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13 Types of Readers You’ll
Encounter on Public Transit
Many individuals are readers in their own capacity. These are some types you see commuting on public transit.
There’s nothing quite like being cramped in overcrowded public transportation and still getting your reading game on. Here are 13 types of people (readers) you’ll come across while commuting on buses, subways, or trains. I can assure you that I’ve come across at least one of each and have displayed characteristics of each at some point or another.
1. The Tech Savvy:
Whether it’s the latest and greatest e-reader or simply a swipe of their phone, these readers live the mantra of accessibility. Sure they may be owners of physical books at home but when they’re on the go, you can bet your updates that they’re all about compact functionality. If you look closely enough, you just might see one sniffing some static.
2. The Illusionist:
In most cases, you won’t know they’re listening to music or an audiobook but a telltale sign is if they scramble to pause when interrupted. If you decide to test this theory out, be wary of the battles you pick.
3. The Silent Judge:
You won’t know what these individuals are thinking as they internalize everything but they’ll most likely forget the snap judgments being made once they find a new prey. Unless of course they’re familiar with the title you’re reading or if the book cover is provocative.
4. The Critic:
These mighty individuals know everything and everything; reinforcing their opinions with eloquence, snark, and conviction. You, as their good friend, have learned to not take what they say to heart but everyone else might think otherwise.
5. The Walking Spoiler:
Tumblr, meet your greatest rival. These are individuals who theorize all things books or television. They’re often just having a great time with their buds, but to everyone else, they’re probably worse than The Critic.
6. The Tome Traveller:
These warriors are either stuffing information into their brains from textbooks, getting swole off using books as weights, or are simply trying to save the world in the behemoth-sized reads. Some might say, “No page too much, no journey too far” or maybe they’re just cramming for an exam.
7. The Everything Reader:
These individuals have seriously mastered the art of sensory Zen. Whether they’re sitting or standing, you’ll see these readers with a book, music, and some form of sustenance…all at the same time.
8. The New Best Friend:
They’re the friendly folk striking up conversations on what you’re reading (or what they’re reading). Both of you might not understand what the other is reading…but books!
9. The Buddy Reader:
Much like The New Best Friend, sometimes they’re nice enough to not bother while you’re slaying mythical creatures or finding Mr. Right—but they’re equally curious—so they read along over your shoulder or through peripheral vision eye-stretching.
10. The Aisle Hog:
Whether they’re pole leaners or straphangers, these readers are natural obstructions and limit the options of feeling safe on a moving locomotive. A kind interjection is often enough for them to move. If not, you’re more than welcome to turn the knob a few clicks toward anger.
11. The Lost Captain:
These journeymen grab hold of information from travel guides and maps and are seekers of extravagance and history as they venture in and out of wanderlust. As tourists, they might not know which direction to head. Better err on the side of the truth than to lead them North when they need to head South.
12. The Well Intentioned:
Part hero, part socialite, but mostly distracted; these individuals have great intentions to read—often having an open book in hand—but end up succumbing to the flashing notifications of a new message on their gadgets. These distractions are internal to the reader as they have the choice of putting down their tech.
13. The Perpetual Eavesdropper:
Similar to the Well-Intentioned, these are individuals who thrive when hearing the most pointless drama. It’s not like you want to listen either…some people are just loud talkers. These readers might look like they’re reading but they all have a tell—the average reader takes 2-4 minutes before flipping the page. If they aren’t doing so, then they’re probably stuck re-reading the same line and paragraph over and over and over again. Such distractions are external to the reader.
Which do you identify with? Perhaps you’re a combination of many!
What types of readers do you come across on your travels?
Am I missing some? Let me know!
As always, think aloud.
I wrote this discussion with every commuter in mind. This post has been beta read by Joséphine @ Word Revel.