Friday, 12 August 2005

What People Are Reading on the Subway, Part I

The main reason I prefer riding the MRT/subway to driving, sitting in a taxi, or taking the bus, is that it is only on the train that I can read, my propensity for motion sickness being what it is. I'm also an inveterate peeker - I like seeing what others on the train are flipping through. So, last week, I spotted -
  • the newspapers, of course (Straits Times, Today, and Lianhe Zaobao).
  • Virginia Woolf, Carlyle's House and Other Sketches
  • a Malay to Arabic phrase book (I glanced over and caught "Restoran Arab ada?")
  • D.H. Lawrence, Sons and Lovers
All this talk about likely/unlikely train reading makes a nice segue into Nick Hornby's article about a prison book club that had just won the Penguin/Orange Book Club of the Year award. I do think the use of the word "killing" at the end of the following paragraph was not necessarily the most judicious diction:
I can only talk about a tiny percentage of prisoners in High Down, but if all British men were as passionate about books, as catholic in their tastes and as willing to experiment with their reading as Robin and Jamie and Francis, then British publishers would have solved one of their biggest problems: male indifference to their product. Maybe it's the rest of us who need to be locked up - certainly you get the sense from these prisoners that reading is helping with more than just killing time.
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But we are supposed to disturb people on the train?

Aren't you supposed to lead by example?

Gurps.

Whatever you say, Boss.


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