The Most Awkward Books To Read on The Subway


One of the many reasons New York is perf for bookworms is mass transit: You can read during your commute!

If you have ever been on a subway or bus during rush hour, you will have noticed how close the transit quarters are and how tempting easy it is to eye other peoples’ books and periodicals — and vice versa.

Obviously, literary creeping creates conundrums: You probably don’t want to look over at some dude’s Newsweek only to find that the cover conceals an IRL Flesh World. You probably also don’t want to be that guy who’s, yannow, checking out porn on a packed train. (Seriously, dude: Take your hand out of your pocket already. We know you haven’t been checking for your keys for the past hour, OK?)

While certain mags should clearly be kept away from the commute, some meatier works might also fit that bill. Here are the most awkward books to read on the subway.

In no particular order…

Natural Harvest – A Collection of Semen-Based Recipes, Fotie Photenhauer

Nothing weird with openly learning about flan! Who doesn’t like a good custard? Of course, this is true unless said custard is made of cum.

Mein Kampf, Adolf Hitler

Failed artist as autobiographer isn’t anything new, but read outside the right context, this story will raise a few eyebrows and not in the good, meaningful, conversation-generating way but in the bad, what-the-fuck way.

Manson in His Own Words: The Shocking Confessions of ‘The Most Dangerous Man Alive,’ Charles Manson, Nuel Emmons

Only one psycho killer makes for apropos entertainment when you’re jammed against a bunch of other people, and it’s a Talking Heads song.

Women, Charles Bukowski

Ever wonder: How many times can an unlovable protagonist use the word “cunt” to describe his doting romantic interests? Well, here’s the answer to that question.

Chlamydia: Learn About Symptoms, Treatment, Prevention, and More,
Carol Langhart

You’ve surely heard about those serendipitous subway meetings, when total strangers strike up a conversation and wind up being soulmates? Want to guarantee this conversation will never, ever take place? Then check out this handy guide to the clam!

Fifty Shades of Grey, E.L. James

As a general rule, we recommend against publicly perusing any media that might make your nipples hard enough to cut glass. New York is a city of windows — mirrored ones at that! You need to be careful.