Wednesday, July 2, 2008

The Beginning

You know how I sort of implied in the previous post that this blog idea has been swirling in my mind for a while? Well. It's true that I always notice what people are reading, but it didn't all jell for me until I was on the V train heading uptown yesterday morning, and I noticed what the two women sitting next to me were reading. One was engrossed in Better Single Than Sorry and the other was reading "The Subrogation of Women". You know, by John Stuart Mill. Shockingly, these two women were not together, but good lord, how could I not put something like that into the blogasphere?! And let me just say that the Single book cover strongly implies that you will become a Sex & The City cast member if you just remain single long enough.

On the way home, taking the 101 bus, I saw a woman reading San Francisco is Burning. I was very alarmed because she was reading a hardcover, with the dust jacket removed, which made me go through several unpleasant machinations just to get a peek. "What the hell are you doing?" my friend John asked me. And I'm pretty sure he rolled his eyes when I told him.

This morning I took the 6 downtown, newly resolved and armed with pen and paper to jot down my literary observations. Apparently sensing that I am just starting this blog, the entire subway population of the subway car decided to forego books and stare vacantly into space instead. The sole book reader in the car had the nerve to read the hardcover with the dust jacket removed, so it was absolutely impossible to tell what he was reading. He was sitting across from me, and there were only so many furtive glances I could throw his way before he'd start looking into Order of Protection options.

A few hours later, I was headed back uptown on the 6. Apparently, books, like transfat, have been banned in NYC. Sob.

On the way home, I was determined to succeed. On the platform, waiting for the uptown F, I saw someone reading My Best Friend's Girl. Love book titles that sound like song lyrics. And by "love", I mean "mock." Usually, I wouldn't include platform readers, but I was so desperate after coming up empty in the morning, that I couldn't pass it up.

But then, I had a bounty. On the train, I sat next to a woman reading The Mysteries of Pittsburgh (am I the only one who was totally shocked that Michael Chabon was married? Because while everyone else was shocked by Ayelet Waldman's essay about how she'd basically use her kids to stop a bullet aimed at her husband, I was flabbergasted that he was married). Someone behind me was reading "Blue Skies", which sounds like another one of those song-title books, but is really Lynn Cheney's memoir. Hey, I liked her better when she was writing lesbian porn!

A man leaning against the door, even though the signs forbid it had a copy of J.M. Coetze's Disgrace, which I recommend very strongly and someone else was reading Sedaris' "Naked". If I were playing a drinking game, I'd have a sip every time I see someone reading Sedaris, because I just adore him. I know that people compare him to Augusten Burroughs, but to me, he's eons ahead of him.

Just when I thought that I was on the train headed to English literature class, as I was exiting the train, I saw a man reading "Cosmic Balance: The Secret of Polarity."

No comments: