Reading underground

A few months ago, my lovely friend Ada emailed me this great article from the New York Times about subway readers.

These days, among the tattered covers may be the occasional Kindle, but since most trains are still devoid of Internet access and cellphone reception, the subway ride remains a rare low-tech interlude in a city of inveterate multitasking workaholics. And so, we read.

Even without a seat, even while pressed with strangers into human panini, even as someone plays a keyboard harmonica and rattles a cup of change, even when stumbling home after a party.

The subway is my favorite place to read in the whole world.  It didn’t matter how many people were around me, if I had a seat or not.  Opening a book provided me with my own private space in the busiest of places.

Here in Michigan my commute is a 10-15 minute walk to my classes, plus a 5 minute walk over the bird library most afternoons for work.  While I enjoy walking, I often find myself missing my 45 minute – each way commute on the subway.  Its kind of crazy, how many people actually miss commuting 90 minutes a day on a crowded smelly old underground train?  But I do.  It was my special alone reading time.  It was the one time of day where I did not have any distractions.  I always got off the train feeling refreshed, renewed, and prepared (except for those days when the R train seemed to inch down 4th ave ever so slowly and you just feel like screaming.) Even if I was feeling miserable about going to work, all I had to do was look around the train and realize that at least I wasn’t alone; we all commuting to our miserable jobs together.

I don’t know.  Sometimes I think I was crazy to leave everything I had in NY to come to school out here.  Its one of those days.  I just wish I was home.  Because if I was, I’d be on the train right now coming home from work, cozied up in the front corner seat of the conductor’s car, reading a book.

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One Response to “Reading underground”

  1. Leslie Says:

    I’ve only been on a subway once. And there was a guy who was digging for gold in his nose, apparently. 😉

    Reading on the subway does sound cozy, though!

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