The first time I visited Dan in Baltimore, the town motto emblazoned on benches was “The City That Reads”. The last time I was there, the motto had been changed to the more bomabastic “The Greatest City In America” because, apparently, people were making fun of the old motto.

Comment withheld.

Anyway, that leaves the old motto up for grabs and I’d like to nominate Brighton & Hove as the perfect successor for that mantle.

Yesterday evening, I ordered a taxi to take myself, my bandmates and our equipment to the venue for our concert. I was sitting in the front of the taxi where the driver had his copy of The World According To Garp on the dashboard. He was reading it in the quiet moments between rides.

When we got to the venue, we began setting up our equipment for the soundcheck. While we doing this, the girl behind the bar spent the whole time with her head down, engrossed in reading a book. In fact, even after the doors opened and the room filled up, this was how she spent most of the evening. She never put the book down once so I never even had the chance to see what the title was.

So there you have it. It seems to me that every person involved in any kind of service industry in Brighton & Hove is reading incessantly.

I will offer one piece of advice to any Brightonians trying to decide what book to read next: do not judge this book by its cover.

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Previously on this day

17 years ago I wrote Cthuugle Ph'nglui Search Fhtagn!

A search engine for all things Lovecraftian.