Subway Readers

An Open Letter To People Who Read On The Subway

My dear, sweet subway readers –


How do you do it? Seriously, how do you do it?



Via Reaction GIF

I try to read on the train. Really, I do. I always have a book on me, but more often than not I can’t make it past one sentence before I get distracted by various purses, luggage, or elbows intruding on my personal space or whatever cute dog I’ve spotted in a backpack.


Maybe I can’t focus because I’m mildly concerned about missing my stop or my balance and dropping all my crap onto a toddler.


Maybe I should read things I don’t have to focus nearly as hard on, but as far as I’m concerned, if I can’t make it through a sentence of Dostoyevsky’s Notes from Underground I won’t be able to make it through a sentence of See Spot Run either. 


Maybe I’m a purist, maybe I’m a snob, but I like to fully immerse myself in a good book. I want to be so engrossed in what I’m reading that I don’t realize my butt and my legs have gone completely numb from whatever position I’m sitting in until I get up to pee and I fall to the ground, muscles weeping in atrophy.


I want a comfortable chair, preferably extraordinarily cushy with equally, if not even more cushy, arms. I want peace and quiet or a kick ass guitar solo blasting from excellent speakers. I want to be able to get into a groove, regardless of what that groove might actually be. I want no one in my eye line. I want a nice lamp or a strong overhead light, anything but the yellow-green day glo fluorescence of the G or the L or the Q or the M or the J or the A. 


I don’t want a bench seat encrusted with sometimes-freshly-other-times-not-so-freshly chewed gum. I don’t want to be pinned between someone coughing up a lung and someone commuting from LaGuardia with six pieces of luggage. I don’t want to make eye contact with a child deep-throating a popsicle. I don’t want to drop my favorite book in a puddle that could be water, pee, or any mystery in between. 


Subway readers, I don’t know how you do it, but you do it, and I’m certainly jealous.


Featured Image Via New York on My Mind.