Book Life

Train Reading


They said I would never find a job with an English degree, yet here I am working 40 hours a week. I started my current job less than a week after I graduated from college last year and it’s been tough. I am exhausted by the end of the day and my eyes tire very easily after staring at the computer screen the whole day. This makes it very difficult to come home and relax with a book on some days.

The only time I can find to read—other than the weekends—is on my commute to work. I commute from the Chicago-Elmwood Park border to the Loop everyday. I take a bus and a train everyday. In the morning, my commute averages 45 minutes, while my evening commute averages an hour and 30 minutes. This is plenty of time for me to read.

Unless someone is being particularly loud, I don’t find noise levels to be an issue. The only real problem I encounter is not having a seat. The trains can get very crowded, and I often find myself standing in the middle of a train car or bus, unable to hold a book up to my face. I do get lucky sometimes and end up at the end of the train car, where I can lean against the emergency exit door and use both arms to hold the book up.

I’m quite short, only a little fit over five feet, so my book can end up touching people in some weird place. This is when I have to put the book down for a little bit and wait for the train to empty out a little bit.

I often see people reading on a Kindle or tablet, which I’m assuming is easier to hold than a book. Alas, I cannot bring myself to buy such a device. Not because I’m against ebooks; I’ve actually never even read from a tablet. It’s my frugal nature that prevents me from purchasing a tablet.

I’d be interested to read anyone else’s experience with commuting and reading. I’m trying to make the best out of the little time I have on the weekdays to catch up on my reading.


8 thoughts on “Train Reading”

  1. Although I don’t have a tremendous commute, I used to take the bus everyday and read. There’s something cathartic about decompressing a day’s hard work by reading and moving toward home. Thanks for sharing, though! If you’re ever interested in some great book reviews and musings, be sure to follow! Thanks!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I used to really enjoy reading on the train or street car on my commute home from work. It was a way to relax after work. Actually, I think reading was an addiction for me – my house is full of bookcases and hundreds of books, large and small.

    Great essay. Thanks for posting it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I have a two hour commute to work and find myself with the same exhaustion you describe after a day’s slog. But reading is a great escape from the hustle and bustle around me, even if it does take me twice as long to read a book because I’m constantly falling asleep!


  4. What about audiobooks? I have a kindle paperwhite and I love it. It is a little more expensive on the front end, but my library has a great selection of ebooks through overdrive, so over the long term, I’m not buying as many. There’s nothing like the experience of reading a real book, but I find that the convenience of the kindle is great and it even fits nicely in my purse!


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