Have New Yorkers Supplanted Novels With Technology?

by COLLEEN KROPP · July 10, 2008

 Admittedly, and unashamedly, I use my iPod just as much as the next person, especially during my daily commute to and from the workplace and nearly anytime a bus or subway is part of the routine. While listening to the various conversations we pass through on any given day can provide entertainment and subjects sometimes worth mulling over, ultimately we choose to withdraw into our own little microcosm of musical and literary personal interest.

While I, along with many, like to couple the use of the ipod with the choice selection of a novel or newspaper section, my headphones happened to die on me just yesterday (yeah, my gym routine was gravely altered).

However, riding the crosstown bus, just my novel and I sans soundtrack, I was given the opportunity to overhear a conversation between an older couple, the wife lamenting the fact that she hardly sees those on public transportation taking advantage of the allotted travel time to read. Perhaps this cursory observation has much to do with the rampant increase of technology over the past decade and the older generation being more or less unable to acclimate.

Regardless, taking my own quick inventory of my accompanying M86 riders, I could see why aforementioned woman made the statement that she did. In the sea of ipods and mp3 players, spotting a open novel in the hands of one of my fellow New Yorkers wasn't an obvious task. However, I refuse to remain daunted – I do believe that electronics and the novel can have a symbiotic relationship, and the cynicism of the older generation towards technology need not be the case…