In a humiliating public display she’s unlikely to ever live down, Queens resident Elise Dobbs pulled out a book to read on the subway – and was seen starting right on page one.
Yikes! It’s embarrassing enough to crack open a fresh book anywhere in public, let alone on a crowded subway car.
“I don’t know what I was thinking,” said Elise, who commutes on the subway regularly for work. “It was obvious that everyone on the subway thought I was just pretending to read for clout.”
“Everyone knows that, in order to establish yourself as a ‘reader’ and not just some flippant book harlot on a whim, you should be at least a good 30 pages into a book before pulling it out on the subway,” Elise added. “Otherwise, the assumption is likely to skew toward the idea that you’ve never actually finished a book before.”
Girl, what were you thinking?!
“I looked at her and I immediately thought, ‘This girl hasn’t read a day in her life,’” said fellow subway passenger, Jo Yates, on seeing Dobbs starting on page one of her book. “Bless her for trying though.”
When asked about her reading habits, Elise admitted that she is currently in the middle of another book, but due to its size and subject material, didn’t feel comfortable bringing it on the subway with her.
“People are so judgmental these days,” Elise said. “What, I’m just supposed to whip out my 700-page young-adult fairy romance behemoth in the middle of the N train? I’m not a pervert.”
At least she has some common sense!
Instead, Elise opted for a more palatable choice, and the other passengers certainly noticed.
“Yeah, your 7:30am commute seems like the perfect time to sit down and crack open Madame Bovary for the first time,” said one passenger. “Sure.”
Despite the backlash regarding her choice of reading material, Elise defends her decision and claims she was in a no-win situation.
“If I really was pretending to read in order to look intellectual and enigmatic on the subway, I could’ve just flipped to the middle of a book and pretended to know what’s going on. But then it really would be all for show. See what I mean? It’s a lose-lose.”
In any case, we hope Elise discovers a way to read authentically on the subway, but it doesn’t seem likely!