The Power Broker is a brilliant masterpiece detailing the rise to power of incredibly influential New Yorker Robert Moses. It is also 1161-pages long, not including an 85-page notes section or the index. It does not fit easily into backpacks or handbags, and if it does, it’s sure to give you back problems. It’s not available on Nook nor Kindle, despite clearly indicated interest for it on Goodreads.
Robert Caro’s own website describes the book as “monumental,” and “multidimensional,” words both clearly in testament to its massive size.
Thus, suffering from excruciating back pain in the name of reading the Power Broker on a subway commute has become something of a hazing ritual among true, diehard New Yorkers. Read the Power Broker on the subway and you will look up to silent nods of approval from your fellow straphangers. The Statue of Liberty will smile at you from afar, and your MTA karma points will forever increase by 7.9 percent. While you limp, hunched over from the book’s weight, to your job, try and use some of your remaining strength to look up and notice that pedestrians are applauding you, cars slowing to laugh and honk approvingly of you and your valiant effort to read this large book not from the comfort of your home but on public transit and the city streets.
Not all of us are professional wrestlers, however, and thus for some, the weight of the book is simply not worth the convenience of being able to read it on the train. So, in the case that you are not a professional wrestler, please enjoy the following five neat-o tips for consuming the Power Broker with your mind while avoiding debilitating upper back soreness (or lower back, in the case you have found a fannypack large enough to schlep the Power Broker around in):
1. Cut the Power Broker into fifths and individually rebind each fifth as a new copy.
2. Treat it like a day-to-day calendar and rip out a page to read every morning. Bring it home at night and rebind the book when you’re done.
3. Scan each page of the book and reprint it on Bible-thin pages, possibly across two copies. This is an undertaking, but it will save you much backache.
4. Befriend the MTA and stow a copy in the front booth of a train which you then commit to timing your commute to take every single morning and night.
5. Pay Robert Caro to be your own personal audiobook and follow you around with a copy and read you the Power Broker whenever you get on the subway.
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