Sunday, July 1, 2012

Underground New York Public Library

The Undiscovered Self by Carl Jung
As a librarian and a lover of books, I love to see other people reading. As I keep hearing about the death of books and how less people are reading, I keep a look out for people who are bucking the trend. I'm a huge fan of paper books and although I have no issues with e-readers,  I think that you lose some of the connection to the book. Plus when I see a reader, I often try to peek to see what book they are enjoying. That's tougher with an e-reader.

(Left) The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, 
(Right) The Five People You Meet in Heaven
Because of this love for paper books, I've become a huge fan of the blog, the Underground New York Public Library. The blogger (Ourit Ben-Haim) is a photographer who travels the New York City subway, taking pictures of people she finds reading. The Reading Riders are then posted along with the title of the book they were reading. It's a fantastic blog that offers people watching, reading suggestions, and a reminder that print books are not yet dead.

 Catch 22 by Joseph Heller
The blogger is a street photographer and most of the subjects are not aware that they are being photographed. I love how absorbed in their books they seem. When a photo cannot be taken unaware, the blogger is careful to explain the project and then ask the person to go back to reading. Once they are engrossed again, that's when the shot gets taken. It's all about catching a reader in that moment of engagement with the book. They always look so much more relaxed than the other riders. It's a wonderful image of the diversity of readers and their books of choice. Plus I come away from this blog with a ton of new books to read. Perfect.

Great Short Works of Dostoyevski


Keith said...

Just a bit before I read this, I was listening to the Radiolab episode about tumors, which included a lengthy section about Henrietta Lacks. I'd known about her before, but the segment told me quite a bit more about her and her legacy.

And now you're mentioning it. Synchronicity is weird sometimes.

Skem said...

You got me hooked on this blog too. It's like a peek into someone else's mind. Thanks.

Fumiko said...

This blog is very interesting,I love it.I love papers!!

bleufleur said...

I feel similarly towards physical books too.