Released on April 26, “Hot Dudes Reading” (HDR) is the book culmination of the wildly popular Instagram of the same name. The account, created in early 2015, has over 841,000 followers as the project of a handful of self-described “close-knit friends/marginally functional young professionals in New York City.” Posts on the page feature men, who the posters have judged to be hot, reading while on the subway, typically in New York City. The posts are accompanied by sarcastic innuendo and pun-filled captions, and the book is no different. For any fan of the Instagram—or any fan of literate men—this is the perfect read.
The book is divided into chapters corresponding with the New York subway line—or nearest line—where the pictures were taken. Posts originally on the Instagram are featured in two page spreads with the actual photograph on one side and the hysterical caption on the other. Captions range from riffing on what the man in question is wearing to what he’s reading to anything else the author so fancies, but all end with a suggestive hashtag cherry on top.
An addition to the book that is not included on the Instagram feed are interviews with previous subjects of posts. Subjects are quizzed on their favorite books, preferences for soft or hardcover, their reaction to finding out they were featured on @hotdudesreading, whether or not they’ve gotten more dates because of it and, of course, whether or not Hot Dudes Reading is doing God’s work. The reactions range from incredulous to thrilled, but all of them agree that HDR is, in fact, doing God’s work.
The actual authors behind HDR are concealed throughout the book, without even a reference to their gender(s), but that keeps the magic alive. After all, not knowing who they are or when they will strike gives the subjects an aura of mystery. The majority of HDR’s photos are taken without the subject’s knowledge—except for the last one, wherein the person behind the iPhone camera is caught by a brunette bookworm on the N train.
Available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and your favorite indie bookstore, “Hot Dudes Reading” is the perfect addition to any millennial’s coffee table. Besides Instagram, Hot Dudes Reading can be found at their eponymous website.