Archive for March 16th, 2012

By Erica Misoshnik

Riding the subway can hardly be called a pleasant experience. At best, some of those dancing kids jump into your car and offer some entertainment during your commute. At worst, you have to put up with line changes, signal failures, and crowding that would make even the un-claustrophobic among us feel a little anxious.

If you’re anything like me, one of the few “cool” things about mass transit is seeing what others are reading. In fact, I often have to resist the urge to accost a total stranger and ask them what they think of the book in their hands. (It gets even more awkward when said stranger is using an e-reader and I glance over and recognize the text.) But I digress.

CoverSpy takes my (strange?) love of seeing what others are reading a step further. Formed in October 2009, this group of self proclaimed “publishing nerds” goes around the city anonymously to catalogue what New Yorkers are reading, and then posts their findings to Tumblr, and Twitter. Each post looks a little something like the image at the right (taken from the CoverSpy tumblr), though the Tweets are text only.

Now that it’s been a few years since their start, the folks behind CoverSpy are noticing over-all trends as well as smaller scale trends. For instance, did you know the book covers on the L train tend to be the “prettiest”, while the G train passengers read more of a range of books? For more trends, and some of the back-story, check out this interview with two of the CoverySpy masterminds.

Interested? Check out the links below for more:

Who knows? Maybe your cover will be spied on next…


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