I took the Non Reader to see ‘The Little Shop of Horrors’ which is on tour and afterwards on the way home I couldn’t help over hear (as they were talking very loudly and a little merrily) two friend’s one male one female and their conversation which suddenly turned to books. He asked her what she was reading to which she replied ‘The Journey or something’ only to then pull out The Return by Victoria Hislop a book that I have to admit I have quite fancied reading. She explained it was ‘about the civil war in Spain, I was going to give it to my mum but its very sad and she’ll probably cry, so I think best not, what about you?’ He suddenly produced the most delightful 60’s copy of Brave New World by Aldous Huxley which he’d ‘just finished today actually, its dead good, a classic, everyone knows it’ sadly she didn’t but he gave it to her. I almost had to stop myself from reaching across and snapping it out her clutches for the delightful old cover alone. This conversation made me think, on the walk home from the station that I should partake a study of what people are reading on the tube. I work from home normally but have lots and lots of trips to town in the next seven days, and a train journey to Manchester and back next weekend, so ample opportunity. I wonder what insights this week will produce.
…Well it produced a lot however partly as no one was on the train to Manchester that weekend and also this was back in the very early days of me getting a Blackberry and where I stored this list of books I have absolutely no idea, I simply cant find it. So on Thursday I was thinking of things I could blog about while I took part in this weekends Savidge Reads Big Weekender (which is Walter de la Mare’s Memoirs of a Midget should anyone pass a bookshop and want to join in) as I will be reading so much, so I thought I would make the pact again. As of Monday will note down (on a pad me and my Blackberry get on very well now but it cant be trusted) all the books I see people reading on the tube over the top of which ever book I am reading on the tube. I have received two lovely new candidates today Virago have sent me All the Nice Girls by Joan Bakewell (as she has become an acclaimed book critic it will be interesting to see how she fairs) and I received a lovely book from its author this week after the lovely Karen Campbell asked me if I would read her new novel After The Fire so you may well see me with these and a notepad peering at you from the corners of my book.
I did look at what people were reading on Thursday and Friday and mainly it’s, you guessed it, the Twilight series. No comment. I was very pleased to see lots of Kate Summerscale’s wonderful ‘The Suspicions of Mr Whicher’ being read most diligently and by a lot of people in 48 hours. Did I see anything I myself haven’t read and now want to? Well I did see one book and that was ‘A Pair of Blue Eyes’ by Thomas Hardy a book of his I have never heard of before but the girl reading it looked deeply engrossed and that sold it to me. If someone is reading something devotedly on the tube and I can’t see what it is it drives me to distraction. I will tell you some of the slightly strange lengths I have gone to discover just what book it is when I report back next weekend. What books have you seen people so engrossed reading you have to pick up a copy yourself? Have you ever bought a book just because you have seen a lot of people reading it on your travels? Do let me know?