Emotion on the tube

I’m not posting much at the moment which is mostly due to real life getting a bit too real and demanding all of my time and attention. But I want to promise you that I am still reading!

Currently I’m reading a book called Was by Geoff Ryman (there was a very funny conversation where I tried to explain to my housemate that Was IS the name of the book and I wasn’t just really forgetful “My book is, Was….”!). Anyway the book is very good and is a sort of spin on The Wizard of Oz and while I was reading it today on my way to and from work (yes on a Saturday, what did I say about real life getting demanding?) it got super emotional. As in something majorly bad happened to one of the main characters and I was spellbound (pun intended).

Was  is one of those books that has several different stories woven together and tonight is the only time that I can remember indulging myself and skipping ahead to read the rest of one character’s story instead of waiting to get round to it. Part of me feels guilty but I just couldn’t wait to find out what happened.

Anyway the point of this somewhat-rambley post is that this Majorly Bad Thing got me so involved that I was getting quite emotional over it. I’ve mentioned before that I find it hard to mask my emotions when I’m reading something particularly good and anyone who’s ever watched a film with me will be able to tell you that I’m kind of obvious when I find something especially upsetting. So there I was reading my book with my distress written all over my face when I noticed the guy sat next to me.

I’m not often distracted when something has me so pinned to the page but this guy was also reading a book and out the corner of my eye I saw him make a fist and softly bang it against his knee.

If you’ve ever been to London then you’ll know that the proper way to act when on the tube is to pretend that no one else exists so I didn’t feel I could look at what he was reading but it was more reassuring than I can say to see someone else display visible emotion at the written word! Since I’d been distracted I then looked up at the man across from me and saw that he too was glued to the page with a look of distress on his face (although he was reading the non-fiction book, Guns. Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond so whether his distress was emotional or theoretical I couldn’t say).

As I say it’s the first time I’ve seen emotion from other readers on the Underground and it made me feel much better about my obviousness. Would it be too much of a terrible pun if I described myself as an open book in this scenario?! But it made me wonder, maybe my thoughts aren’t as obvious as I thought? And maybe I’m not the only one who’s so transparent after all? Which are comforting thoughts, I always wondered if maybe other Underground-readers don’t get as much out of their books as I do which would be a sad thing indeed.

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6 responses to “Emotion on the tube

  1. I feel the same way. I commute every day and always read while on the tube. I find myself getting emotionally involved in my books, sometimes chuckling to myself or gasping when something happens. Don’t worry. You’re not alone. 🙂

    • That’s good to know! I’m usually too involved in my book to really care about what I look like or what anyone else is doing but it can be embarassing when I laugh or gasp audibly :s

  2. I’m terribly transparent when I watch films and TV too. Once my friends took a picture of me while I was watching my favourite show Buffy the Vampire Slayer and when I saw it I couldn’t stop laughing. 😛 I often react emotionally to books I read but I’ve never thought about all the emotional expressions I may be making….uh oh! LOL.

    • Oh no, I’m glad no one’s ever done that to me!! It’s only occasionally that it occurs to me that I’m pulling faces and it’s a big relief to hear that I’m not the only one!

  3. If I had a pound for every time I burst into fits of giggles or had a tear in my eye when reading in public I’d be rich by now so don’t worry! I fthings are going really badly for a character that I have a soft spot for I also have a tendency to snap that book shut and take a deep breath to prepare myself for the worse. Don’t think I’ve done that in front of other people yet though.

    • Haha I think I’d be rolling in it as well! I occasionally have to use the shutting the book technique as well but usually if a character’s really annoying me or done something really stupid. I used it a LOT when I was reading Love in the Time of Cholera because the main character was unbearable!!

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