Wednesday, April 11, 2012


I ride a train to work everyday and because I am a giant busybody, I relish seeing what books people are reading or what games they're playing on their phones. Guy in the dapper suit? He's playing Draw Something. Punky girl in the mismatched Chucks? She's reading War and Peace. I fully embrace the fact that I'm nosy. Thank god someone else on the internet is as nosy as I am.

Woman reading The Fault In Our Stars by John Green taken by Ourit
Welcome to the Underground New York Public Library. A photographer going by the handle Ourit takes photos of people reading books while traveling on the NYC subway. What sounds like a mundane concept is absolutely a fascinating look at books, the people who read them, and what they say about us and the world at large. In a world full of faceless e-readers, devoid of any personality, and people who are content to just stare off into space, reading should be celebrated. Every single one of these people are awesome. It's like The Sartorialist for books.

Gentleman reading Neil Gaiman taken by Ourit
Sure, patterns emerge. You can tell what's popular because of an influx of people reading The Hunger Games or George R.R. Martin's epic fantasy shitshow, Game of Thrones. You also see intimate details about some people; a woman reading a book about divorce, a man reading a book about finding faith, a young girl with a book on discovering your self confidence. Books themselves are an intimate activity. Even though someone may be reading your favorite book of all time, you're loathe to disturb them to let them know.

Please take some time to go through the website, admire the lovely photography and maybe pick up some reading ideas! I still think this is outrageously awesome and I hope you do too.
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  1. Am I the only person tempted to read books read by the people photographed who remind me of myself? Is that like judging a book not by its cover but by its reader?

    1. I highly recommend The Fault In Our Stars. I finished it in a day and it's great.

  2. I like to see what the people around me are reading but one off the things I like about my Kindle is that no one can tell what I'm reading.

  3. I'm glad I'm not the only one nosy about what other folks are reading. :)

  4. I'm with Ghost in the Machine. I don't find much of the cover art of sci-fi/fantasy/UF very representational of the stories, and I've found my e-reader a nice escape from the scantily clad sexpots on the front of my paperbacks. I suppose it's interesting to see what people are reading, but...I think I;d be happiest if I could hide in a cave and just not interact with anyone when I read. Yes. That.