I'm on the subway often commuting from A to B. When I think about the whole commuting on public transit experience it just seems so mechanical. People are sandwiched in together sitting side-by-side, often touching arms and legs yet very rarely does anyone talk to each other. In a big city, we're use to that "mind your business" coldness.
I'm often catching up on some reading like many others en route to our destinations. Rarely does anything exciting ever happen other than the odd delay.
But check this out. Were you on the subway this past Monday? Did you hear some hoot'n and holler'n? This is what went down...
OPERATION CODE NAME: Read On!
WHO: Julie Wilson (aka The Book Madam and author of SEEN READING), the Kobo Events Team, and yours truly!
MISSION: To catch 100 public transit riders reading (yes, Fifty Shades of Grey too) and reward each of them with a FREE KOBO Touch eReader just for being "caught" in the act of reading!
HOW COOL IS THAT?!!
I LOVE surprises - the good kind of course. Trailing this team of 10 was exciting, fun and it felt a little daring to be waking up a few unsuspecting morning subway riders. We were STEALTH sliding into the subway trains. To witness and experience something that rewards people for something good is beyond words.
But wait....who is JULIE WILSON?
Julie is a Toronto Blogger and considers herself a "Literary Voyeur". She has recently published her book SEEN READING - inspired by her fascination with people reading in public places particularly on transit, cafes, park benches and doctors' office. She been observing people doing the deed (reading of course) over the past six years in public and she claims she's not a creep or stalker -- she does practice an ethic of never intruding on someone's private space!
She collects the information about unsuspecting readers who are deeply involved in the act of reading, then selects a few sightings and creates a response to each encounters forming a collection of microfictions. SEEN READING is a selection of her sightings and is based on her blog of the same name. YOU MUST GO CHECK OUT THE SEEN READING BLOG !
It was funny witnessing the reactions on the subway. When riders were handed over their Kobo Touch eReaders some were so taken back and thrilled with the look of "what the heck just happened here?" and then some had delayed reactions of "wait a minute, are you telling me you want to give me something for free???" It was a really good feeling. REAL GOOD.
You can download a free preview of Julie's book SEEN READING at
Stay tuned for my interview with Julie Wilson that's up next!
But I've got to shut-down my laptop now or I'll miss my stop!!!!!
Here's a quick video clip that capture the reactions of those lucky Kobo recipients! Pretty fricken' awesome don't you think?