There’s a lot of pressure on you when you read something on the train.  Same goes for people who read in public anywhere – people are watching you and judging you.

Some people read the Times.  These are the Smart People.  These are also the people who think paying $1.25 for a paper is Something That Is Worth It.  They like to eat at places with only one word for the name, like “Tao” and “Water.”

Some people read the Journal.  These are the Business People.  These are also the people who you’ll see typing away on their Berry at 6:57 in the morning, trying to look like they are sending Important Emails, when in fact, they are playing solitaire.  And losing.

Some people read Intelligent Books About Confusing Things.  These are the Subject Snobs.  These are also the people who like to kill conversations at parties about how no one ever died in the G.I. Joe cartoon, with comments like, “Sometimes I wonder what Marx would’ve thought about our current economic state.”  They are fuckers.

Some people read magazines about People Who Are Rich And Famous But Still Suck Anyway.  These are the Brain Dead.  These are also the people who have officially given up, thinking, “Well, learning about things is just too hard, so I’ll just stick to what Jessica Simpson wore to the gas station today – crazy!”

Some people don’t read anything and judge all the people who are reading things – then blog about it the next day.

These are the Cool People.


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30 responses to “literature

  1. So this is what it takes to be cool? I’m just gonna go straight to the library and be ubercool.

  2. tiff

    the best would be if you were on your iPhone on the train, reading a post about the people on the train and what they’re reading.

  3. i agree with tiff, this puts you in a whole new level of coolness that is unsurpassed by anyone else on the train.

  4. UNLESS…you are the driver> of the train who is watching a security camera showing what the people on the train are reading about the people who read on the train.

    Oh! I finally figured out what “meta” means!

  5. ok…new rule.

    Don’t attempt html before finishing morning caffeine.

  6. BRILLIANT observation.

    In the interest of bicoastal anthropology, here’s my LA version for you. What people read in Starbucks (sorry, not much public transit).

    Screenplays: Bad actors.
    Books on writing screenplays: Bad writers. (And me.)
    The Secret: Desperate/Crazy
    The NY Times: Smart People who seem to think by some twist of fate, and through no action of their own, they have ended up in the wrong city and need to share this with everyone.

  7. It feels good to know that I’m cool…

  8. robbie – you’re smarter than even the Smart People.

    dutchess – yes, I agree.

    tiff – hahaha – that would be a good idea, maybe tonight…

    ashley – okay, I’m sold.

    kiala – so then you can tell me, what does meta mean? I have no fucking idea.

    hollywood – hahaha – thanks for the west coast glimpse. And what’s The Secret? Sounds sexy!

    boogiemonsta – yes. yes it does.

  9. I’m a huge supporter of the Times! I don’t read the actual paper though, just the internet version. Does that mean I’m still a Smart Person? (I hope so).

    P.S. While I personally prefer delicious and inexpensive burgers, have you ever eaten at Tao? It’s delicious =)

  10. Yes! I knew I was cool, I just didn’t know why. Hey, somebody’s gotta be the judge.

  11. There’s a paper here in Chicago called the Red Eye. It’s like a dumbed down version of the Sun Times with more celebrity gossip. While it’s not the best source of news, it’s free and conveniently available near every bus and train.

    Someone once said that whenever they see someone reading the Red Eye on the train, they’d rather stand than sit by them because it automatically makes them stupid. I never felt bad about reading it on the train, it’s better than staring out the window looking at all the brick.

  12. crissyspage

    I’m going to have to come out in defense of the trashy celebrity gossip rag. They’re my favorite.

    I guess this means I am not invited to sit with the cool people on the train.

  13. sarah c

    oh dear, i am from san diego and i know what the “secret” is. didnt even have to think twice about that one–i assumed everyone knew. i need to move….

  14. sarah c

    oh-and crissypage-they are my guilty pleasure. i can (and do) read every last one of those sonsofbitches (even though they all have exactly the same stories/pictures; i hold onto the hope that maybe one photog has caught a better angle than another… )

  15. Eh, I don’t know. I can’t read on moving objects because I get kinda woozy. I was always a music person or a stare into space person. If I were to be a reader, I’d be a fiction reader. What kind of person would that make me?

  16. One of my bookseller customers told me that the clients in his store wanted to buy Harry Potter, but they didn’t want to be seen reading it on the subway, so they would remove the covers and replace them with paper bags, like you do for you school books. Too bad they didn’t know about This site.

  17. Oh my god. You must have heard about The Secret.

    There’s no way it’s just a problem here.

  18. arielle – Never eaten there, they have a strict, “no drinking so much that you start annoying everyone in the restaurant” policy, so I wasn’t allowed in.

    mickey – Damn right.

    freeandflawed – I think not sitting down next to someone is a little harsh. I’d much rather silently stew in my judgments.

    crissy – I was waiting for someone to speak up in defense of those things. You have to realize that all judgments passed on my blog are made by me, and I am one of the most unpleasant people I know. So really, I’m a ranting idiot, don’t pay any attention. But keep reading. Please.

    sarah c – So…. What is it???

    poodlegoose – That makes you a very, very nice person because you read my blog.

    noelle – hahaha – that is great.

  19. hollywood – sorry – your comment got blocked as spam. Now I see, and no, that’s not here in NY. Yet. Fucking weird as hell though.

  20. Apparently, literature pressure is not just for the train anymore. While I was waiting for my carry-out, everyone who walked by checked out the cover of the book I was reading. Talk about feeling judged.

  21. crissyspage

    That’s okay. I’m not offended.
    I’ll sit with Sarah c on the train. We can keep each other company while we look at pictures of a sunny beach where Matthew McConaughey romps with his surfboard and Lance Armstrong…

  22. I do this too!! Except since we don’t have public transportation, I examine what everyone reads while they do cardio.

    God knows what they think about me, nursing my fresh bite marks and cursing at excerpts from Cesar Millan.

    And, Hollywood, I’m with you… Them Secret womens is craaaazy.

  23. One time I borred a book from a friend and was carrying it in my hand as I walked around Clapham Junction in London. I wasn’t trying to be cool, I was just holding it.

    Anyway, people kept stopping me to talk about the book and I was really shocked because normally the British come off cold and reserved.

    So I think if you have the right book, even the frostiest person can identify with you and have a conversation in the street.

    And freak you right out.

  24. What about the people who go from person to person, begging for change? Thats me. I rule.

  25. christylou – There’s no stopping how crappy people really are.

    crissy – Hey! Hey! None of that kinda talk on this blog!

    j-money – Fucking cesar millan. I bet if we brought him both our dogs he’d be crying after two minutes. Our dogs would break him.

    robyn – Very true. There are times when I see someone reading a book that I liked a lot, and I think about saying, “Hey, that’s a great book.” But then I think that they’ll probably think I’m crazy. So I don’t.

    dan – If you say so.

  26. Marcos

    Doesn’t the Thai place that we’ve been to in Williamsburg only have one name like Sea or Ocean?

  27. marcos – hahaha – yeah it does. You so busted me.

  28. I’m totally a cool person.
    Also, I encounter another type of cool person: The crazy dude that decides to chat to you about how god is rad and being out of jail is the best thing that’s ever happened to him.
    He’s cool because he makes me look like a nice guy by talking to him and makes all the Smart People, Business People, Subject Snobs and the Brain Dead extremely uncomfortable.

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