Pop Culture

What’s Your Reading Fashion?

What do you wear when you are reading? What’s your reading fashion? Many of the best-dressed writers have a style uniform.  Do you carry a Harry Potter–inspired cross-body bag for your books?


Or do you sport an annunciatory  literary lovin’  t-shirt in a bold mulberry accented with Gen-Z yellow? It is the book nerd’s answer to the science nerd’s Stand Back, I’m Going to Try Science t-shirt. 

Reading Fashion

If have a personal style (which my kids say is debatable) my reading fashion this fall is Shouty! Jewel-toned! Cardigans!

I can be found in my reading fashion flaring like an red-orange torch among the subdued brown leaves reading  haiku by Basho in normcore mom jeans, wool socks, and a Caliban-shaggy cardigan in a color called Persimmon  (or “red dragon’s eggs,” if you prefer. It is how the old haiku masters referred to persimmons).

When I regard other readers in the cafes and on the park benches of Alexandria, Virginia, and at the library I notice this shocker: not everyone is in to loud, ’80s-ish, Shaker-knit jewel-toned cardigans! Heavens! 

What other people seem to be in to when they are reading is zippered hoodies.

I took the hint—my people, my fellow day-readers, had spoken! What their choice of reading fashion said was that they wanted to be comfortable and reading is a kind of athleisure, is it not? One must dress to go the distance, to tackle your first giant Russian novel, for instance.

Wearing a literary hoodie sweatshirt announces an ain’t life grand, what has books in it? style. The people were right. The reading experience is greatly improved when you can cocoon into the hood of an LV Lord Voldemort hoodie.