Let’s Talk with Nancy J. Cohen

Waiting Rooms by Nancy J. Cohen

You’re sitting in the waiting room at the doctor’s office or waiting around an airport to board a flight. How do you pass the time?

In simpler days, we used to carry a book and spent the hours engrossed in reading. But now we have myriads of ways to kill time without cracking open a book. Let’s see some of the things you can do:

• Read email on your cell phone
• Play games on your cell phone
• Catch the news, weather, or social media on your cell phone
• Send text messages to a friend
• Read the brochures in your doctor’s office
• Read the magazines left by the staff
• Watch television in the waiting room
• Read a book

We have so many distractions today. As a writer, it’s hard to compete with all these choices for a reader’s attention. It’s critical to give people a love for reading early in their lives so it will carry through the many distractions in years to come. Avid readers are never without a book in one form or another. We’d rather read the print on an advertisement than sit there staring into space.

As for me, it depends on how long of a wait I’m anticipating. If it’s a lengthy one, I might bring my Kindle. Otherwise, I’ll play solitaire on my cell phone, catch up on email, or browse my social media. It’s rare that I will carry a print book when a Kindle fits so conveniently in my purse.

Which one are you—the cell phone junkie, the TV watcher, or the reader? If the latter, do you read on your phone or on an e-reader device? Or do you carry an actual print edition? What’s your activity of choice when you’re the one in the waiting room?

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Comments

  1. I don’t carry a purse and the Kindle isn’t much smaller than a paperback, so it’s either or. I’d never go anywhere I have to wait without taking along something to read.

  2. I’m usually looking for my list of things I want to remember to tell the doctor. Trouble is there are many pockets in my purse! So I sit there like a bag lady rooting through a giant bag for a sheet of paper. My kindle is tucked in my bag in case I get stuck there. I’d rather not check email on my phone because then it won’t auto-sort into the right folders when I turn my computer email utility on. My favorite thing to do in a waiting room is to talk to the other people sitting there…

    • I write a list of questions for the doctor, too. I am glad I’m not the only one. I like handbags with an outer pocket, so that’s usually where my list goes along with my cell phone.

  3. I always have my Nook. Phones are too small to deal with, and I’ve found mobile apps don’t always work the way my PC does, so I get frustrated. Although yesterday, I was in a hospital waiting room while my husband had a procedure done, and knowing it could be a long wait, I brought a printout of my current manuscript and got some editing done.

  4. I ALWAYS bring my kindle to appointments, including the hair salon, where I’ll catch up on my reading while I’m color processing. I’d much rather lose myself in a book than bop around on my cell phone, although I might pull it out occasionally to check my emails or see if the family has texted me.

  5. I always have a book handy somewhere, but I also like reading around when I’m in a new place. New magazines, new books, even new brochures are interesting in a new place.

  6. Usually have a book with me. Don’t use my phone for much other than phone calls most of the time, so I’m usually carrying my iPad.

  7. Debbie Price says:

    Always bring a book!

  8. Allyson A. says:

    I, always bring a paperback with me whenever I have to go to appointments. My husband likes for me to tag along when he goes to the hardware store. I compromise, I go, but I’ll remain in the car reading. That way, he can take as long as he likes browsing the aisles.

    I rarely use my phone to check social media or email. I do have an iPad mini, but mostly, use it at home.

    • I will check social media on my phone or email or play solitaire. But if it is a longer wait, I’ll bring my Kindle. However, I keep a paperback in each of our cars for emergency reading material. It’s handy to keep around for unexpected delays.

  9. I almost always have a book with me. If I am reading a paperback, I’ll tuck that into my knapsack, otherwise I bring my Kindle. If it’s a very short wait, I’ll check email or play a game on my phone.