PORTLAND, Ore. — Local man Greg Kaiters enjoyed reading a nice chapter from a book at the Bridgetown Rose Saloon last Friday night after spending the day drinking at the library by himself, witnesses reported.
“After a long day of crushing beers in the quiet solitude of the reference section, I like to wind down with a good book at a local bar,” Kaiters said, holding a copy of “Slaughterhouse Five.” “Back in high school, my parents would constantly fight and scream at each other while I was trying to study. Ever since they divorced I’ve needed a lively and boisterous environment to focus. Bars are absolutely perfect for that.”
Friends of Kaiters have tried many times to invite him out to a bar to socialize, but have failed on every attempt.
“I promise Greg we can only talk about books if he wants,” lifelong friend Eric Winterson said. “He always declines, though. Sometimes I offer to go to the library with him to share a cold one, but he prefers to do his heavy drinking alone, too. One time, I tried to surprise him at the library, but caught him absolutely hammered in the young adult science fiction section in the middle of the day. I had to pretend like I didn’t know him and was actually there to check out a book. As someone who doesn’t read actual books, that was hard to pull off.”
For their part, local bartenders have seen a noticeable spike in patrons sitting quietly by themselves reading books at their establishments.
“I once got shushed by a bearded guy reading ‘Infinite Jest,’” said local bartender Judy Winthrop, who works Thursday through Sunday at the Grizzled Tavern. “On most nights, people reading alone by themselves outnumber those there to socialize. I get it, though: with so many distractions available in modern society, a place like a library with zero disturbances or noise levels probably isn’t conducive to reading in today’s distraction-based world anymore. I also think that… wait, hold on. I just got a text.”
At press time, Kaiters was seen writing his novel at a local coffee shop on his laptop before attending a writer’s workshop, to which he brought a French press, coffee grounds, and boiling water to brew himself a few cups without sharing with or participating in the class.