The Modern
Issue Photo Essay


A Storied Commute

A contemplation of the stories we tell ourselves and others while unplugged on our daily commutes.

On subways, park benches, airplanes and public libraries, we are ceaselessly curious about what others are reading, as if their book selection holds the secrets, the language we have been searching for to make sense of our own lives, the trials and banal miseries or triumphs we parse through on a daily basis. When I recognize a book that I have read and cherished, my initial response is to reach out, acknowledge the special transformation that can occur when a book resonates with a reader. Yet I am also tentative to intrude on the deeply personal process of reading—we can never anticipate which stories will shape the stories we tell about ourselves and those we meet.

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