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Avatar image for mushir
#1 Posted by Mushir (2631 posts) -

I hope this doesn't count as spam or advertising. This isn't my site, but I just found it and thought it was the best site I've discovered this year.

http://undergroundnewyorkpubliclibrary.com/

It's basically just a page where this guy posts pictures he takes of people reading books on the NYC subway. Street photography has always fascinated me, and so this website got my attention right away. I've just been scrolling down the page and looking at his pictures for a while now. Here are some I liked:

Gallery image 1Gallery image 2Gallery image 3

In an age where most people sit with cellphones all the time or listening to music, it's just kind of nice to see that people still read books. I love seeing how they're absorbed in their book even though they're in a loud, crowded subway. I always got a little smile whenever I saw a person reading a book I had read. Even though e-readers and stuff are way more convenient and usually cheaper, I hope physical books exist for as long as possible. There's something special about them that can't be replaced by iPads or Kindles.

So, yea. I like reading. And I also like seeing other people read.

Avatar image for thepickle
#2 Posted by ThePickle (4356 posts) -

Where's the guy watching the UMD of Van Helsing on his PSP?

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#3 Posted by natetodamax (19462 posts) -

How to be black?

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#4 Edited by crusader8463 (14757 posts) -

I want the book the lady is reading in that photo. I think it would be hilarious to see non black people reading it. Anyway, rule 34 and all.

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#5 Posted by Cloudenvy (5893 posts) -

@Voxel said:

How to be black?

I'd read that book.

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#6 Posted by NlGHTCRAWLER (1219 posts) -

@Mushir said:

So, yea. I like reading. And I also like seeing other people read.

Never reading in public again.

Avatar image for andrewb
#7 Posted by AndrewB (7814 posts) -

@Voxel said:

How to be black?

If you listen to TWiT, you'd have definitely heard about it. It's by Baratunde Thurston. Satirical, since he's a comedian.

Avatar image for jsnyder82
#8 Posted by jsnyder82 (851 posts) -

This is why I don't like public transportation. Everybody's taking photos of everybody else on buses and subways and posting them to Facebook like anybody gives a damn. Let me have my privacy and go get yourself a life, people taking pictures.

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#9 Posted by RazielCuts (3269 posts) -

@NlGHTCRAWLER said:

@Mushir said:

So, yea. I like reading. And I also like seeing other people read.

Never reading in public again.

He likes to watch.

Avatar image for chrjz
#10 Edited by chrjz (430 posts) -

I wish I could read on subway or in a similarly noisy area; I like to read but find it too distracting in that kind of environment.

Instead I prefer heaphones + Bombcast.

Avatar image for mushir
#11 Posted by Mushir (2631 posts) -

@RazielCuts said:

@NlGHTCRAWLER said:

@Mushir said:

So, yea. I like reading. And I also like seeing other people read.

Never reading in public again.

He likes to watch.

Oh, you have no idea!

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#12 Posted by Rainbowkisses (519 posts) -

I just read the first couple pages of "How to Be Black" on Amazon. This book is definitely going on my Christmas list.

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#13 Posted by RazielCuts (3269 posts) -

Also, I've never got the hang of listening to music whilst reading a book, for me it's either one or the other.

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#14 Posted by Clonedzero (4206 posts) -

what kind of creeper takes pictures of people who are reading?

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#15 Posted by Mushir (2631 posts) -

@RazielCuts said:

Also, I've never got the hang of listening to music whilst reading a book, for me it's either one or the other.

Same here. Not even instrumental music.

@Clonedzero said:

what kind of creeper takes pictures of people who are reading?

It's not against the law. Street photography is an art.

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#16 Posted by kmdrkul (3498 posts) -

That one dude is reading 1984!

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#17 Posted by Mushir (2631 posts) -

@kmdrkul said:

That one dude is reading 1984!

I know! That's why I included it. It's my favorite book. On his website there's one of a women reading Animal Farm. Another Orwell book I loved.

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#18 Posted by JasonR86 (10178 posts) -

This is fucking weird.

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#19 Posted by Blackout62 (2037 posts) -

@kmdrkul said:

That one dude is reading 1984!

That dude looks like a guy who'd be reading Orwell. He's got the government subversion look to him.

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#20 Posted by NlGHTCRAWLER (1219 posts) -

@JasonR86 said:

This is fucking weird.

No.. apparently it's art.

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#21 Posted by IzzyGraze (912 posts) -

I still don't know how people read books on the subway while standing up. I lived in montreal for a couple of months and would always see people holding on to the handle bars for dear life while reading a book. How do they concentrate on what they're reading? Also, one of the picture on that blog had someone reading a heavy hard cover book while walking! It seems very impractical.

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#22 Posted by Colourful_Hippie (5710 posts) -

@JasonR86 said:

This is fucking weird.

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#23 Posted by Jrinswand (1745 posts) -

I don't know why you guys think that this is so weird. I really enjoy street photography and think that the photographer's idea is a pretty good one.

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#24 Posted by Mushir (2631 posts) -

@NlGHTCRAWLER said:

@JasonR86 said:

This is fucking weird.

No.. apparently it's art.

Doesn't mean it can't be weird. I understand how some people think it's weird. I think it's really interesting.

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#25 Posted by NlGHTCRAWLER (1219 posts) -

@Mushir said:

@NlGHTCRAWLER said:

@JasonR86 said:

This is fucking weird.

No.. apparently it's art.

Doesn't mean it can't be weird. I understand how some people think it's weird. I think it's really interesting.

Fine. This is fucking weird.

Avatar image for zoozilla
#26 Posted by zoozilla (1023 posts) -

@Blackout62 said:

@kmdrkul said:

That one dude is reading 1984!

That dude looks like a guy who'd be reading Orwell. He's got the government subversion look to him.

That's what I thought, except in my head I phrased it as "That guy totally looks like a skinhead."

Sometimes I try to read on the bus, but I'm never able to get into it as well as sitting in a comfy chair.

Avatar image for jsnyder82
#27 Posted by jsnyder82 (851 posts) -

@Mushir said:

@NlGHTCRAWLER said:

@JasonR86 said:

This is fucking weird.

No.. apparently it's art.

Doesn't mean it can't be weird. I understand how some people think it's weird. I think it's really interesting.

But do you not think people have a right to privacy? This just seems wrong to me.

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#28 Edited by CaLe (4755 posts) -

I'm sorry, but this is better: http://www.unnecessaryquotes.com/

A "random" sample.

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#29 Posted by CaptainTightPants (2831 posts) -

@RazielCuts said:

Also, I've never got the hang of listening to music whilst reading a book, for me it's either one or the other.

I usually use music to drown out foreign noise while reading. A lesser evil sort of thing, if that makes any sense.

I find it actually improves my concentration; it decreases my awareness of the outside world -not to a dangerous degree- and it allows me to focus solely on the book.

This is, of course, only in noisy areas like a bus or any other public location. No music at home while reading.

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#30 Posted by smokeyd123 (361 posts) -

@jsnyder82: Not in public.

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#31 Posted by TaliciaDragonsong (8734 posts) -

Last time I read in the subway the book got stolen. Somehow I always get into trouble on the subway, but never on the train. Quality difference I guess.

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#32 Posted by zombie2011 (5502 posts) -
No Caption Provided
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#33 Posted by benpicko (2016 posts) -

@jsnyder82 said:

@Mushir said:

@NlGHTCRAWLER said:

@JasonR86 said:

This is fucking weird.

No.. apparently it's art.

Doesn't mean it can't be weird. I understand how some people think it's weird. I think it's really interesting.

But do you not think people have a right to privacy? This just seems wrong to me.

They're sat in a crowded public area reading. If they wanted privacy they wouldn't do that

Avatar image for jasonr86
#34 Posted by JasonR86 (10178 posts) -

@benpicko said:

@jsnyder82 said:

@Mushir said:

@NlGHTCRAWLER said:

@JasonR86 said:

This is fucking weird.

No.. apparently it's art.

Doesn't mean it can't be weird. I understand how some people think it's weird. I think it's really interesting.

But do you not think people have a right to privacy? This just seems wrong to me.

They're sat in a crowded public area reading. If they wanted privacy they wouldn't do that

?

Avatar image for jsnyder82
#35 Edited by jsnyder82 (851 posts) -

@smokeyd123 said:

@jsnyder82: Not in public.

Even in public, you have the right not to have pictures taken of you.

And I'm not saying that it's illegal for somebody to take pictures of you. I know it's perfectly legal to do so. But it doesn't make the photographer any less of a creeper douchebag.

Avatar image for penguindust
#36 Posted by PenguinDust (12994 posts) -

I don't think it's that weird.

Everyone has some sort of fetish...mine is cute Japanese girls stuffing their faces with food.

Gallery image 1Gallery image 2Gallery image 3Gallery image 4

Wait, what was the topic again? Photos of people reading on the subway?

Sicko.

Avatar image for the_official_japanese_teabag
#37 Posted by the_OFFICIAL_jAPanese_teaBAG (4312 posts) -
@JasonR86 said:

@benpicko said:

@jsnyder82 said:

@Mushir said:

@NlGHTCRAWLER said:

@JasonR86 said:

This is fucking weird.

No.. apparently it's art.

Doesn't mean it can't be weird. I understand how some people think it's weird. I think it's really interesting.

But do you not think people have a right to privacy? This just seems wrong to me.

They're sat in a crowded public area reading. If they wanted privacy they wouldn't do that

?

wut
Avatar image for huntad
#38 Posted by huntad (2346 posts) -

@the_OFFICIAL_jAPanese_teaBAG said:

@JasonR86 said:

@benpicko said:

@jsnyder82 said:

@Mushir said:

@NlGHTCRAWLER said:

@JasonR86 said:

This is fucking weird.

No.. apparently it's art.

Doesn't mean it can't be weird. I understand how some people think it's weird. I think it's really interesting.

But do you not think people have a right to privacy? This just seems wrong to me.

They're sat in a crowded public area reading. If they wanted privacy they wouldn't do that

?

wut
Avatar image for jrinswand
#39 Posted by Jrinswand (1745 posts) -

@PenguinDust said:

Everyone has some sort of fetish...mine is cute Japanese girls stuffing their faces with food.

Who said anything about a fetish? Street photography ≠ fetish

Avatar image for nottle
#40 Posted by Nottle (1933 posts) -

@Cloudenvy said:

@Voxel said:

How to be black?

I'd read that book.

I think the most important question is why is that not a book you can read in Persona?

You could gain all sorts of charisma.

Avatar image for medacris
#41 Posted by medacris (738 posts) -

Street photography isn't creepy if it's a) journalism, or b) you sign a release form and the person says it's okay to release their picture.

I'm glad people still read at all, even if they're reading on a Kindle/Nook/iPad. Even before iPods really got popular, as a kid, I knew people, adults and kids, who never read any kind of book, magazine, newspaper, or anything. "Reading is boring and stupid and I don't care", they said. I became thankful that these people even picked up Twilight or another equally stupid book, because at least they were reading something.

I don't read on the subway, because I get on it so infrequently that I still need to pay absolute attention, I'm worried I'll miss my stop. I haven't been on a plane in a very long time, but I used to wear out my copies of Harry Potter and Sherlock Holmes on plane trips as a kid.

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#42 Posted by BoG (5390 posts) -

This is very cool. I spent a little too much time browsing the gallery. It's fun to see the variety of people reading. Some of them go so well with their books, and some of them don't, and that's what is so great. I also like seeing cute girls reading cool things. Kudos to the cutie reading Neruda poetry.

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#43 Posted by Blackout62 (2037 posts) -

@zoozilla said:

@Blackout62 said:

@kmdrkul said:

That one dude is reading 1984!

That dude looks like a guy who'd be reading Orwell. He's got the government subversion look to him.

That's what I thought, except in my head I phrased it as "That guy totally looks like a skinhead."

Sometimes I try to read on the bus, but I'm never able to get into it as well as sitting in a comfy chair.

See that's the fine point of it. Bald white guy with glasses: intellectual, creative, possibly radical, possibly Moby. Bald white guy without glasses: Skinhead or Bruce Willis.

Avatar image for markwahlberg
#44 Posted by MarkWahlberg (4714 posts) -

@Mushir said:

@RazielCuts said:

@NlGHTCRAWLER said:

@Mushir said:

So, yea. I like reading. And I also like seeing other people read.

Never reading in public again.

He likes to watch.

Oh, you have no idea!

No Caption Provided
Avatar image for zudthespud
#45 Posted by zudthespud (3332 posts) -

This is why the Internet is the greatest invention of modern times. The amount of information being stored by people all over the world doing all sorts of things will stay somewhere for as long as we will live, and one day we will be able to look back at today and read what people thought, see what people looked like and hear what they had to say in a way that 30 years ago would have been impossible. This art is just part of the greater art that is the archival of individual moments, billions of times a day on the internet for the world to see, forever.

Avatar image for sparky_buzzsaw
#46 Posted by sparky_buzzsaw (7965 posts) -

Damn, that's a pretty cool site. I like the idea that the titles of the books are posted. Neat to see so many classics mixed with modern books.

Avatar image for zoozilla
#47 Posted by zoozilla (1023 posts) -

@Blackout62 said:

@zoozilla said:

@Blackout62 said:

@kmdrkul said:

That one dude is reading 1984!

That dude looks like a guy who'd be reading Orwell. He's got the government subversion look to him.

That's what I thought, except in my head I phrased it as "That guy totally looks like a skinhead."

Sometimes I try to read on the bus, but I'm never able to get into it as well as sitting in a comfy chair.

See that's the fine point of it. Bald white guy with glasses: intellectual, creative, possibly radical, possibly Moby. Bald white guy without glasses: Skinhead or Bruce Willis.

Then there's also bald white guy with a little hair on the sides: Tobias Funke.

And looking again, the guy in the picture is wearing glasses. My whole world is being turned upside down!

Avatar image for blackout62
#48 Posted by Blackout62 (2037 posts) -

@zoozilla said:

@Blackout62 said:

@zoozilla said:

@Blackout62 said:

@kmdrkul said:

That one dude is reading 1984!

That dude looks like a guy who'd be reading Orwell. He's got the government subversion look to him.

That's what I thought, except in my head I phrased it as "That guy totally looks like a skinhead."

Sometimes I try to read on the bus, but I'm never able to get into it as well as sitting in a comfy chair.

See that's the fine point of it. Bald white guy with glasses: intellectual, creative, possibly radical, possibly Moby. Bald white guy without glasses: Skinhead or Bruce Willis.

Then there's also bald white guy with a little hair on the sides: Tobias Funke.

And looking again, the guy in the picture is wearing glasses. My whole world is being turned upside down!

You're interpreting it wrong, bald white guy with a little hair on the sides: Patrick Stewart.

Avatar image for laserbolts
#49 Posted by laserbolts (5506 posts) -

@RazielCuts said:

Also, I've never got the hang of listening to music whilst reading a book, for me it's either one or the other.

I agree. I cant concentrate on reading something while listening to music.

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#50 Posted by mlarrabee (3849 posts) -

I like those a lot, and this is relevant.