Sunday, April 27, 2008

On Shared Reading

Three notes on reading and sharing:
  • I hear that the trains in St. Petersburg have seats on either side facing each other with a central open aisle for people to stand, presumably in two columns, each facing a seated column, and their backs to each other. This configuration lets the people who stand share in whatever the seated ones read, but one has to learn to read upside down and right to left. Apparently, now there is a suggestion to print books in two halves: each page will have the lower half printed normally and the upper half printed in reverse, bottom to top; this way, if you are standing or seated, you can read the book conveniently!
  • I read somewhere that an Egyptian newspaper has a circulation of X millions and a readership of 2X millions a day.
  • At Penn Station, in NY, there is a brotherhood of middle-aged men (never a woman) who salvage leftover NY Times from trash cans for personal reading. Most of them can afford to buy one, but there is some draw I suppose of snatched treasure when you retrieve a nice, complete paper, a gem, hardly read, found among the others soaked in coffee, hiding chewing gum and generally abandoned by the commuters. The cleaning staff help out. When they empty the trash, if they find such a gem, they leave it out on the can.


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