Greenpoint, October, 2015

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Underground Lit

Riding the subway is always educative, though not always in a literary way. But last week I found myself sitting just below a young man reading Gertrude Stein's Tender Buttons (in the centennial edition released by New Directions in 2014) and across from a  young woman hugging a plaster of paris figurine and reading The Book of the Courtier.

I had to Google that one to discover that Baldassare Castiglinone's book was a per-Amazon bestseller in the 16th century. A "courtesy book," it consists of fictional conversations among courtiers of the Duke of Urbino's court (of which the author was one). I think Gertrude Stein, seen below in the lovely little statue by Jo Davidson from Bryant Park, would have enjoyed sharing a car with her reader and this young woman, not to mention her companion, very much.


  1. Lovely post - I always enjoy seeing what commuters are reading. If you ever need any clothing fix-ups, Tender Buttons off Lexington might come in handy. Buttons for all tastes & budgets.

    1. Thanks! My dream is a real-time cataloging of all books being read on all NYC subway trains at a given moment.