Are you a guy who reads books? If so, your appreciation for the printed word may have been captured on photograph—a photograph that might at this very moment be the photo of the day on a Tumblr blog called Hot Guys Reading Books.
The brainchild and hobby of 27-year-old Alli Rense, HGRB launched last February and grew from Rense’s frustration of going on dates with guys who said they liked to read. But when Rense, a former English major at Grand Valley State University in Michigan, pressed them about the types of books they enjoyed, the men invariably admitted that they only read newspapers and magazines. Do hot men not read books? Rense believed otherwise. And she wanted to do her own small part to prove that books—especially fiction—weren’t only enjoyed by women.
“I wanted to create the blog to celebrate men who read,” says Rense, who is a project manager for a software company in Washington, D.C.
Though the blog calls for “hot guys,” Rense doesn’t discriminate. As she states on the site, “Don’t think the guys are hot enough? The quality of the photos are only as good as the submissions. If you think you are (or know someone who is) hot stuff, snap a photo, and send it in!”
Initially Rense combed the Internet for visual proof of word-loving manimals. She started running these photos, and solicited photos from friends and acquaintances, too. Eventually she put the call out to strangers. Nowadays she has a backlog of several hundred photos—of husbands reading to children, boyfriends reading on the couch, an unknown guy holed up in a nook on campus. Maybe there’s picture of you on there, taken by a stranger who snapped it without your knowledge. And maybe you are one of the few guys who might take offense to being objectified like this. Rense said a high school teacher called and asked her to take down his picture because he didn’t want it to become an issue with students. She happily complied.
“It doesn’t matter what the reason is. If someone feels uncomfortable, of course I’ll remove it.”
Rense admits that some people think the blog is odd. But overall the reaction has been positive.
“I haven’t experienced many complaints. I think guys like being on it.”