Thursday, February 23, 2006

Next stop: Booksville

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.


Reshma said...

delightful read!
have been peeping into your blog a lot lately , awesome writing style:)

alpha said...

for admiring looks, read Kumudam and Kalki.

i was reading my college magazine (called Icarus Dreams) on the bus once and i got random stares and a women turning away her kid from gazing my direction.

Later i noticed on the cover was a painting of almost naked Icarus with waxy wings.

So judge not the reader by the cover. (oh well, I might as well have been reading porn)

Falstaff said...

Shoe-fiend: Checking out what other people are reading is such fun isn't it. I had a post on it a while back. Let's see. Here:

Oh, and btw, the book tag is up, as requested.

Nessa said...

Hehehehe.. This was really nice..

I tend to take a peek at what others are reading too.. I don't really know if this is a bad habit.

Sunil said...

or you could read a comic book on a bus, hidden within the reassuring cover of "Feynman's lectures", or suchlike. :-)

The ramblings of a shoe fiend said...

reshma - thanks so much!

aplha - what about Mangayar Malar? Full of wonderful advice such as 'When wearing front open blouse wear a front open bra and when wearing back open blouse wear a back open bra'. Where would the women's movement be without pearls of wisdom like that. And I bet the only reason you were reading the college mag was for the nudie on the cover :P

Falstaff - It's the best thing ever. Read your post and have commented on your blog! Rubber band bikini indeed.

Nessa - not at all! I wholly encourage such behaviour.

Sunil - Reminds me of 8th standard physics classes. Janet Daley carefully hidden by Electromagnetics!

MumbaiGirl said...

I am guilty of over the shoulder reading in the tube. Whenever I read law books in the train people would always scowl at me. Everyone hates lawyers :(.

Prerona said...

interesting list. never read ur blog before - promises to be an interesting read. will come back and chk it out. thanks 30in2005 for the discovery :)

1$ Saint said...

Im reading "When my Heart Melts" by Pamela Anderson...its a "bust" read...;)

icy_highs said... one step ahead of u..i actly look at the davinci coders n go "u suuuuuuuck"..not very mature but nothin like ego

Neela said...

ooooh American Psycho. Another one of my all times faves. Don't you just love it when the date asks Patrick "so what do you do" and he says "Murders and Decapitations" and she says "oh how nice, mergers and acquisitions ,that must be great" without turning a hair. luverly...


Leela said...

Your post had me thinking. Two observations: a) I haven't spotted a reader in a long long time. b) I miss reading in the local trains.

Mali&Madhu said...

Books are for dweebs. Go electronic. Go green. Download your books and read them on your Palm or your pocketPC or what have you. Pretend to be cool when youa re reading "Mangayar Malar" gossip all the time. Speaking of Mangayar Malar, that little snippet made no sense whatsoever. But that may also be on account of my be-beardness and extreme nonawareness of matters of haute couteur. But I digress:
If you ever wanted a good (free) read:

The ramblings of a shoe fiend said...

mumbaigirl - i don't hate lawyers! I love em! My life would be poorer without reruns of LA Law!

prerona - thanks for dropping by! see you round!

c not o - well... hope it leaves your mind - and mind alone - expanded

icy highs - i applaud your bravery

neela - that is a wonderful bit. and i love how after pages and pages of banal descriptions of gucci suits and hot to wear a tux, etc he slips in oh so causally out of nowhere the line about how Bateman wants to slit that other guys throat. The book did freak me out a little tho as im married to a seemingly normal banker.

m&m - the pearl of wisdowm dished out by the beloved mangayar malar mamis will be of use when undressing :P will check out the (hopefully legal)link.

MumbaiGirl said...

Shoefie, thanks (blush). You're one of very few who do.

Anjali said...

Oh, this post was such fun. We're all such book snobs, aren't we?