When I get on the subway, most times I read an e-book on my phone or a print copy. Other times, I people watch and get excited when I see people with books in their hands. I eagerly look around wondering if I’ll spot one of ours, a title I’ve read before, or one that looks interesting. I’ve never ventured to ask anyone about the book they are reading and what they think of it; instead, I try to look for signs on their faces (I can’t read without making a face: aghast, anxious, stupid grin….the whole roller-coaster thing), which does not help me at all. Sometimes, I get off at my stop and wrack my brain to try and remember the title of a book I thought looked good. It’s gotten to the point where I have the notepad on my phone ready to jot these things down!
Luckily, not too long ago I found a brilliant Instagram account to follow called Subway Book Review. It was started by Uli Beutter Cohen, who unlike me, talks to her fellow subway riders about the books they are reading and then posts the review on Instagram/ Facebook with a lovely picture of the book and the reviewer. The genres and titles differ greatly, just like the people that come in and out of the subways everyday.
Thanks to this amazing account, I am now inspired to start talking to people with books who might be standing or sitting close to me. What can it hurt? It’s the go-to conversation starter in our business. It’s also a great way to meet people and more importantly, practice pitching your book to agents/editors. I encourage you all to give it a try if you are like me and haven’t done so already. I would be glad to post a follow-up on the person I talked to and a review of the book they were reading!