David Barnett:

Well, is it just me, or … look, does anyone else have an unhealthy obsession not just with what people have on their bookshelves but what they’re actually reading right there and then? Does anyone else stare unashamedly at the paperback that is tucked under someone’s arm while they sort through their purse for change in the queue at Boots? Does anyone else have a better memory for the novel poking out of a new acquaintance’s pocket than that person’s face or name?And is anyone else facing up to the prospect of summer with a slight feeling of nameless dread, because they know they’ll be walking through a park or by a pool or along a beach with their head at an angle, craning to see the spine or cover of whatever the nearest person is reading?Ah well, perhaps it just is me, then. But if there are others like me, they’ll understand why summer can be problematic. Have you ever tried to explain to someone in a pair of Speedos or a tiny bikini that, no, actually, you were looking at the book they had balanced on their tummy? Me neither. But that day will surely come.

The context for these reflections is praise for The Book Depository, especially this little feature. And yes, it’s pretty darn cool.

Text Patterns

July 29, 2010


  1. E-readers need a "show-off" function, so that a small screen on the back displays whatever you're currently reading. That way, strangers can strike up a conversation in the coffeeshop, etc. Of course, there would soon be an app to display that you're reading Immanual Kant when you're really reading the latest issue of People.

  2. Nah, chicks don't dig Kant. When you're really reading Chuck Palahniuk your badge will say you're reading The Help.

  3. I'm stopped all the time and asked what I'm reading. Easiest conversation starter ever. The difference between spying a book cover and sneaking a peek at someone's e-reader (is the book title displayed anywhere?)couldn't be more obvious.

Comments are closed.