Some people check out books. Other people check out dudes. Some people do both. Created at the beginning of February 2015, the Instagram account @hotdudesreading has already garnered more than 366,000 followers. In an increasingly technology-driven world, @hotdudesreading takes the path less traveled. It’s the fine fellows with paperbacks, not the e-readers, that get ahead.
I spoke with the creators of the popular account. They prefer to remain anonymous, but disclosed that they are “a very close-knit group of 20- and 30-something male & female New Yorkers.”
When did you get the idea for the account?
We’ve always chatted about falling in love on our subway commutes and organically began sending these pictures to one another. We noticed the hottest dudes always had books in their hands, so jokingly one of us mentioned we should make an Instagram about it. The account was started on a lark as something to do on a snowy day, and now here we are.
What kind of dude/book typically catches your eye?
We love all of our dudes. Every contributor has different tastes and personal favorites, but it’s usually the book choice that pushes us all over the edge.
Why do you think this account resonates with so many people?
The response has been overwhelming, and we’re truly humbled by it. We think that in an age where everyone seems to be constantly staring at their phones (ironic, we know), it’s refreshing to see someone reading the good old fashioned way. Also, we think we’ve hit on a pretty common human experience: wondering about that sexy stranger we spot in public. We’re having fun with that idea, which is why we think the response has been positive. It’s a fun part of our commute, and we’re happy to share that with the rest of the world.
Have you ever started a conversation with one of these dudes? Or been caught taking a photo?
Yes, we have, and one person may have gotten a date out of it, too.
Since the account blew up, how has this changed your approach to photographing people? Do you shoot with an audience in mind now?
It hasn’t changed our approach at all — we shoot with our own iPhones and our own tastes in mind. This account isn’t built for glamour. We’re committed to being authentic.
Did you take these photos during your daily commute, or do you take the subway specially to take photos now?
We take the photos on our normal daily commutes, but we’ve definitely found ourselves taking the scenic route more often these days.
What are you reading right now? (I’m currently reading Geek Love and Bad Feminist)
Right now we’re reading The Girl on the Train. Timely, right?
All photos courtesy of @hotdudesreading
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