Well, OK, you could read a book in a pub as Kieran Devlin claims he loves to in his piece at The Independent. Or more accurately now, once upon a time you could, and who knows maybe there’ll still be pubs there when we eventually get back to what’ll pass for normal whenever that time comes.

In my experience the pub has always been too crowded, noisy, boisterous and flood-prone to allow of any such solitary activity. If you were rash enough to take a book to the pub, you would be likely to leave it there at the end of the evening. Still, if there’s social distancing — if pub and social distancing can coexist in the same sentence — you could I guess read in one if you insisted on it. For Mr Devlin to justify his claim by citing the many pubs which appear in fiction is surely no more valid than recommending microwaved meals on the basis of novels depicting transatlantic flying. Or recommending reading in lectures on the basis of the fact that there exist fictional portrayals of lectures. I needed no justification for reading in lectures: how else is a guy meant to keep up if the afternoon’s devoted to rugby and the evening to the pub? The ingestion of four or five pints of bitter is not a good basis for close reading so the evening was out for study of anything other than the brewer’s art.

Mr Devlin touches on the pub crawl, another university test of endurance. The number of pubs in King Street, Cambridge is sadly reduced nowadays, and the few remaining ones must be shuttered these days — I can’t remember how many there were in my day. The King Street Run involved drinking a pint in each, and there were too many of them to remember after a pint in each of the first few.

NY Eater guides you to drinking holes in our city with literary associations, a virtual tour with some nice photos conducted by Robert Sietsema. We’re all about virtuality and history in Manhattan now: as Mr Sietsema concludes all the up-and-coming writers now live (and presumably hang out in bars, in so far as that’s still part of the life-style) in Brooklyn. DNAInfo follows them, allowing you to cut to the chase by learning about literary pub crawls in Brooklyn. Tradition lives on in our shuttered historical theme park of a home borough: Literary Pub Crawl has been living up to its name in Manhattan for 22 years.

Here’s a Dublin version, a Boston one, and Edinburgh too. Never quite sure what this means as far as popularity goes, but #literarypubcrawl is a hashtag on Twitter.