Reading Through the Super Bowl: A Book-Lover’s Guide

Happy Friday, everyone! I think all of us are looking forward to the weekend, even if that means just a chance to stay indoors–heck, especially if it means that. It’s been a bitterly cold week to trek to school/work (less horrible if you have a wonderful chauffeur like my dad–THANKS DAD! <3), and the prospect of finding excuses to stay nested indoors the entire weekend is alluring. This Sunday will be the Super Bowl, and while for some that may be the most exciting day of the year, for others of us more bookish/less athletic types…it presents a challenge. The energy–and the food!–are exciting in and of themselves, and really, this is a favorite American past-time–it should not be missed. So, have you been invited to a Super Bowl party with family/friends, and you don’t want to be antisocial, but the prospect of watching a ball get passed around for hours is threatening to drive you mad as a hatter?

The Mad Hatter from Alice in Wonderland, courtesy of

Fear not! came up with a list of strategies for the book-but-not-football-lover to enjoy this Sunday. The intro below, and numbers 1-4 & 10, are from Quirkbooks, but numbers 5-9 are from me. That means TWO “Top 10” lists on my blog this week–my goodness! Enjoy!


published by Blair Thornburgh on January 30, 2014 – 9:45am

Image via Flickr

Ah, that most American, sportastic of diversions: the Super Bowl! What could be more thrilling, entertaining, and vaguely ritualistic than a bunch of quarterbacks dribbling the ol’ pigskin down the Football Court to make the crucial penalty basket and break the love-love tie?


Okay, so you may have surmised that I don’t know a ton about football.

And while I don’t want to set up any damning dichotomies here, I’m pretty sure there’s a healthy swath of the population who’d rather be glued to a book alone than to the widescreen TV in the company of, you know, other people. Still, just because you’re a bookish type doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a Super Bowl party (for one thing, there’s snacks). Here’s some tips for enjoying a good read on the sly.

1. Smuggle in your book: Good options include in a purse, under your jersey (also: get a jersey), or hidden beneath a novelty cheese-shaped hat (Wisconsin fans only). Bad options include under the crockpot full of chili and in your shoes.

2. Pick your location: Use a little strategery to keep yourself out of the major sightlines. Perch on a stool behind the couch, or tuck yourself into the corner between the armchair and the bookcase (bonus factor: more books!) If possible, remove yourself from the viewing room entirely. Someone needs help in the kitchen? Perfect! No seats left? That’s cool, you’ll go listen to the game on the radio, assuming that’s a plausible thing for a football fan to do!

3. Occasionally make noise: Just like reading in the middle of a forest known for higher-than-average Grizzly activity, sharp listening is the key to survival here. Keep your ears pricked for changes in ambient noise, and vocalize accordingly: groan, sigh, cheer, or laugh (commercials only). If your pages are particularly noisy, try to turn them at clinch moments.

Image via Flickr

4. Avoid snack-related page damage: Nothing is more tragic than the flood of sticky, caramel-colored liquid across a virgin page of type, and nothing will be more of a dead giveaway than when you leap up swearing and clutching a beer-sodden copy of Gone Girl. Keep your snax ‘n’ beverages safely clear of your reading material; I suggest designated nourishment breaks at regular intervals to keep your stamina up.

5. Check the score: This works best if you’re reading on an eReader–or, poor thing, a smart phone. Tell your friends you’re checking the score during commercials, then check the more important score of Smaug vs. Bilbo.

6. Use the bathroom: Make a hurried but urgent apology, dashing off to the bathroom so quickly they don’t notice you stuffed your book under your sweater. As an added option for authenticity, consider muttering “bean dip” or “nachos” on your way (bonus points if said items are actually on the spread). Once inside, lower the seat–because you know the guy before you didn’t–prop up your feet on the trash can, and pretend the throne you’re on is made of swords, not porcelain.

The iron throne from Game of Thrones, courtesy of

7. Run out for more beer: Like any ancient fete, you can count on plenty of imbibing and the inevitable tragedy of depleted stores. Luckily for them, they have a hero in their midst, ready to brave the crowded aisles and bare shelves at the local liquor store. Luckily for you, you planned ahead and have an extra 6-pack or two in your trunk, ready to bring in once you’re done with your chapter you’ve read while hiding in the hallway.

8. Call your buddy about that crazy play: Announce that you need to call Tyrion, your football-fanatic-friend, to discuss that crazy play that just happened (wait for cheering/heckling). Go back out into that hallway, book under shirt (they won’t notice–they’re also discussing that crazy play), and read. Every so often, yell out, “I know! Seriously!,” to keep up with your side of the conversation with…On second thought, pick a more normal name.

9. Look up the rules: Like #5, this one works much better if you’re on a smart phone or an eReader. Await a debate about the legitimacy of a play, or spark one yourself (more risky–helpful if you know some key terms–remember that brown egg-shaped thing is a “ball”). Then, be helpful and look up the rules yourself. Do this quickly, announce the results, and then get distracted “reading more about other rare plays,” when someone asks you what you’re doing (which would, in reality, be reading more about fireballs than footballs).

10. Enjoy the game!: The game of pretending you’re watching the game, that is! And remember: you can watch all the commercials on YouTube later.


I hope you found that guide useful, dear readers! I also hope you enjoy your weekend and stay warm–either by the glow of a TV or an eReader. 😉


8 thoughts on “Reading Through the Super Bowl: A Book-Lover’s Guide

  1. Well you are welcome Amanda for the Chauffering! On that topic, I guess you could also find a way to load Driving Miss Daisy on a tablet and find a way to watch it during the game! 🙂


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