It seems like everyone now is fixed on their electronics. On any given bus or train, however, someone is reading a book.  I have documented proof.  The following are titles of books recently being read on Trimet (and some commentary):

Missing Persons by Stephen White.  The reader was a middle aged man wearing an Obama badge.

Quantum Leaps In The Wrong Direction: Where Real Science Ends…and Pseudoscience Begins.  It took me so long to write down the title that the guy reading it left before I could make a note about him.

The Great Divorce by C. S. Lewis.  This looked like a 50-year old paperback. The reader was a young woman sporting a baby-doll look including: ruby red lipstick with matching shoes and white knee socks.

If Looks Could Kill.  Amazon lists at least six different novels by this title.  As I didn’t catch the author’s name, I can’t tell you which one it was. The reader:  a middle-aged woman.

High Noon by Nora Roberts  (“This is just a dirty little village in the middle of nowhere. Nothing that happens here is really important.”  Oh, sorry, it’s not that High Noon.)  The reader:  a middle-aged woman.

A Japanese paperback.  The reader:  a young woman with Asian features.

Victims by Jonathan Kellerman.  I did not make a note about the reader.  Assume I was distracted by another title.

Organizing Knowledge.  The reader was, I’m pretty sure, judging by the PSU jacket, a student.

My Monumental Suffering.  Actually, this is the title of a book I intend to write.

Another Nora Roberts book.  I could see Nora’s huge name on the spine and cover, but not the book’s title.  The reader:  a middle-aged woman, a professional secretary type — graying, well-fed and well-dressed.

An Agatha Christie book.  Again, the author’s name was plain to see and much larger than the title.  The reader:  a 60ish man.

A Nick Hornby book.  The reader was a slender, sad-faced woman in black jacket, black jeans and long, black hair.

Interviewing in Action In a Multicultural World.  The reader was a young woman in matching blue-green argyle swirl vinyl rain jacket and vinyl cowboy rain boots.

A J. K Rowling book.  Must have been the new one that’s got nothing to do with Harry Potter, as it was only about 250 pages long.

Can’t Find My Way Home.  To judge by the worn backpack, boots, beard and long hair, the reader was a hiker (Of course).  He was reading avidly and about halfway through the book.

Prime Witness.  Steve Martin. The Steve Martin?  The reader was an extremely middle-class, middle-aged white guy, wearing crappy PayLess shoes that looked like they were chopped out of old tires with an ax.

This seems a likely random stopping place.

© Nick O’ConnorIf you had been commuting an hour each way every weekday between Northeast Portland and the Sunset Transit Center at the border of Portland and Beaverton for two years and occasionally woke up, dislodged an earbud, or spoke to a fellow rider, you would have a few stories to tell, too. Nick blogs at Sardines Are Only Packed Once (where this story originally appeared).

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