"Nobody's going to read that"

I went out for dinner last night with my sister and Justin (for Korean food!), after hitting B&H Photo as a voluntary errand-boy for Jim and Dave (for our trip next week). Justin caused a little bit of a stir among the book club community with the following quote in the New York Times (Sparknotes was on the front page on June 19, but NYTimes.com is charging money for it, so I can't read it):

"Nobody's going to read that 500-page John Adams book, but people still want to know what they missed and what they should retain."

JUSTIN KESTLER, of SparkNotes, on study guides for contemporary books. [A1]

Published: 06 - 19 - 2002 , Late Edition - Final , Section A , Column 6 , Page 2

A reply, four days later:

For the True Reader, No Shortcuts

To the Editor:

In ''Book-Club Smarts in a Nutshell: Get Notes'' (front page, June 19), Justin Kestler, the editorial director for SparkNotes, is quoted as saying, ''Nobody's going to read that 500-page John Adams book.''

I've got news for him. I nominated ''John Adams'' for my next book club meeting, and the members voted for it. I've taken it out of the library and intend to read every word.

ALICE E. BISK
Far Rockaway, Queens
June 19, 2002

Published: 06 - 23 - 2002 , Late Edition - Final , Section 4 , Column 5 , Page 12

Did anyone out there catch him on TV? He was on CNN and stuff. If I had known, I would have tried to get a recording of it.

I was on a half-full train a few days ago (heading home, bleary-eyed), and at a random stop in the middle of the line, everyone stood up and disembarked, leaving me alone in a deserted station on an empty train. It was a little surreal.