Scribbling: Reading on Commutes


I'm going to come out and say it: I can't read when I'm commuting. For the longest time, Underground New York Library was one of my favorite blogs and I thought, what book would I be reading when I'm waiting for the subway? Would it be a book for school? A library book? But it's not until now that I'm actually commuting that I realize, I am not capable of reading on moving vehicles.

However, I read books pretty much everywhere else. In middle school, I used to read during class. No joke but it was only when I finished my work and I was waiting for others to finish. No one really had a problem with it and I read a lot of books this way. I don't do it as much anymore but I still have a habit of reading things when I'm waiting-- I read when I'm in line, I read when I'm waiting for friends, I read when I'm waiting for the internet to load.

After college, I started to fly a lot and I would read when I was waiting to board. You know how people read on planes? Yeah, that's not me. I can't read when I'm on a plane. A good chunk of the time, I'm asleep and the other times when I'm not? I can't read. It's the same when I'm on a train. Truth be told, I get headaches when I read on something that's moving. I really admire people who read on trains, planes and cars. I really do because I can't. I need to be at a stand-still when I'm reading. It's a pity.

I'm interested in your thoughts! Do you read on your commute? What about when you're on a plane? Where do you read?


18 comments

  1. I am able to read when I'm in a plane or train, but I find it very hard to concentrate because of all the moving and all the sounds and stuff. Reading in a car is usually a disaster since I get car sick quite quickly! I'm just like you with the reading when waiting, which is also why I'm lugging a book with me everywhere I go. It's just so easy to get in a few quick pages or just paragraphs when you're waiting, and you don't have to be bored either! I usually just read on my comfy couch, though. That's my favourite reading spot.
    I love your blog, by the way! I haven't commented before but I've been following for a while now.


    http://booksbakingandblogging.wordpress.com

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  2. I definitely read on my commute, it's easy for me to get lost in a book actually but that all changes if it's the plane because I'm always so uncomfortable on it haha, I can barely sleep on the plane too. Strange thing is, I can't read a physical book comfortably outside so I mainly read ebooks on my commute and I feel most at home reading physical books at home. It's weird but I guess it's also because my brain has sort of associated physical books with home and ebooks with commutes. Although I've never had motion sickness, I can sort of understand being able to read only at a standstill. It's definitely easier to concentrate on reading when you're not moving!

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  3. I used to not be able to sleep on planes but I think I'm able to now because I'm always exhausted from school, haha. Lucky you for not having motion sickness! I'm jealous.


    I'm the exact opposite from you actually! I can't really read ebooks in public comfortably (which probably defeats the purpose) since I usually read ebooks when I'm at home/on the computer.

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  4. Hi Anne! Thanks for the compliment! :)


    I don't really get car sick unless I'm reading, which is why I avoid it. It's been a long habit of mine to read wherever, whenever as long as I'm on steady ground, haha. Yes to reading on couches! So comfortable.

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  5. I have motion sickness so reading while traveling is definitely not gonna happen. Besides, I like reading in one go, I really don't like stopping every now and then, which I assumed happens when you're reading while on commute.

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  6. I always got irritated with the motion-sickness feeling that would come whenever I tried reading in a car because for a while my family was traveling a lot between NC and KY which is a 7-hour drive. What a better way to pass the time than by reading! -___- No. I feel woozy just thinking about it. Now, I don't know how I'd fare on a subway train or a plane but my guess is that it wouldn't be any different. (Which is going to suck when I'm on a trans-Atlantic flight for England one day. What a waste of time: sitting there or sleeping or doing nothing when I could be reading. Gah.)

    I used to read in class, too, from elementary-high school but in college it doesn't work out so much. My reading now is used for winding down before going to bed.

    Great post! Thanks for sharing a little snippet of your reading life!

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  7. I can't read in cars because I just get so dizzy and that makes me unable to read when I'm traveling by default. Planes also give me headaches too sometimes, and other times I'm just so groggy inside and get the worst feeling I can't really concentrate on a book in there.

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  8. Okay, I clicked the post before I was finished. The continuation:


    It's ike my head is full of cotton, you know? Recently, because of YA Sync, I got some audiobooks, and while I won't make a habit of buying a lot of them because they take so long, they're great for car trips. But in my most recent plane ride, I just wanted to listen to music. There's just something so physically exhausting about riding a plane even though you're just sitting down.

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  9. Yes I totally agree! I'm always so groggy and tired after plane rides. Have you looked into whether or not your library has audiobooks that you can check out? My library has audiobooks that you can download online directly.

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  10. Yeah, reading in parts is a struggle sometimes, especially if I'm at a really great part and I have to stop. I usually have an itch to read right after, which is pretty bad haha especially if I'm in class or going out.

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  11. Thanks! I've tried reading on longer flights but it just doesn't work out for me. There's only so much time you can sleep, you know? I usually end up binge-watching a lot of television and shows but that gets old too. D: And definitely! I have no idea what to do on long car rides either. The struggle...

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  12. I can read anywhere at anytime - although I prefer to sleep on planes too :-)

    Tanya Patrice

    Girlxoxo.com

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  13. Lucky! I'm quite jealous of your reading skills! Sleeping on planes is lovely, though.

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  14. People tell me reading on the bus will damage my eyes but that's already done! :p Also, YOLO would apply here right? ;)

    I read everywhere unless there's a super formal social event I cannot read at. Even then, I would read on the Kindle app on my phone. Maybe!

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  15. Terri @ Starlight Book ReviewsJune 24, 2014 at 2:03 PM

    I've never liked reading while commuting either, although to be fair, I don't have a lot of experience with it. I drive to work, so obviously I can't read then. Still, even on buses or the rare time I've flown, it was hard to focus. I think it's because it's so crowded, and there's always some unfamiliar person's elbow right next to yours on the armrest. I can't sink into my mental reading space because there's so much else going on to process.


    That said, on long car trips with the family, I can sink in and read, provided I'm not in the front seat being the driver's talking buddy! :)

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  16. Yes! Trying to read in a crowded and loud space is the worst. D:

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  17. Hahaha, I would totally read if it weren't for the fact that I get carsick when I try!


    I'd try to read at super formal social events, too because I think it would save me from all the awkwardness that would ensue, but alas.

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  18. I live in the Philippines, and the only library in the directory was for a school library. So no luck there!

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