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Monday, July 16, 2012

Bus Riders, UNITE!

When I moved here several years ago, I came without a car.  And in the intervening time, I have not yet felt the need to mobilize myself beyond my trusty bicycle (though only in the summer).  As a result I spend much of my time on various buses.  Which seems to work out because being a law student, devoted cat mother, crafter, and erstwhile bookseller, I don't always have the time I wish to devote to reading for pleasure.  So I read on the bus.  When others tune out to their tunes, chat with their neighbors, or focus on Words With Friends, you'll find me tucked into a window seat with my nose stuck in a book.

Today I was reading Just Kids, Patti Smith's memoir of her life with Robert Mapplethorpe.  And when another rider tapped me on the shoulder to tell me that it was her favorite book and that she hoped I loved it too; I got to thinking.  Here are all these riders, and lots of us read, and yet we are so cut off from each other.  Oh sure, I've posted here about my public transit voyeurism; my love for spying on others to see what they're reading, but I almost never talk to anyone about their books.  And if you've spent any time with me at all, you know I love talking about books.  So why not on the bus?

Well, Transportation Choices Coalition has solved the problem.  This summer they introduced Books on the Bus (BOB).  It's a book club for bus riders meant to create community among transit patrons.  The plan is to introduce a new book every three months.  This summer the choice is Hotel Angeline, a novel written in 36 parts; a collaboration among 36 great Northwest authors.  And as an added bonus, 50% of the proceeds from the sale of the book will go to local literacy nonprofits Powerful Schools and 826 Seattle.

I'm so excited for this idea!  So if you see me on the bus, devouring Hotel Angeline, please interrupt me, and let's start up a conversation.  For that matter, if you see me reading anything, let's talk.  Let's build a better bus ride, a better community, and a better Seattle.  Hope to see you reading on your ride.
Posted by Erin B.

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