?A recent article from Boston.com discussed an increasing trend among small cafes and some coffee shops that have started putting a ban on laptops and other materials that cause diners to linger past their point of usefulness. From a business owner’s standpoint, the guy who finished eating an hour ago and is continuing to nurse his coffee while reading a book is now costing you money, so it seems reasonable to want to do something about it. However, the select locations that have implemented a ban on reading materials have received complaints from angry diners who have become accustomed to the “stay as long as you want” Starbucks culture. It’s not like we’re overly concerned with what people at other tables are doing, and since we totally understand the pain and boredom of eating alone, we’ve compiled a list of 10 alternatives in the event you come across a restaurant that won’t let you read.
10) Carve your own Sudoku puzzle onto the table.
9) Talk on your cell phone.
8) Make sure you actually have someone to talk to.
7) After ordering, ask the server to leave the menu behind. Now you’ve got yourself some reading material.
6) Find a restaurant that doesn’t tell you what you can and can’t do while you’re eating.
5) Sneak a magazine in your purse and read while pretending to rifle through it.
4) Use your Blackberry or iPhone to surf the net.
3) Take advantage of your post-meal high with 30 minutes of silent reflection.
2) Sing the entire Rodgers and Hammerstein songbook before agreeing to pay your tab.
1) Eat your meal, pay, leave.
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