A Conversation for Tips on How to Make Commuting Bearable

reading

Post 1

Fashion Cat

The only way to survive a long commute into work is to avoid driving and take other forms of transport. This gives you lots of time to float off into the world of the novel for half an hour or longer.

Talking to a number of guys that I work with, a number of people take public transport, even though it would take the same length of time to drive - but choose not to, because it gives them time to read a book.

Reading while commuting is almost a necessity. When you are surrounded with a large number of people staring blankly, you sometimes wonder whether they are alive or not. Those with books however, you feel drawn to, and wonder what on earth they are reading that is so interesting! A number of books I have hunted down and read, just because the front cover of the book of the woman opposite me on the tube looked so interesting!

Reading draws you into another world, and it can remove you from any unpleasant conditions. In London, you often had to put up with a large number of people around you, but once you open that page, they do seem to melt away from you. It is terribly relaxing.

If anyone takes public transport, and chooses to listen to music, or read a paper, or even worse, doesnt do anything, I urge you to make use of the time you have. Read a book - there is bound to be something you are interested in, and it often makes the commute a much more pleasurable journey.

smiley - smiley


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Post 2

GraceK

I agree that reading is one of the best things about commuting, though you have to be careful not to miss your stop. You can't be too mean to people who read newspapers - at least they're reading. The people I really worry about are the ones that just sit there staring into space - I have come to the conclusion that they must have a sort of mental screensaver that kicks in after a few seconds, either that or they are part vegetable. It's not just commuting - the ones that do my head in even more are the people who visit the doctors without anything to read - trains can sometimes run on time but you know your appointment time will slip. At least the scenery keeps changing on trains (during the day anyway).

I love trains even when they run late - they're (but only with a good book) so much more relaxing than inching forward in traffic at 5mph whilst having to keep an eye out for all the other idiots on the road.

Also have you notice that if you're late for work / an appointment / some other time sensitive thing, that if you come by train no one ever blames you. But if you drive and get caught in a hold up / accident, then it''s your fault and you should have left earlier.

smiley - fairy


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Post 3

Cheerful Dragon

I first read "War and Peace" on my train journeys to and from work, and to and from the Midlands to meet up with Richard before we were married. He says I'm the only woman he's ever met who has carried a copy of "War and Peace" in her handbag. Mind you, it made the handbag a good weapon in the event of an attack.

I couldn't do a long journey by train, coach or plane without a good book to read. Cars and buses are another matter. Reading on those often makes me feel sick, but then I occasionally feel sick on buses and in cars any way. (I'm told it's the engine vibrations intefering with the hairs in your inner ear that sense your position - or something.)


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Post 4

Fashion Cat

Oh, to stop missing your bus-train stop - set your mobile to go off 5 mins before you should be at your stop. That alerts you to the outside world again and you can get off at your stop. It works a treat! smiley - winkeye


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Post 5

Batty_ACE

Wish I had thought of that when I lived in NYC. I can't tell you how many times I ended up walking the 'scenic route' back up 5th Ave because I was entirely too interested in my commuting material.

On that note I actually miss commuting using mass transport. Since I've moved to Charlotte NC I have to drive for about the same amount of time I had to bus before and it gets on my last nerve some days. When I had to take mass transport it was almost as if that was my 'down time' smiley - zen from the morning rush or the daily grind. smiley - erm I can't remember the last time I actually had time to read a book.


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Post 6

Cassidy

I've got a 45 minute drive to work (due to the wonders of British public transport the same journey, door to door, would be over two hours and would include a 25 minute walk between stations to get a connection). Audio books are a great substitute to not being able to read. As they're more expensive than books I get them from the library, or download short stories from the net and burn them onto a CD to listen too.


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Post 7

Demon Drawer

Unfortunatley reading does tend to distract your eyes of the raod when driving along. smiley - winkeye


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Post 8

Batty_ACE

Just a bit... smiley - erm actually I can never seem to get into audio books as much as I can by reading. I tried them for a bit when I lived in NYC.


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Post 9

Fashion Cat

When I used to drive into school (often an hours drive on a really busy day) I would have a book beside me, just in case I got into a really good traffic jam. Id look at people getting all stressed about the queues, but Id be quite happy. A good excuse for being late, and I could read at the same time! In fact, there were times in my last year, where if I had a free period to start with, Id deliberately take the route which I was certain would be gridlocked!

And dont worry about not knowing when the car in front of you has moved - the car behind will be more than happy to toot you to alertness!

smiley - winkeye

PS Do Not Read While Driving! smiley - yikes


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Post 10

krazykat =^..^=

I love reading on the tube...I have an hour and a half each way commuting to uni. If I didn't read I think I would go mad. On the way, I pick up the Metro, which if you are interested takes exactly one hour and a half to read all except sport and tv bits (personally not interested in those). On the way back I read whatever fiction book I happen to be into at the time. Usually I get through a couple of books a week.

I am also waiting for someone to stay on the train as long as I do. I am determined that the day it happens, I will go up to them and congratulate them...I think I should give them a prize of some kind...any ideas? Needs to be something I can keep in my back pack at all times waiting for the day. There was once a very close one, but the guy got off a stop before me...so close!!!!


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Post 11

Pezvi

Before I moved to NYC, I had a 20-30 minute drive to work. Now I commute via subway for an hour and 15 minutes (two hours if it's late-night), and I love it. Reading makes all the difference. I'm working my way through every book I ever wanted to read and every book I ever should have read... and whatever looks good when I'm browsing the book store.

Relaxing with a book for an hour or two versus battling traffic... I wouldn't go back to driving now, no matter what the time difference.


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Post 12

Batty_ACE

I agree Pezvi! That's the thing I miss most about not being in NYC and now having to drive to/from work/school. I was perfectly content to sit on the M5 bus for an hour or so and catch up on my reading. smiley - erm Though I was running out of 'known good' material near the end there and had to venture into unfamiliar authors/books..


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Post 13

Batty_ACE

smiley - erm that didn't make a whole lot of sense did it? I meant it's what I miss most about living in NYC. Well.. that and the fun of being in the thick of it...


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Post 14

Pezvi

I tend to alternate between known-good and anything which catches my eye, or happens to be marked as a staff pick at the store. I've got a cache of books I can read over and over, which I do if I've had a run of bad luck when venturing into the unknown. I also try to keep one of them in my bag as a spare. I've had train delays lead to the unanticipated completion of a book before. As long as I have a book to read, though, I don't care how long my train sits unmoving on the tracks.


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