The subject of a recent ‘tag’ exercise got me observing the reading habits of my co-commuters on the tube (now you know where I got those high falutin book titles on my tag from.) A feat I hope my readers appreciate, as many of my side-long, sneaky glances were construed to be of the amorous kind by a number of men. (No women sadly. After receiving a love letter from a female classmate at the age of 11 I stopped possessing any lesbian qualities whatsoever.) But I digress. Back to tomes on the tube.
There are the usual suspects. Silly sods still reading The DaVinci Code and Harry Potter and The Philosophers Stone. Try not to smirk or look pityingly at them as you may get your foot trod on ‘accidentally’ as they alight from the train. Or worse they may make it know silently but aromatically that they ate beans for their last meal.
Many devour what is known as chick-lit (not to be confused with chiclets. Though both possess an annoying sweet flavour). The trend in this genre was once about finding Mr. Right. But since readers have gone on to find soul mates – but not-sharing the washing up-mates, the new wave of books has gone on to depict domestic bliss. “The Undomestic Goddess” (Don’t do the washing up – dirt and germs are so much sexier!) “I had a baby and got a lobotomy for free”. “And God created the Au Pair.”
“I had a baby but didn’t become a Yummy Mummy.” “The Au Pair got my husband and money and all I got was the baby.” All wonderful reads.
Late night trains are ideal for spotting those with ‘issues’. But beware, some have mineral deficiencies and candy related mental traumas which may cause them to bear their teeth at you should you try and sit next to them. “Chicken Soup for the Soul” “Lentil Soup for the liver” “The 7 steps to being successful that you already knew but never bothered to write a book about” are most popular. Yesterday I secretly observed a lady reading (and thoroughly enjoying) “Why Men Love Bitches”. Noting her purple cord trousers and yellow windcheater I was moved to suggest ‘What not to Wear’ as more suitable but remembered the mineral deficiency issue and wisely kept quiet.
Sound characterises the erotica/romance reader. No need to look at the cover of the book my friends. Keep you ears wide open for sighs, heavy breathing and subtle moans. Such readers are also characterising by strenuous toe flexing and relaxation (not to be confused with toe calisthenics) and profuse sweating - a dead give away given current weather conditions.
I must admit that all of last week my choice of reading material garnered me more than one worried look. Perhaps I should have kept “American Psycho” for reading at home.