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girls reading books on the subwayI just had a thought. A sad thought. With ebooks and audiobooks becoming more mainstream, how will we know what books other people are into?

How many times have I seen someone reading a book, or has someone seen me, and made a connection over it? Whether it’s a connection over a mutually liked book, or maybe a question about whether the book is any good.

Without the obvious cover in hand, we won’t know whether someone is engrossed in The Hunger Games, or just checking their email. That dude with the white cord trailing from his ears may be jamming to Usher, or he might be listening to the new bestseller you’ve been curious about. We have no way of knowing.

In general, I’m a fan of new media. But the loss of this social aspect of reading is just a little saddening. Sure, I may know what my friends on Facebook at Twitter are reading, but people we meet IRL? Not so much.

girls with ipods on the subway
“Four years ago, I was breaking in my cover, talking tech to random people. So I was in a laundromat in Adams Morgan, and Natasha was reading “Snow Crash” While she waited for her whites. We dated a little over a year, and I wish I hadn’t liked that book so much.” – Auggie Anderson, Covert Affairs