NYC Subway Reading

NYC Subway Reading

One of my favorite New York subway pastimes is a little game I call (at least in my head) What Is That Person Reading. The rules are pretty simple. Basically, you just pay a lot of attention to what people are reading and, if possible, try and read a little bit of it over their shoulder. I've actually gotten great ideas for books I want to read from this. One time I even ended up checking the exact same book (not the same title, the same book, I could tell because the cover was stained) from the Brooklyn Library as someone I saw reading the book on the L train.Now to be sure, Kindle has made this process much harder. You can't really read over someone's should when they're reading on a Kindle. Now I'm not using this a complete excuse—it's not impossible-- you have to be at just the right angle in order to do any over the shoulder snooping and sometimes the maneuvering is awkward at best, confusing or even offensive at worst. Plus there is no way you can even guess what someone is reading before you get in that position (not being able to see a cover of any kind) and that can make for a lot of disappointment.

I can't tell you the number of times I've done so twisting and moving and twisting some more only to find out some commuter from Long Island is reading that same book about who you meet in heaven that everyone else has been reading for the last decade and that I tried to read but ended up hating. Although it does prevent that awkward situation wherein someone prepares to get off the train just at the good part and you have to ask them to miss their stop so you can finish reading.