Today’s post comes to us from the far off year of 2016 via the @2016Problem twitter account.
This morning at 8:22 ET on a Coney Island-bound Q train, a man was found reading a book on the third car at the Lexington Ave & 59th street stop. Most riders did not see the man as they were typing on, reading, watching, swiping, or pinching their mobile devices. But Kimberley James, 27 year-old systems analyst, confirmed the sighting when she looked up from her Nook to blow her nose:
“I saw someone with a magazine on the L train about six months ago, but a book?! I couldn’t believe my eyes! He didn’t even look old! Or homeless!”
Tiffany George, 22 year old nanny, was taking her little girl, Aevaah, to her private elementary school on the UES:
“Aevaah looked up from her iPad game of Bug Princess 2 and asked me what the man was holding. She’s never seen a book, it was hard to describe it to her. She doesn’t understand that something so large and thick only does one thing.”
Paul Sams, 29 year old software engineer, regretfully missed the sighting:
“I didn’t see him. I was trying to restart my HTC Rezound. I can’t get this damn thing to do anything!”
Unconfirmed reports state that the man entered the car at Queensboro Plaza, rode the train into Manhattan, and exited three stops later at 57th Street. He looked to be about 25, brown hair, Caucasian, 6 feet tall, and was dressed in business casual attire. He was not found for comment. MTA’s passenger surveys note that regular sightings of riders reading real books all but disappeared in the last decade. Passengers surveyed on the L train, which serves hipster-central Williamsburg, sighted nearly three readers last year with books, but none after July 2011. These late sightings could be due to hipster’s desire to be users of all things ‘vintage.’ Since this man did not appear to be homeless or sporting a tell tale hipster mustache, it is unclear why he was reading the book. One thing’s for sure, though, eye witnesses may have seen the last book in use in New York City this morning.