Inside the Parisian metro coach

“There comes a day when you realise turning the page is the best feeling in the world because you realise there was so much more to the book than the page you were stuck on.” – Zayn Malik.

One of my favourite scenes I encounter daily, is where people holding books to read in the metro. They stimulate me to read, so I always bring my Kobo E-reader everywhere everyday even though there are some days my Kobo only stays in the darkness inside my bag. I wonder what the essence is that amazes me of them reading. Maybe it’s because I haven’t seen such many people collectively read books on a public transportation. Maybe it’s because I fall into a certain prejudice thinking that book is more sophisticated than electronics (well, but I find myself still amazed by some youngsters reading pdfs or notes projected on phone screen as well). Maybe it’s because the Parisian people are just beautiful regardless of their attractive act of reading.

It’s quite ironic to say that I’ve witnessed more people reading books in the metro than in the faculty libraries. In these libraries, student read scientific articles via their computer screens. On the other hand, in the metro passengers read romantic and philosophic paragraphs to take advantage of their short routine in transportation. I believe this precise timeline gives them a sort of concentration and spark of what they are reading. In the metro people read to learn, in the library student read only to prepare the qualification. This reversed dichotomy fascinates me.

Yesterday I went to see a theatre called ‘the Empire of Light’ of which story is based on a Korean novel then developed to play by a French director. As all other French theatre I’ve been, the full nudity was an unforgettable part of the play, which I was a bit surprised to see to be played by Korean actors. The story was interesting since it had several layers happening one day, and the scene projection was something I’d never seen before. The two big walls that were set as a background of the play performed as a movie screen, supporting the play to be multi-local and multi-dimensional in the same timeline. The other plays I’d seen rather brought the articles to the scene changing the location of furniture or background wall, but this performance maintained its stage settled; its table, sofa and two big walls stayed where they were located from the beginning, yet the whole scene was moving from streets of full of neon signs to a calmly occupied office, to a melancholic inside house, and to a playground where conversation of love and expectation got accelerated.

I was intrigued about the whole story so I tried to find the based novel in e-book form. I couldn’t find the book with its original language but managed to find it in English and French, then I fed my Kobo with these e-books. Kobo is one of best gifts I’ve ever had. I only was jealousy when there was a guy in metro holding a bigger screen Kobo reading a book with it. That moment I realised that the bigger screen matters in case of E-reader, for it gives a better sense of paragraph structure and volume, which is the very strength of paper copies that gives a better readability. But my satisfaction with my Kobo records high, and I’m becoming a part of this metro reading scene. The stories I’m intrigued to imagine in my head happen in the metro, with the faces of strangers hopping in and out the metro coaches.

Yet the precise timeline in metro is quite short for me to fall into these stories and get interrupted quite often whenever I realised that I passed one or two stations. It takes for me around 25 minutes in metro to arrive to the faculty library. When I miss to hop out from the coach, it extends to 30-35 minutes wondering in platform directing to opposite direction. Getting lost is not a bad feeling at all, especially when heading to library where one doesn’t read intensely as in metro. I find myself sometimes lost in reading, but this never happened in library where it supposes to happen. Those moments of sticking on the page rather missing my stations make me agree surely with what Malik mentioned; there is so much to the book. My Kobo will keep being fed, and I’ll be missing more metro stations.

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