DEAR MISS MANNERS: My 62-year-old sister has the habit of pulling a book from her purse in any social outing involving friends, relatives, etc., and reading.
She has done so in the lobby of a theater while our group (which she organized) awaits a dramatic performance. She did so as my husband and I, along with several other family members, were en route to my mother-in-law's funeral via a professionally driven limousine.
I consider her behavior the height of rudeness, ignoring everyone in her presence in favor of a book. And I'm a 66-year-old retired librarian! May I have your opinion on her conduct?
GENTLE READER: Why doesn't she use a telephone to be rude, like everyone else?
Does she believe that books are presumably more elevating, and thus exempt from the rule against ignoring actual people to attend to something you obviously find more interesting? Miss Manners can assure her that no such exception is made.
Or does the lady claim that she has to keep checking the book in case there is an emergency in the plot (as there so often is)?