energy being used. Spend it reading instead of worrying about what others think of your book.

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