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Travelling reading rooms

Beers and Czechs go together like bread and butter. So people told me. It is not unusual, as Tom Jones would put it, to see people have beer during lunch on a working day, in the cinema, while waiting on a tram or even on a tram. Hell, even I helped myself to a portion of liquid bread on a tram once, just for the sake of experience.

After living in Prague for a while and using its public transport (PT), I have noticed something else - people tend to pass their time in different and sometimes interesting ways. Most of them are either giving windows the thousand-yard stare or hunt for Pokemon with their phones. There is, however, another kind of passengers. Not as high in numbers as the two mentioned before, but definitely more numerous than the beer-drinking kind. And no less dedicated.

What I would like to highlight is reading books. I don’t know, maybe I just haven’t been as observant in the past, but I don’t recall seeing so many people pass their time with books while on or waiting for a tram, bus or subway. Every time I use PT I spot at least one reader. I might have even developed an interesting hobby - counting readers on public transport.

Yet nobody speaks of that when you ask what Praguers are like. Beer drinking and grumpiness still hold first place. Maybe, or most probably, it is because people tend to remember “bad” things more than the “good” ones. In case you think I’m making this up, look for Negativity Bias on your preferable searching engine.

Hmm. Anyhow, I guess it is only fair to add passionate readers to the title passionate beer drinkers - at least to inhabitants of Prague. Let’s wrap it up with a suggestion. Why not consider giving your phone a rest next time you use PT and switch to a book? It’ll do your brain good.