It's the ultimate nightmare for the dedicated tube reader: you find a seat, reach into your bag and discover to your horror that you've gone and left your book on the kitchen table.
Now you're going to have to repeatedly read the adverts for the next half-an-hour or (as a very last resort) glance at the abandoned copy of the Metro left on the seat next to you.
As of this Friday however there may be an alternative. Litro is a free weekly publication to be distributed at Underground stations, which will features one piece of original fiction per issue.
It's the brainchild of Mike Fell who came up with the idea after reading Joyce's Dubliners on the way into Mornington Crescent, "and was still elsewhere when I sat down at my desk and looked out at Camden High Street, and thought how great it would be to access genuinely affecting stories like those on a regular basis".
Fell has set himself the task of finding and publishing short fiction which "will appeal to someone who is on their way to work."
That is: not too long or too abstract, not too outwardly horrific or gratuitous, but which at the same time is not just a bland extension of your morning television, and which takes you to places you normally don't think about visiting when travelling on the Underground.
The first issue will be available this Friday, although Mike's limited distribution capabilities means that (for now at least) only those lucky souls travelling through Clapham North will be able to pick up a copy (although we're sure there'll be a few left lying around and about if you're lucky). If you miss out you can check this page for online archives of the story as and when they're published.
We've had a sneak preview of the first issue, and we're glad to say that it's a very tasty little lit-snack indeed, and we hope the idea catches on and Mike gets a bit of support for the project. If you'd like to maybe submit some short fiction for inclusion in a future edition of Litro, you can get all the details here.