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#33 - JRL 2007-75 - JRL Home
From: "Mark Ivanovich Titov" <titov_mark_ivanovich@hotmail.com>
Subject: Response to Robert Bridge: Sorry you missed the funeral.../ JRL#74 [re: book reading]
Date: Wed, 28 Mar 2007

Dear Mr. Bridge:

If anything, the Abdullaev piece understates the matter. While your daughter's school reading list makes for a nice anecdote, I urge you to expand your horizons to a larger, universally accessible and far more indicative index of Russian reading/not reading: the subway car. In 1968, 1978 and 1988, at least every other seated passenger in the metro was reading something, and a high percentage of it was between hard covers (and often disguised behind homemade brown paper jackets). This was clearly gone with the wind by 1998, and will be even goner by 2008.

Yesterday I was stunned to see three of the six people on the bench across from me reading something-- a sight I couldn't recall seeing in years. Anecdotal? You bet. But ask your in-laws (or somebody) about the old days in the metro, then go take a look for yourself.

Yours,
"M. I. Titov"
Moscow