Seen Reading


Have you heard about Julie Wilson’s (aka Book Madam) Literary Voyeurs project?  She (and a number of helpers) document sightings of books and the people reading them in public. Public transit seems to be a popular source of material, as are bookstores, coffee shops, and restaurants. While it started in Toronto, there are contributors from all over the world. The fomat is what you seen below.

I’m not a formal contributor, but enjoy the “sport”.  A couple of sightings from the past week:

  • Location:  Toronto:  61A bus southbound on Avenue Road
    Time of Day:  3:30 pm
    Reader:  Young, Asian woman, long dark hair, wearing white polo tee, khaki shorts, running shoes, and carrying a backpack.
    Book: The Gargoyle.  Heavily studded with pink post-it flags, before and after the page she’s reading.
    Author:  Andrew Davidson
    Publisher:  Vintage Canada 

The following were a couple. 

  • Location:  North York.  Doctor’s office waiting room
    Time of Day: 12:15 pm
    Reader:  Older woman, grey hair, stylish plastic-frame glasses, bright pink top, black slacks, hose, and flats.
    Book: Barney’s Version (paperback).  Almost finished.
    Author:  Mordecai Richler
    Publisher:  Vintage Canada 
  • Location:  North York.  Doctor’s office waiting room
    Time of Day: 12:15 pm
    Reader:  Older gent, blue plaid long-sleeved shirt, khaki pants, brown belt, white running shoes, brownish-grey hair and wire-framed glasses.
    Book: The Best Laid Plans (a couple of chapters in).
    Author:  Terry Fallis
    Publisher: McClelland and Stewart

I struck up a conversation with the gentleman while his wife was seeing the doctor. He was laughing out loud while reading and I caught his eye. He told me that his brother out in Vancouver had recommended it to him and he was really enjoying it. He asked me about the sequel (The High Road) and I told him that it was just as good as the first one, and by the time he’d finished The Best Laid Plans, he’d be desperate for more!


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