Friday, July 9, 2010

Over your shoulder

Somebody* recently complained to me about my lack of blogging frequency.  There are good reasons for it, I promise (besides which, there's a fine balance between over-blogging and under-blogging.  In relation to the former, if you haven't got anything to say, as Segovia apparently once said, you shouldn't say anything.  Applies to writing as well as blogging, and probably many other situations besides).

But I digress.

The good reasons include starting a full-on but enjoyable new dayjob, which takes some time to get one's head around, and which pushes out writing-related concerns (at least during dayjob days).  But I'm now catching the train to work, which gives great opportunity for a) people watching and b) reading over people's shoulders (yes, I'm one of those annoying people who just has to know what is on the page of the open book/newspaper/office manual of the person sitting next to them.  I can't help myself: sorry.)  Besides the content, I love sussing what people are reading: so far this week, Anita Shreve; some book about a guy called Barry, who, going by the cover, is a footballer; Danielle Steele; a history of the world since 1945 (which was thick, but not as thick as it probably ought to have been); and some female crime fiction writer whose name currently escapes me.

It's heartening that there's still as many people on the train reading as those who have iPod buds jammed in their ears, or are fiddling with their iPhones or BlackBerries, or staring fixedly into space (or, in my case, at other people.  Again, sorry.)  But how will I work out what they're reading when e-books take over?

Oh, and in case you were wondering how Margo Lanagan (another writer with a dayjob) writes, read this.

* My one reader.


  1. Nah, I'm much more in favour of bloggers who wait until they have something to say - than feel the call of the 'publish' button.
    And what is wrong with a little anticipation?

  2. Hey - I've wanted you to blog more too!

    I love train people-watching. Today on the there were these three teen girls, all putting on very fake English accents and talking in a very loud voice. It was SO annoying and I wanted to tell them to shut up but I was incredibly tired so instead I closed my eyes and attempted to block them out.

    Anyway, I too take notice of what people are reading - I love that you've listed them, I might start too!

    And I'm glad the new job is going okay! :)x

  3. Given that it's possible to subscribe to your blog it doesn't matter how long you go between posts :)

    I've recently started reading ebooks (strangely, am enjoying the experience). It's good that I can now read tripe with no one knowing. On the other hand when I read something impressive (oh, say Proust) no one will see that either ;)

  4. I love the photo, and the confession. I too am always curious about what other people are reading, and there is a (sometimes not so) secret thrill about reading something in tandem with the stranger sitting next to you. It's a bit like eavesdropping on someone's private conversation, isn't it?

  5. Yay...I inspired a blog post!

    Strangest thing I've seen read on the Mandurah train: a Pocket Oxford English Dictionary. Bravest thing: a young guy reading a DNA Magazine.

    I simple fiddle with my iPhone...