September 10, 2012
Recently, as I was walking down Fifth Avenue, I heard a twenty-something woman say to a twenty-something man, “The good thing about New York is that you still have time to read.” The “because you don’t have to drive” was implied as she had just been talking about a car accident that her mother had warned her “not to tell her father about.”
One of the things I love most about being a New Yorker is that our commute time is our own. This means that lots of folks do lots of things during the no-cell-service time on subways (I saw a man shave one morning!). People of all ages spend time reading—e-readers, newspapers, homework-and-work-type papers, and I’m happy to say, plenty of books (including library books) in a variety of languages.
This summer, I spotted an adult reading Philip Pullman’s The Golden Compass sitting next to a teen engrossed in Marriage Mayhem by Samuel L. Hair. There was also a toddler in an Ergo baby carrier bracing The Cat in the Hat against her mother’s neck. When a boy sitting next to me (who was maybe nine?) shook open a free newspaper and began to study an article about what Anthony Weiner is up to these days, I stepped out of my observer role and offered him an ARC I was bringing home to my sons. He looked to his dad for the OK and took the book . . . but he also finished the Weiner article.