A Cup of Jo mentioned a blog called Underground New York Public Library yesterday, and I am now obsessed. The photographer takes pictures of people reading on the subway. The pictures are really compelling and remind me why I love to read. They are also surprisingly intimate.
One of the commenters wrote
"Funnily enough, I found this blog the same day that I had my first moment of "dammit, I wish I were reading a real book!" --I've had a kindle for 7 months now, and though I adore it, I'm surprised that hadn't happened earlier. It's marvelous for travelling, but today, I was stealing glances at another reader in my cafe, trying to see what he was reading, and I realized with a pang that he couldn't do the same. One lost little connection, I guess. Anyways, wonderful project."
This really resonates with me. I worked at Barnes and Noble for almost two years. I absolutely adored talking to people about books all day. Finding a customer who loves a book that you also adore is a surprisingly powerful connection. Barnes and Noble prints the name of the bookseller who is at the cash register on each receipt. People tend to use these same receipts as book marks. Whenever I noticed someone on the metro doing this, I would always try to spy whose name was on the receipt. Once or twice I saw my own name. I've never had a customer recognize me, but I love knowing that I sold them that book. I love E-Readers, but the above commenter is absolutely right that there is such a connection when you find someone reading the same book.
I always try to sneak a peak at what people are reading at coffee shops. Do other people do this too? I don't do it to be nosy, I just love getting that little peak into someone's life. Ok, maybe that is pretty nosy.