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501 Books

24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year someone is nose deep in a novel on my streetcar. Here in Toronto the 501 Queen Streetcar is more my home than anywhere else. It gets me everywhere I love to go, and being an avid passenger, I always enter book in hand.

I share with you that to share with you this… the books I’ve loved on the 501. My librarian’s quest began with a third reading of the sci-fi classic Dune. However, due to the charity of friends I’ve been blessed to enjoy greats like Snuff and Water for Elephants as well. The first came with the constant need to cross my legs, while the second travelled to the other side of my emotional globe, leading me to tears.

I also founded Follett for myself, and was blessed by his brilliance. Pillars of the Earth became a saving grace, and Fall of Giants entered me into a trilogy I’m scared will one day end. Recently, a bookish babe led me to titles further outside my sci-fi origins. The first was The Handmaids Tale, and my god was it intense! The woman in the lead directed me through the female mind with offsetting ease. The second I continue to enjoy, “Love in a Time of Cholera.” Author Marquez certainly earned his Pulitzer in strides with this book. My only squabble is that I wish I read Spanish, so I could appreciate it in its native prose :)

Tomorrow morning I’ll step back up those steps and walk right to the rear. I’ll open my book, peruse its pages, and tweet how it affected me. To the authors and the streetcar drivers; the friends with recommendations and the highly acclaimed titles above, Thank you.



  • Anonymous

    Nothing more sacred to me than reading.  Horror, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Fiction, War, etc etc.  The first has traditionally been my favorite but more and more these days its Sci-Fi.  Currently reading Dune Messiah and dare I say it I’m enjoying it as much as the first!

    While I don’t read on the 501 with my now longer commute to my new job coming up dare I say I’ll be reading even more.

    Thanks for the reminder that transit physically is akin to transit mentally.


    • Anonymous

       Very well said. There is a special something about public transport and reading. I enjoy it so much I try to never go anywhere without a book in hand. I am leaning on Song of Fire & Ice next. Unless you got any of your must reads from your personal collection. Speaking of our personal favs, JLB just finished Ender’s Game… and obviously LOVED IT!

      • Anonymous

        House of Leaves
        check it at chapters.  one of the most creative “horror” concepts as well as book designs.  includes pages that must be read in a mirror and spiral text pages that need you to spinl the book to read.

      • Anonymous
      • Anonymous

         I read it in my single years when I moved to the city about a decade ago.  Sharlene bought it for me a couple years ago and re-read it then.

        Again, very interesting book.  No real typical “horror” elements but very ominous.

      • KWgirl

        LOVED Enders Game…seriously how did I miss reading it when you were younger? I haven’t thought about The Handmaid’s Tale in years! So are you going to be a die hard “actual” book reader or get an 
        e-reader? Your dad LOVES his Nook and I know Rachel is a fan of her Sony e-reader.

      • Anonymous

        I feel I’ll eventually cave and buy an e-reader. I’ve just still got a passion for building my library. I’d liked to have the depths dad has in his, and the variety only I can bring to my own.  

  • Anonymous

     Great post, and great blog idea! I love reading and losing myself in places, especially as I’m traveling. Since moving over here and being without a car, I depend on buses and taxis and usually being somewhere that I don’t know very well, so the presence of a book as my traveling companion is comforting. I’ve also become an e-book convert, with my Kindle always in my bag, ready and waiting with its library full of goodness for me to choose and read.

    And I totally think you should go with Ice and Fire next. It’s huge, it’s meaty, and just on the level of form, the way the chapters and stories are set up is (I think) incredibly unique. And it’ll likely keep you busy for at least part of the time after this season wraps, while waiting for season two to start up. 

    • Anonymous

      Ya I am going with John’s pick “House of Leaves first.” Then 100 percent Fire & Ice. Have you started Game of Thrones yet? Literally best show ever. WOW! Also, let me know about pieces when you get to part two. 

  • Anonymous

     I love reading on the subway or bus. It’s one of the most relaxing things in the world. I used to study that way in university. I’d hop on the bus and ride the same route a few times. Great post on such a simple daily event. 

    • Anonymous

      Thanks buddy. I was so bummed about my days off of blogging, I was struggling to find a topic while reading on the streetcar, and then it all became clear. I looked around and everyone was reading. BTW I got the FUNNIEST streetcar story I have to share with you guys!  

  • Chris Elliott

    Dude, What an awesome way to describe your love for literature. This is really cool. Who knows, if I ever move downtown, and start taking public transit, I might start reading again too. Perhaps a long shot. 

    • Anonymous

      If you read any book…. grab Ender’s Game. No man is capable of putting that book down. It’s short, easy to read, and helps the weakest among us to find strength in the battles beyond us.

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