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Embarrassing reading materials

I often see CTA passengers blithely reading books or magazines that I would consider embarrassing and wonder why.

Why, for instance, would you advertise to the whole world that you're a loser by merrily clutching the book "Why Your Life Sucks"? Note in this case I say that the man in his early 40s is clutching, not reading. Perhaps if he were reading it he could understand better and do something about it. But hey, admitting your problem is the first step, right?

A few years back I also saw a 20-something guy furtively reading Penthouse magazine in the single seat at the rear of the train car by the door. Too creepy.


Maybe they don't care what you think?

tell me you did not just judge a book by it's cover.

way to go.

last month a woman sat down next to me with all her closing papers for her house... stupid cause the papers were soo big they were in front of my face. So she basically put directly in front of my face all her personal info, down to her SSN. I know she was probably excited to own property, but have some common sense. Don't flash confidential documents in front of people's faces on trains or buses.

No, no. The title of the book is "Why YOUR Life Sucks."

I saw a younger man heading out to O'Hare one day on the blue line, he was in his work cloths, Avis Rent-a-Car or something, and he was reading High Times. Great advertisement what ever company he worked for!

It boils down to whether the CTA is public or private space. Although it is public space, it's treated by most people as private space. Thus the eating and the reading of material with embarrassing titles.

Two nights ago on a Red Line at rush hour a woman got on at Lake and proceeded to whip out her bank statement and checkbook and then balance her account while riding next to me. I learned that her take home pay is $1,900 two times a month. Thanks for sharing!

Patrick -- I'm not surprised by someone balancing their checkbook on the train; I'm surprised she was able to hold the pen stably enough to have legible writing when she got home!

People have a million reasons for reading what they read: be more informed, be entertained, get it done for a class assignment, follow up on a friend's recommendation, whatever. I don't think anyone needs to be embarrassed by someone else seeing what they read and blogging about it.

I've grown up with a terrible habit of worrying about what others think. Fortunately, I don't care what they think about what I'm reading, and I'm not about to start. :)

Most interesting to me was the beautiful African lady in traditional dress, including wonderful headwear in bright colors, reading...would you guess it?...a volume of the Roman Catholic Liturgy of the Hours. Praying the breviary on the L! Imagine that.

So you never know, and you never know why. I'm just glad lots of people still read.

There was a guy reading Maxim on my Brown Line train on the parallel seats right by the doors.

You go, Maxim man.

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