[Think Aloud] – #17 – Slow Walkers in Narrow Hallways Aren’t the Same as Aisle Readers

Think Aloud explores book-related discussions encompassing reading, writing, blogging, and perhaps newsworthy content. The focus is to push the boundaries, stretch the mind, and encourage dialogue within this community. Let’s all think out loud.


Table Topic:
Slow Walkers in Narrow Hallways
Aren’t the Same as Aisle Readers


Unlike obstructions in narrow hallways (i.e. slow walkers), they are not the same as those silent pillars who are searching for their next read in stores and libraries.


The crazy rants have returned!

So I don’t know about you but unless I’m like admiring some historically relevant scenery or spending time with peeps at some outdoor market or some shit, I tend to walk with a sense of purpose. This means that you best not be in my way—especially in narrow hallways—or else I’mma be all raged up inside. It’s not that I’m claustrophobic. I just have places to be. Now, I’m not an explicitly angry or destructive person; I say all of this facetiously and it’s unlikely that I’d call you out on it either. I’d just say “excuse me” and walk by. (Though there totally ought to be floor lanes everywhere for slower walkers and text-ers who want to take their time.)

But you know what I don’t find myself getting annoyed over?

Those who obstruct my way in bookstores and library aisles.

Now why is that?

(I have no idea.)

Unless there’s some black-market wildfire sale that has everyone amped up and throwing haymakers at each other to get the best discounts, there’s something calming in being surrounded by patrons looking to discover the same thing you’re searching for: a world to get lost in (fiction or otherwise).

It’s kind of like speed dating. You’re using your senses to spark that initial attraction while juggling those values and interests as it influences your judgment. Then sometimes, you hear a laugh or a question nearby while you’re with a suitor (re: the book held in your hand) and you catch a glimpse of what they’re invested in, in this case: their book.

This blind intent we have when we peruse shelves is purposeful and something I can empathize with. When you’re spending time in an aisle mostly reading what you have in front of you, there are times when you take notice what others have found interest in; and whether you like it or not,  you make those snap judgments and take a temporary mental note. The cover? The book title? The person reading it? The section you’re in? All of these questions influence this goal of finding a book that requires your immediate attention.

It’s simply a different feeling and one that comes back to the common thread of purpose. Unlike having a destination to go to while walking down that hallway or sidewalk, when you’re in an aisle surrounded by books, you’re essentially looking for that path your mind should pivot towards. One is mostly physical and the other is mostly mental—that’s the difference—and that’s all I really have to say about that.

Afterthought Prompts:

My pockets are filled with topics that aren’t rant-post worthy yet to grace your eyes. So this will do for now. Also: I have never done speed dating before so I’m just going off of what I think it might involve. #nojudgment

1) What is your opinion on slow walkers in public (assuming they aren’t tourists doing tourist-y things or those with accessibility problems)?

2) How do you feel about those who stand in aisles and read while you’re trying to find a book in the same section?

3) What’s the likelihood that you’d notice and become influenced by what other patrons are reading? How often do you spark conversations with them (i.e. if you’ve read that particular title)?


connect: afterthoughtAn // twitter  |  anotherafterthought // goodreads


Post Inspiration:

I think the majority of my post speaks for itself. Just geeeet outttt of my waaaaaaay.


23 thoughts on “[Think Aloud] – #17 – Slow Walkers in Narrow Hallways Aren’t the Same as Aisle Readers”

  1. Like you, I just want people to get out of my way! I work in a mall, and it’s the worst place on earth for slow walkers. They all get in a line and block your path as they saunter along. It’s incredibly inconsiderate.

    I’m probably a bit more anger-prone about people blocking my way in libraries and bookstores than your average reader because I work in a bookstore. I don’t mind the person who is browsing casually and will shift over if I need to get something from the section they are in; it’s the people who camp out in a section like they are planning to take root make me see red. Or there’s the person who refuses to move even a little as I’m obviously trying to carry a large stack of books without running into anything.


    1. Ahh. Malls are pretty bad for overcrowded walking (especially during peak seasons or special days). Sidewalks still take the cake for me since the obstructions are like…everyday. Le sigh!

      Yeah sometimes I do wonder how they’re so engrossed in their book that they can’t see someone using their peripheral vision. Perhaps I’m just more attune to being self-aware in my surroundings because I don’t typically enjoy being a nuisance to someone else (unfortunately, the “do unto others as you want done unto you” isn’t reciprocated LOL.)

      I’d personally only camp out in the big box stores with a Starbucks and the like as opposed to smaller stores. But from the rest of us who [sometimes] camps out in an aisle to read a chapter or two (or the entire book…), sorry!


  2. Before even reading, just an OMG YES to the title opening up the rant.

    After rant:
    1. Slow walkers in public thoroughly get on my nerves. It’s like “Do you *seriously* have nowhere to go? And even if you don’t, this isn’t a park.” School is the absolute worst. Because with their fat backpacks, it’s nearly impossible to push past them. People rarely listen to “Excuse me” when it matters, you actually have to shove past. The strolling group of friends blocking the current truly grates on the nerves. Fortunately, for the streets, tourists and natives alike tend to move at a decent pace.

    2. The times that I go, early morning or late evening; I tend to be alone or with few frantically searching through the library or bookstore for my next read. Hoping to God I’m not waiting for yet another hold. If I did see someone reading; just like you—I feel a sort of connection, you know? And it just doesn’t bother me as much as strolling high school seniors or texting streetwalkers. You just feel that connection with your passion; and the importance of their careful selection.

    3. The likelihood is not always high that I’d be influenced, my TBR is over 100 books long right now. As for conversation, if I’m on transit and a stranger wants to strike up a conversation, I’m always open. Just the other day, a lady asked me about the book I was reading and we got into her newspaper. For some reason, I’m more likely to talk about books commuting that in an actual book area unless it’s an event.


    1. Titles are worse than tweets for me to create. Like, how can I emphasize the importance of my word vomit in a few words?!

      I can’t say much about of students who block hallways to get to a class (especially when they’re outside a room chilling with friends). I’ve been on both ends of it so I totally get empathize with both parties.

      Yeah, this leniency comes with a shift in setting; and, the same things that would annoy us suddenly don’t (as much). Which is kinda peculiar but understandable. Although I feel like with people being focused on finding a title, they “could” get angered if you bothered them. Depends on the type of shopper I guess.

      Not influenced as in “to buy” or more-so “to read”. As in, if you see someone reading Simon V (and let’s say you didn’t know about it), would you check it out on your own time on Goodreads etc. or would you pay no mind to what they’re reading?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The title suited this perfectly! (Oh, and you can scroll down to the bottom to read the answer if you don’t want to read the whole thing.)

        So, basically, if you and your friends are doing it (the blocking the narrow hallways)…it’s chill.
        But when someone does it to you…rage? *tilts head* *nods*
        No judgement (I promise this isn’t sarcasm. It just looks like it). Just interesting.
        Oh, I’m a HUGE SUCKER for basically all things diverse, period. That’s pretty obvious.

        But, without knowing the premise, just
        seeing a cover and a title? Yeah, I’d probably check out what they’re reading. I can also say it depends, though. Like NA with some photoshopped abs on the cover, or some smutty scene going on? Instantly, a snort covered by a cough. (I hate romance. Not judging if you happen to like it, though!)

        Anything that’s NOT CLEARLY ROMANCE—(LGBTQ+ and other diversity excluded) I’d definitely check out on my own time. I’m guessing you would, too. Thanks for the discussion!


  3. JOEY! THIS POST SPEAKS TO ME!!!!!!!! I love it. I am THE most impatient person and can’t stand slow walkers (and drivers). I don’t have time for it, and it makes me batty when I get behind someone taking their good ol time. These are cases when I am the most ragey. I totally get you.

    Honestly, I don’t really notice other people in the bookstore. I’m generally on a mission and of the same ‘get out of my way’ mindset. I’m looking for something specific, and don’t really pay attention to the others around me. Maybe that’s sad and I need to slow down, huh? I haven’t even seen someone pick up a book I’d recommend so that I can say, ‘that’s good – you should read it!’. I’m in too big a hurry to grab and go. And that’s mostly because I have a 4 year old with me going, ‘Mommy, can I have this, and this, and this, and this?’ and I’m just trying to get the F OUT OF THE STORE. Usually she ends up with 3 new books (or a toy and a comic book our last trip) and I leave with nothing. Happens when you have kids.


    1. It’s equally important to chill and mellow and watch the scenery to your destination (instead of a “go go go” mentality). But I get you.

      I usually find myself going in with something specific (not knowing the price initially), check it up, cringe at $25+ hardback, then walk mosey on to another book title LOL).

      I cannot tell if that’s some cryptic message for me to have kids or not. But hey, must be fun hoarding your childhood classics to share with her, right?


  4. I cannot stand people who walk slowly. I’ll be walking to class at school and the person in front of me is walking at the pace of a snail. But I am generally a pretty fast walker so they could be walking at a normal pace lol.

    People who are standing in the same spot that I need to get to, I will generally give them a few minutes and do something else, unless I’m in a time crunch. If they aren’t gone in a few minutes, I will just say excuse me.

    I am petrified about talking to people in public, so if I see someone reading a book I like, I just conceal everything that I have to say. I am very influenced by what other people are reading. It makes me understand what everyone is talking about. Great post!


    1. Maybe it feels like you/we walk faster if you’re on the shorter end of the height spectrum and take more strides to compensate (I know these feels).

      I definitely just make my way to wherever I need to get. 99% of the other customers I’ve interacted with have always moved over. I don’t think I’ve ever had a bad experience at a store to be honest. (Can’t say the same about libraries–seldom visit them).

      Would you strike up a conversation if they were the one to ask you a question (could be anything). Or would you try to answer them in the most effective ‘here’s your answer please don’t talk to me anymore’ Haha. I’m just curious!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I know what you’re talking about- for me it’s like being surrounded by ghosts. People that are there, and that are like you, but won’t notice you or bother you unless you confront them first. Also, being surrounded by readers is just INTERESTING. It’s like a fashionista at a hollywood awards thing (yes, awards thing. They exist) you’re always looking at what other people are wearing. Similarly, surrounded by readers you’ll always be looking if it’s something you recognize.


    1. Haha, what a comparison to make!

      That makes me curious if we’re all in our own world checking out books and we have this “don’t talk to me, please” thought but would be open if someone struck up a conversation with us first (or at least a question). Maybe this is why I’m less bothered by employees who work at a bookstore than elsewhere.

      I’d be lying if I said I didn’t secretly judge what people were reading. But most of the time, I’m just interested in what seems to be trending or spark interest in other readers.


      1. It’s so frustrating to see someone read one of your favorite series and all you want to do is ask them about it and have a conversation which is the LAST thing they want to do!


  6. Man, slow walkers are the worst! Especially when they walk side by side across a sidewalk and you can’t get past them. Another favourite it the texters who are walking towards you and not paying attention.

    I’ve never had a problem with people in book stores standing in my way. Most of the time I just go down a different aisle and come back later or politely ask them to move. Most people are pretty cool about it.

    Book comradery for the win!


    1. It’s curious to me how pedestrians can be THAT into their phones texting when they’re walking on a busy street. How is it that engaging that you hit everyone? (Let’s not even go into those who do it and don’t apologize if they bump into you–which hurts my Canadian heart.)

      Yeah, i’ve never had problems in stores either when I’m looking at the shelves. Most people seem aware of their surroundings.


  7. I am personally some what of a slow Walker myself. I do tend to move with my own purpose however I take way too much time admiring the little things I see as I walk. You’d be frustrated by me, I suppose.
    But at the same time, they frustrate me too. When in narrow places and people are walking slowly while on their phone, I just wish they would GET OUT of the way and let me move on with my life. But because I’m very patient, I am happy and content with those who are aisle readers. I am too shy to spark conversation but I think its a great atmosphere to be in, seeing people actively engaging with books in a store!


    1. Personally, it really depends on the environment. I don’t exactly fault people who take their time when the streets are dead (or something to that extreme), it’s when there’s more people that overcrowding becomes a problem that it’s like “okay, get out of my waaaay”

      Yeah I’m always interested to see what other people are reading when I;m in the store. Although there are other times I secretly judge because I’m like “Oh, you’re reading Divergent–have fun with that one…”

      Liked by 1 person

Have some thoughts? Leave a comment below!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.