Cellphones at book readings: One finely tuned solution | EW.com

Books | Shelf Life

Cellphones at book readings: One finely tuned solution

It isn’t just Hugh Jackman who goes all Wolverine on people whose cellphones go off while he’s performing live (though it’s a kinder, gentler version of Wolverine, admittedly). At a reading last week at the Children’s Center of the New York Public Library, actor Jim Dale began with some pre-emptive action against errant adult noise-makers. (Many thanks to Ron Hogan at Galley Cat, who recorded the event for posterity.)

Dale, of course, is a Tony-winning Broadway veteran perhaps best known as the voice(s) of the seven Harry Potter audiobooks. On this occasion, he was reading passages from of David Benedictus’ authorized Winnie the Pooh sequel, Return to the Hundred Acre Wood. And his clever little ditty (“You’ll be tortured in the toilets if you Twitter or you Tweet”) will certainly be playing in my head the next time somebody’s “precious phone” erupts during a public reading.

Do you have any stories of cellphone interruptus from author readings or libraries or other book-related events? Or is the bookworm crowd just too smart to forget to shush its gadgetry in public?