In City Reading, Devid Henkin writes about how the antebellum New York population was brought together by reading in public. For city dwellers, the common texts were commercial signage, newspapers, and handbills.
Nowadays, like it or not, i(maxi)pads are comin', and reading in public might never be the same. Remember those tablet screen thingamajigs used in avatar to map out patient's brain activity? Well now we have those, and we can watch all the Avatar we want on them. Even if you've got the Avatar blues, you could buy up a bunch of ipads and line all of the walls in your bedroom with various Pandora scenes on continuous loop. Unlike Sully, we don't need to lay in an incubation chamber in order to be transported into a new world; apple's incubation chambers have transported the new world to us. My Q is whether that's one we want to be a part of... and with all of these technological interfaces seeping into libraries, schools and shopping malls, how do we read public space now?