One of the best ways to keep an eye on current trends in literature is to take careful note of what people are reading on your daily commute.
I live in London – and it takes over an hour each way for me to travel to work and back. And while I often wish I hadn’t somehow ended up living at the opposite end of the city from the office, one thing it does do is give me some dedicated reading time each day.
AND it gives me plenty of snooping time.
I just can’t help having a good look around the train (or Tube, as we Londoners say) and check out what everyone else is reading. And if you do it often enough, you will see there are definite trends.
I remember a few years back I couldn’t get in a carriage without seeing at least one person glued to their copy of Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code. That was then followed by a long spell of people reading one of my favourite novels of all time The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon – making me want to sit down and have a good chat with them about it, which as anyone will tell you is a definite no-no on the London Underground. Friendly conversation is much frowned upon!
But lately the clear winner in the ‘Reading on the Tube’ stakes is The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. While I enjoy the odd crime novel it is rarely at the top of my To Read list, but after seeing Dragon Tattoo three times on one journey this week, I fear I couldn’t ignore the signs any longer. I have just placed my order with Amazon.
I will let you know if it lives up to its promise once I have devoured it.
But perhaps the most heartening picture to emerge from this extensive and highly scientific study of Tube Reads is that they are all great examples of Packabook books – those that transport us to another land. The Da Vinci Code gives us Paris, Shadow of the Wind takes us to Barcelona, and Dragon Tattoo sends us off to Sweden.
Is there some connection between foreign countries and what people like to read on trains I wonder? Does being crammed into a crowded carriage with hundreds of other commuters make us crave escape to somewhere exotic?
If you too would like to find great novels set in foreign lands then head over to our gorgeous collection at Packabook’s main site. Just click on the country of your choice and you will soon be far, far away…
I am off to read in the sunshine….
P.S. If you have read Dragon Tattoo we’d love to hear your thoughts. Let us know if it lives up to all the attention it has been getting…