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06/19/2013 08:56 am ET Updated Aug 19, 2013

Marathon Reading Masochism | New Republic

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When I stopped by the Gertrude Stein reading on Saturday afternoon, there had been two urns of glistening pink borscht for a sturdy crowd that even included a couple families. Now, at 3:50 a.m. on Sunday morning, there was coffee for just a half dozen stragglers. One woman rubbed her eyes behind her glasses and ate crackers from a plastic bag. In the front row, a man snored. Two women had been reading aloud for an hour. As they continued, the snoring from the front row grew louder. "Wake up," said one of readers, taking a break from the text. The man did not comply.

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