I'm always fascinated to look at what people are reading; I commute to work by bicycle, so there's not much opportunity to spy books on the way. I do tend to look at what people are reading in the tea room at work. The majority of my colleagues don't tend to read on their breaks, preferring to catch up with others, or sit quietly staring into their cups of tea or pasta salad. But quite a few people do get their books out and I thought it was worth recording the books that I saw yesterday, as I was impressed by the range of things that I spotted.
Some of you may know that Simon of Stuck in a Book fame helps out my department on a regular basis; yesterday he sat down next to me with one of my favourite Elizabeth von Arnims - Christopher and Columbus. It reminded me that I have two of her lesser known books on loan from the library to read.
Another colleague was seen in the corner laughing to himself; he had a volume of Maureen Lipman. I remembered my Mum laughing loudly when she read her way through the Maureen Lipman books.
One of the porters was reading Elizabeth Gilbert's Pilgrims. That made me think that I must be one of the last people in the world who have not read Eat Pray Love. It also made me think that I very rarely see anything terribly mainstream in the tearoom - no-one is reading One Day, which everyone else seems to be reading at the moment, for example.
Another colleague has a Kindle, so it can be impossible to tell what she is reading. She was reading the newspaper yesterday, but was keen to tell Mr Stuck in a Book and I that she had finished reading War and Peace over the weekend.
And what was I reading? Nothing terribly literary I'm afraid, yet another Maeve Binchy that I hadn't read - Whitehorn Woods, in hardback. Which is a pretty silly choice really since I now cycle 4.3 miles to and from work, I should probably be reading only paperbacks.
Mazo de la Roche’s Whiteoak Brothers (1954)
1 hour ago