Why is it considered crude to read at the table?

Dinnertime is also meeting time for most families, when everyone can discuss the day without smartphones and laptop screens getting in the way. Phones and other distracting items should not be used at the dining table. Reading at a table is permitted only at breakfast, unless the diner is alone. Urgent matters should be handled, after an apology, by stepping away from the table. Should a mobile telephone (or any other modern device) ring or if a text message is received, the diner should ignore the call. In exceptional cases where the diner feels the call may be of an urgent nature, they should ask to be excused, leave the room and take the call (or read the text message) out of earshot of the other diners. Placing a phone, keys, handbag or wallet on the dinner table is considered rude.


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