July 10, 2012

A commuters book club, at last!


Seattle, long recognized as one of the most literate cities in the US, is living up to its reputation. The city now has a bus-riders book club.

Books on the Bus is a new program started by the non-profit mass transit advocacy group, Transportation Choices Coalition. Every three months they will highlight a new book for transit riders to share and discuss.

“…one of the biggest perks of riding the bus, or any form of transit, is the freedom to relax and read a book while on your way to work or school. So it makes sense that there is now a book club for Seattle-area bus riders, too,” according to the book blog at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

“The goal is to strengthen what are already unique benefits about transit — the mobile, diverse community it creates and the incidental and sometimes meaningful interactions that happen between people who might never otherwise see each other,” Carla Saulter, book club organizer and membership manager for Transportation Choices Coalition, told the P-I. (Saulter, is known as the “Bus Chick” — the name of her popular blog about life on the bus.)

The emphasis will be on Pacific Northwest writers. And the first selection is Hotel Angeline: A Novel in 36 Voices, a project of the Seattle7Writers group, that was written live on-stage as part of a week-long collaboration among 36 Pacific Northwest authors.

Transportation Choices will host an event to celebrate and talk about each book selection at the end of the three month reading period. But their greater hope is that commuters will just strike up conversations on the bus or waiting at a stop.

Come on Straphangers Association, New York could do this, easy!


Valerie Merians is the co-founder and co-publisher of Melville House.