"....few things leave a deeper mark on a reader than the first book that finds its way into [her] heart. Those first images, the echo of words we think we have left behind, accompany us throughout our lives and sculpt a palace in our memories to which, sooner or later - no matter how many books we read, how many worlds we discover or how much we learn or forget - we will return." -Carlos Ruiz Zafon, The Shadow of the Wind

Friday, September 16, 2011

The DC Metro: A Cornucopia of reading material

Many Washingtonians love living in the nation's capital. This country mouse, however, has a long list of gripes with this city. Chief among them is my commute, which is over an hour, both ways. The thing that makes it bearable is the fact that twenty of those sixty minutes are spent on the Metro, DC's subway system. That gives me forty minutes each day to read. As the mother of a toddler who works full-time and manages a household, I can say with confidence that if I did not have those precious minutes on the Metro, my reading time would plummet to nil.

It's not only MY reading on the metro that I enjoy, however. Whoever says that no one reads anymore, has not experienced the morning commute. I love riding the Metro to get a glimpse (this is the polite way of saying I'm nosy) of what others are reading. It's a veritable treasure trove of authors, genres and titles.

Today a young, stylish woman sitting across from me was reading a Karen White novel. The less stylish, slightly frumpy woman next to me was reading The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga. A bookish-looking dude a few seats down was reading Uncle Tom's Cabin. If I could only see what people are looking at on their Kindles, I'd be set!

I often look up the books that others are reading. I was previously unacquainted with Karen White and Aravind Adiga. Although they may not suit my tastes, and I may never get to read them, learning about new authors and books always excites me. Once in a while I stumble upon a jem. When I look around the Metro and survey what my fellow riders are reading, I silently thank them. Not only for adding joy to my commute, but also for unwittingly introducing me to new books.

Where do you get ideas for new books to read?

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