The Girl on the Bus


It’s something of a cliché that many of us have heard in the past:

An author is sitting on a bus about to embark on another exciting journey.  The vehicle is filling up and, as the author looks around, he spots someone reading a book – it looks somewhat familiar; in fact it’s one of the author’s books.

Low and behold, the same thing happened to me last week. Okay, so the chances of someone reading my book on a bus going from Dublin to Cavan might be a lot higher than if I was catching a one-way flight to Zaire … but it was still pretty cool.

People were still taking their places on the bus as I reached into my bag for my copy of The Shadow of the Wind – a book I had started reading the previous evening and which, so far, is one of the most gripping and enchanting stories I’ve ever read. Of course, given that thousands of people worldwide  have already read it and can back me up on same, that’s hardly breaking news.

Anyway, as I cast my eye around my immediate surroundings, I spotted a girl, two rows up and across the aisle, holding a copy of the one and only Lord of the Rams. It appeared that she had just begun reading it or, at best, was a few pages into it.

Unfortunately, someone choose to sit beside the girl – thus impeding my view and any chance I might have had of assessing whether she was enjoying the book.

Over the course of the next two hours, I couldn’t help myself from continuously looking over at the girl to see how she was progressing through the book. Although I could no longer see her face, I could see the book in her hands and could therefore see that she was making good headway. I felt like some sort of voyeur but, in true voyeur fashion, found it hard to resist sneaking a peak several times throughout the duration of the journey.

By the time the lady in question disembarked from the bus, she had read a sizable chunk of my book and I was still none the wiser as to what she thought of it. Perhaps next time something like this happens, I’ll introduce myself.

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