Book Covers That Gave Subway Passengers Something To Mull Over On A Dull Commute

By Ragini A

Using public transport to travel is considered as a necessary if not somewhat unpleasant experience by most. The majority of commuters spend their time scrolling on their phones or buried in a good book. Next time, to make the journey more fun, lift your head up and look around to see what the people around you are carrying. Judging someone momentarily by what they are doing can make your commute a lot more tolerable and is a great way to pass the time. Pay special attention to the books people read because the kind of titles these paperbacks have these days will SHOCK you. From stories for widowed Punjabi women to novels about cartels and how to get into money laundering, we’ve compiled 40+ photos that stand as proof that the readers on the subway either need to be given an award for not caring what people think or a voucher for professional mental health. These are compiled by Subway Creatures on Instagram. 

All images courtesy of Instagram @subwaycreatures


We’re 90% sure the cover on this paperback has been stuck with tape to hide something sinister or shady. But if it were up to us, and we had to cover a book that we didn’t want people to see the title of, we would have gone with something a little more plausabile.

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Like maybe Harry Potter, or The Lord of the Rings, or anything that someone would want to read, right?! Unless Kentucky Fried Chicken has a franchise book called KFC that we don’t know about. Or, we could be entirely wrong, and this person is just being sustainable by using a KFC brown bag as a book cover! 


According to online reviews, the book is actually a fascinating read. The contents match its title, and it is a non-fiction book about the science of de-extinction. To some folk, this sounds boring, but some of us have already put this on our list! 

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Although, truth be told, if we looked around on the subway at 8 am on our way to work and saw someone reading this, we would immediately assume that this person has some evil lab like in Phineas and Ferb or Spy Kids


No, no, no. Hold your horses. Or your frogs. This book isn’t about actually eating frogs at all. It’s about productivity and procrastination, particularly regarding the things we hate to have on our plate- which is full of other chores that need to get done every single day. 

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Some of us are lowkey offended that they would try to compare horribly dull and mundane errands and tasks with frogs because they’re kind of cute, but we get it. They’re slimy and gooey-looking moss-green colored amphibians, and most people don’t want to touch them, much in the same way that we don’t want to touch our to-do lists. 


Look, if you’re talking to ghosts, whether in person or on your inappropriately on your phone, don’t tell us about it because while we won’t judge you – or at least we’ll try not to – we’re petrified. We don’t want to hear it, and we don’t want to have to start sleeping with the lights on 

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But if, for some reason, you’re out here getting ghosted by a potential tinder match, then we’re here to hear you out always! People who ghost on text and in real life are just the worst and have no respect for other peoples’ time. Don’t take it personally! 


Believe it or not, some of us love our jobs. But we get it, times are tough, and with the job market being rougher and rougher for everyone, this book actually seems like a pretty real emotion that a lot of people are feeling. 

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Bullsh*t Jobs was published in 2018 and is written by an anthropologist who believes that jobs are, essentially, meaningless! We mean, we kind of agree; who doesn’t want to do what humans did centuries ago; farm, gather, and relax around a fire in the evening? 


No kids, this book isn’t about corn or even popcorn. But it seems quite insightful! If we were reading this on the subway, we would take tips from the KFC cover guy and conceal the book’s cover just in case there were kids around. 

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Being in the entertainment industry, as has been told to us by many experienced people, has its ups and downs. Reading a book written by someone who has experience being married to a celebrity in the adult industry?? Count us in.


We think that everyone knows that money laundering is a bad thing to do and, not to forget, highly illegal. But in case some of you need reminders, this reader on the subway is doing public service! Maybe they’re undercover cops….

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According to online reviews, the book is a concise and very easy-to-understand and practical manual of sorts for people looking to learn about anti-money laundering compliances and laws. The book has proven helpful for all kinds of professionals in diverse fields. 


Oh man, we’re sitting here really nervous and hoping that this woman’s partner isn’t being manipulated by her into anything against his will because of this book. Some readers really interested in psychology and personality traits might learn something from books like these.

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But let’s all not want to learn how to manipulate people emotionally, but use it only to discover the psychology behind interacting with people more assertively and positively and making more friends! This book, in the wrong hands, could be a dangerous thing! 


When it comes to different beliefs that we or people we know don’t believe in, we’re quick to dismiss them entirely. A few of these are Satanism and Scientology as well. Tom Cruise is a follower of the latter! So why is this book so strange to be reading? 

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Well, for anyone only vaguely familiar with the Bible and what it stands for, finding the words Satan and Bible in the same sentence feels like an oxymoron. However, the book is known to be a collection of brilliant and insightful essays about observations and should be read by those tolerant of different belief systems. 


We’re in love with the cover; it’s so pretty! Pretty sure the woman reading the book on the subway is either trying to write a story based in the state of Minnesota, or she’s moving there for a cool work or love opportunity! Yes, we do love to speculate a little!

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The reviews online say that the book is a beneficial compilation on how to merge in with the locals in the state, and fit right in, particularly with stereotypical speech and mannerisms. The best part? There’s a musical version of it too! 

Baby Gremlins

Don’t you just hate it when you get a new baby Gremlin, and you have to go through the work of training it? It is such a chore, right? It is much easier to take it to professional Gremlin trainers.

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Okay, it turns out that the Gremlins talked about in this book represent the negative voice in your head and not fictional creatures. Though, it is much more fun to imagine a world where Gremlin owners are trying desperately to gain control of the rambunctious creatures. 


Sometimes life is too good. You love your job too much, your partner is too perfect, and you have too much disposable income. The best thing to do in those instances is to figure out how to make yourself a little bit more miserable. After all, life is about balance. 

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One reviewer did not like the novel. He wrote that it seemed that the authors were miserable themselves. Sounds like a success in our book! Isn’t that the whole point of the book? Some people are just hard to please.


Some of us have read this book! It’s a memoir by this lassy who has perfected the art of vacationing and working as a woman in her thirties! We hope the person reading this on the subway doesn’t cry when they reach their tedious desk job. 

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Essentially, it’s the modern-day Eat, Pray, Love, and if you’re looking for a book to inspire change in you and your life, pick it up and read it. Just try not to quit your job; those are kind of hard to come by nowadays. 


The catchphrase of this book called Babies are not Pizza meaning “they’re born, not delivered”! It took us a solid 10 minutes to recover from that joke. It was so bad, it was good. But in all honesty, the book appears to make sense. 

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Almost like a documentary, the book uncovers the harsh realities of commercialized hospitals that abide by ancient policies, some that can harm the mother-to-be and the newly born child. If we saw the book cover on the subway though, we would still giggle. And then order pizza.


Imagine reading something about a train wreck…on a subway… early in the morning. If we saw this while on our way to work, we would have That’s so Raven type anxiety and just hope that we reach our destination safe and sound and in one piece. 

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This lady seems interested in morbid curiosities and the human psyche. Otherwise, she wouldn’t be reading the book that inspires findings from science about why we humans can’t look away when something bad happens in public. We guess this is what it’s like being human, huh? 


Being a fan of great satire and comedy writing, we’re really excited to give this book a read. We’re going to go out on a limb and assume that the woman reading this was laughing or giggling her butt off. 

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Essentially, this book is a funny series of annoying and sexist things that happen during interactions between women and men. Sometimes, funny covers and titles we see on the subway might inspire us to pop into the nearest bookstore and grab a copy for our next subway read! 

Dating Woes

These days, finding love is a nightmare. Between all the dating sites and social media selling us a false dream of what it means to be happy, modern love can be fleeting and superficial. However, some people have added challenges. 

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For example, some people (like this lady) have a disdain for the gender they have a natural attraction to. That might not make much sense, but hey, the brain is strange and inexplicable. We hope this lady works through her issues and finds love.


Ah, another book about how horrible men are. Why do they get such a bad rap anyway? Sure, most global conflicts were started by men, but men have also done some incredible things. Men gave us amazing things, like electricity and KFC. 

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If you still aren’t convinced that men are not entirely evil, then maybe you should read this book to gain some insight. Just keep in mind that it was written by a man, so do with that what you will.


Before you raise your hopes and get disappointed like we did when we found out that, no, this book isn’t actually about adorable zebras who don’t get ulcers, unlike us stressed-out human beings. However, the book is written by a biologist.

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And is about how the stresses we face every day impact our health, sleep, spirituality, and addictions. We’re going to be sensitive for this one, and we’re glad the reader didn’t hide the cover. A lot of us could benefit from reading this book. 


Hey kids, drugs are bad! Just Say no to drugs! But maybe read this book to understand why we are advising you to do that. Parents, don’t worry; the book is a healthy mix of condemning drugs and business skills. The latter is important! 

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This is one of the few books on this list that we’ll be searching for in our local bookstore the next time we pop in; it looks like a great read! Thank you, random stranger on the subway. Your bold choice is inspiring! 


The title sounds like the username of a Tumblr account made by an emo teen way back when in 2015 who has now recovered and is concerned about the present-day depressed teenagers online. The book is somewhat like that too. 

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In all seriousness, the book is a bestseller written by a physician who aims to educate readers about groundbreaking evidence behind the only diet that can actually prevent death. If you’re a health freak, you might want to pick this up! 


Coming to terms with your own mortality can be challenging. We all like to think that we will live forever, but the reality is that life is short. Some people don’t like that idea and would rather do everything they can to change the course of nature. 

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What better way to live forever than to become a supernatural being? In all seriousness, this book is actually a Wall Street Journal Bestseller about using the power of the mind to change your life. We might add it to our cart. 


The book industry is super saturated, so you need to have an eye-catching title to get people to give your book a chance. Run-of-the-mill titles just don’t cut it anymore and will have your book gathering dust in the stock room. 

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However, we don’t know if selling a book that encourages criminal behavior is the best idea. Apparently, this book was banned in Canada and some parts of the United States because it was said to encourage shoplifting. Guess that title backfired.


We know what the cover and title looks and sounds like, but if you do a quick search online, you’ll find that what this person on the crowded and very public subway is actually reading is a comic book! 

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The best part? The comics are based on a series of video games and are considered really adorable. They’re all about love, family, and people finding surprising doses of friendship in their lives. We’re checking it out for sure. 


We were really, really hoping this was some kind of a hip cookbook for people who are so bad in the kitchen that they end up killing people with their terrible meals, but it’s even better than that! It’s a murder mystery! 

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If you’re an Agatha fan, love hummus, or just love seeing the bad person drop dead in the middle of the street, this book is for you. Once you read it, hit us up, and we’ll have a book club meeting! Yay! 


If we saw this on the subway while trying to manage our finances and figure out how to go to the gym, cook for ourselves, do our taxes, water our plants, and clean the house while maintaining a healthy social life, we would have died laughing. 

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Fun fact: we died laughing, because the title of this book is a whole entire meme, and we never will ever learn how to be adults. It just seems TOUGH. Why don’t they teach us how to do our taxes in school? Or how much detergent do we need to put into a load of laundry? AAAAAAH? 

Nature’s Call

There’s something about talking about bodily functions that make us giggle like five-year-olds. Print the word “poop” onto anything, and you are bound to win some chuckles out of us. But let’s not get it twisted; the digestive system is very important.

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It is essential to keep regular. Eat your fiber, drink some water, and make sure to always answer mother nature’s call. And if you still have trouble, perhaps you can read this book. Hopefully, it will help you. We’re hoping it helped this lady, too!

Toot toot

Just like the word “poop,” the word “fart” also never fails to make us let out a little laugh. Yes, we are well aware that we have the humor of a toddler. What’s even stranger about the book is that it was written by none other than Benjamin Franklin. 

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And no, this book is not some philosophical book that happens to have a ridiculous name. This book is actually about farting. Isn’t it nice to know that one of the Founding Fathers took time out of his busy schedule to write about flatulence?


We’re kind of surprised that this book exists in the first place, but then again, men are super difficult to understand too. One minute they’re laughing with you; the next, they’re creepily staring down at you because they think they’re intimidating. 

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Anyway, this book claims to teach the reader how to identify a ‘good’ woman who will not ruin a man’s life. Ladies, let’s boycott this stupid book and the man caught reading it on the subway. Come on, at least TRY to seem attractive. 


It might be presumptuous to say, but it looks like this person has been through some things. Maybe he has been lied to one too many times and needs some help discerning truth from fiction. We wonder how helpful this book will be. 

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This is actually a sequel to the book Lies Women Believe. In fact, there is a whole series of these. The Christian novels are apparently very enlighting and, judging from the reviews, have helped a lot of people avoid the white lies that people tell. 


When all else fails in the tumultuous dating scene, the only thing you can do is to be single. That is the only way to protect yourself from all the creeps of the world. And hey, you might end up finding new parts of yourself in the process. 

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That is the premise of the book. It teaches readers how to develop a better relationship with themselves. We are glad that the book has such as great message. Hopefully, it helps this guy (who seems to have been a bit unlucky in love) find some peace.


Okay, you need to know and assume and believe in something very very strongly before you bother picking this book up. You NEED to believe that zombies exist and that they can actually attempt to take over the planet during an Apocolypse. 

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Once you’ve believed that to your core, you will definitely want to pick up this book and read it front to back in a single day because it’s essentially teaching you everything you need to know to survive. Best of luck, lol. 


Written by a funeral director, though it sounds downright macabre, this book is actually hilarious in parts and deals with the most innocent questions that children have asked on the subjects of death and grief. To answer the question on the cover….

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After extensive research (one Google search), we’ve come to the devastating conclusion that, yes, cats will indeed eat your eyeballs if they don’t get access to food for a long time. They are, after all, descendants of the big cat wild hunters. 


The cover may sound a little ironic and hilarious, but this book is a cult favorite in almost every single literature module in ivy league universities. You know how to read, obviously, that’s why you’re here… on a subway… reading a book…

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But that’s not enough. Reading is to understanding what hearing is to listening. There is a key difference. Whether you work with people, are into personal growth, or think you know what it’s like to truly understand what you’re reading, pick up the book and challenge yourself. 


You know that friend of yours, the one who laughs at the words poo and fart and is shameless about letting out a loud burp at the dinner table? Gift them this book. Not only will they giggle each time they read the cover…

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But they might actually learn a thing or two! We know that if we saw someone reading this in a public place, we would ask them to flip to a random page and tell us something cool from it. Wouldn’t you? 


Reading on the subway is fine, but reading a sequel to a book your friend is reading the first edition of while sitting right next to you is a whole other feeling. But you know what is the absolute best feeling? 

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When you’ve read the entire series and desperately want to spoil the entire plot for the two “friends” who are actually just random strangers who seem serious about their reading, so you know they will track you down and kill you for the spoiler. (Don’t do it).


Humans make mistakes. That is just how were are. There is no denying it and no escaping it. If you think that you are immune to slipping up sometimes, then we hate to break it to you, but you’re wrong. 

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This book is all about how humans love to justify their actions when they make a mistake. Apparently, there is a whole psychology behind it. Who knew? We know some people who would benefit from reading this. Not us, though!


Pick up this book if you’re ready to feel better about yourself in the worst possible way; but putting other people down! Jokes aside though, the book navigates the many different types of people who inhabit the world with us, and unfortunately, they aren’t always so smart.

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It delves into the reasons why some people are unable to form strong connections with significant people in their personal and professional lives and calls those people idiots hehhehe. You’ll like this book if you’re a self-help kind of reader. 


Wow. just…wow. We wish we had the guts, and the drama, to print comments out and read on the subway. Our lives are not as hip and happening as this sweet old lady’s. We wonder who hurt who, and why on Facebook! We wish our lives were this entertaining.

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Maybe once she is done we’ll ask her to lend us her copy for the rest of the subway ride. It might help us have something funny to say at the office when everyone else seems to have something cool and funny to brag about. 


We present to you the science of fart! Here we have another writer that is obsessed with human’s ability to create, well, fart. We guess everyone has to have a hobby. This writer’s hobby just happens to be learning about farts!

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We wouldn’t have thought that there would be much to write about flatulence, but we were wrong! Apparently, there is a whole novel’s worth of stuff to write about this stinky topic. We’re just not sure that many people would like read about it.


This might sound a little psychotic in essence, but the book is a bestseller and discusses community, friendship, trauma, and womanhood in what is considered to be the best take on it in the last few years. We’re adding this to our list! 

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On another note, the cover reminds us of those battered old manuals in the library that no one knows why they are there and what they’re for. Maybe the author and publishers should get themselves another illustrator. Then again, as the old saying goes ” Never judge a book by its cover”.


The irony here hehehehhe – she seems to be loving her nap, and had no problem falling asleep in the first place. Honestly, it also looks like she deserves the nap, poor thing. The book reminds us to stop sabotaging our sleep for the sake of our day. 

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Some of us here are at an age where we don’t care where or when we catch up on some zzz’s, while some care because they notice the eye bags and dark circles a lack of sleep causes for them. Maybe we should all read this one. The cover is pretty too! 


As we said before, finding love is hard. Sometimes, drastic times call for drastic measures. So, if you can’t find love the old-fashioned way, then maybe it is time to dabble in a little bit of magic for that extra boost.

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Of course, no one can be sure that the spells will actually work, but it is worth a shot, right? What have you got to lose? Besides, it has got rave reviews, so it must be working for some people. 


Most of us have only ever seen hypnosis in movies. We have all seen those scenes when the amazing magician swings a coin in front of the unsuspecting audience member’s face and uses mind manipulation to make them cluck like a chicken or something. 

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But is hypnosis actually real? And can you hypnotize yourself? Why would you want to engage in self-hypnosis anyway? Well, all those answers may be found in this book. Mhh, we might have to get this book to satisfy our curiosity. 


There seems to be a recurring theme here of people trying to find their life partners – and for a good reason. The thought of our mortality is scary enough; the thought of reaching our end days all alone is even scarier! 

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Surprisingly, this is not a self-help book. It is actually a fictional novel, but according to the reviews, it is just as impactful and life-changing as any other self-help novel. Maybe we should also add this one to our reading list.