by Raelene Gorlinsky
E-Books Make Readers Less Isolated (The New York Times)
by Austin Considine, 8/20/10
Yep, I've noticed the same thing, and heard it from others. If you are reading a book in public, it's usually taken as a social signal that you do not want to be interrupted. But be using an e-reader, and suddenly everyone wants to talk to you about it. Strangers will ask what brand it is, was it expensive, do you like it, how is it different from reading a paper book? And it's "cool" to be using an e-reader, rather than look like an antisocial bookworm.
The same does not apply to reading on your laptop or cell phone in public - then you look like you're busy, uninterruptable, doing work or carrying on a phone/text conversation.
So carry your e-reader with you, and pull it out when you want to make friends in a crowd.