As a nation, our love affair with reading stops after 140 characters or at the end of a txtmsg. In fact a statistic cited in the Boston Globe states that 82 percent of Americans would like to write a novel, but only 47 percent have read one in the past year. But, as with everything else, that factoid just don’t hold water in New York, especially when you ride public transportation. Writing for The New York Times, Alexis Mainland, says, “…the subway ride remains a rare low-tech interlude in a city of inveterate multitasking workaholics. And so, we read.”
To that end, the Times decided to find out exactly what people are reading on their commute. The latest Hammacher Schlemmer catalog? Liner notes to P. Diddy’s new release? Here, ‘what are you reading ?’ is not as obscure a question as you might think.
In fact some people have started blogs about what other people read on the subway (The Subway Book Club), and some people have started nonprofit book donation drives (Choose What You Read NY) to encourage more reading on the subway. I can attest I’ve gotten many a good book suggestion by checking out what folks are reading on the 2 train. (See previous post on subway reading.) And, let’s be honest, I have judged them by the book’s cover. (Oh, he’s reading Kerouac!)
So…what are you reading? You can cast your answers to the New York Times poll here.
Thus far most New Yorkers are overwhelmingly reading….(drum roll, please) The New Yorker. How very meta of you all. But if you want to be truly meta on your morning commute, read a copy of (shameless plug coming) The Subway Chronicles.