by: Sarah Crown
|Do you need to know anything more about these people? Harry Potter fans from two generations at a bus stop. Photograph: Murdo Macleod|
"The problem with Kindles," he said, "is that you can't tell what other people are reading on public transport."
Case closed. Spying on what everyone else on the bus is reading is my main source of entertainment on the way into work in the morning. Train journeys are enlivened by trying to sneak a look at the cover of the book the person opposite is buried in, without them spotting what I'm doing. One of my favourite internet destinations is the People Reading blog which posts pictures of the denizens of San Francisco, with their latest reading material; a prize, meanwhile, to anyone who can reunite me with a blog I used to visit a few years back written by a woman somewhere in north America, who used to clock not only the title but the page of books bypassers were reading, nip into the nearest bookshop, track down book and page and transcribe what she found there.
Rubberneckers of the world, unite: when ebooks take over, how will we form snap judgments about our fellow-travellers? Think about it.