Books on the subway are increasingly like birds in the jungle: colorful, hard-to-spot, and of obsessive interest to the lonely and peculiar. Here are one week’s worth of sightings and speculations.
Monday, 5:20PM, Brooklyn-bound C train, 23rd Street:
Facts: Thin man with bushy black beard, in his late twenties or early thirties, wearing a tight shirt buttoned all the way to the throat, purple and yellow striped socks. In his lap are Cloud Atlas and The Stranger, both closed. They remain closed, almost defiantly, for twenty minutes. He’s not even looking at his phone; the empty space in front of his eyes is, apparently, preferable to reading these books.[...]