My Dirty Little Secret: I Ride the Rails to Read

Like most academics, I read articles and books. Unlike most academics (maybe, I don’t really know), reading has become harder and harder for me. Not simply because of the distractions that come with department politics, administrative duties (come July 1, I’m chair of my department), advising grad students, and teaching. I wish it were as noble as that. No, the reason I find it so difficult to read these days, now years, is the internet.

Which is why I was so relieved to read this wonderful post by Tim Parks about how difficult it is now to read.

Every reader will have his or her own sense of how reading conditions have changed, but here is my own experience. Arriving in the small village of Quinzano, just outside Verona, Italy, thirty-three years ago, aged twenty-six, leaving friends and family behind in the UK, unpublished and unemployed, always anxious to know how the next London publisher would respond to the work I was writing, I was constantly eager for news of one kind or another. International phone-calls were prohibitively expensive. There was no fax, only snail mail, as we called it then. Each morning the postino would, or might, drop something into the mailbox at the end of the garden. I listened for the sound of his scooter coming up the hairpins from the village. Sometimes when the box was empty I would hope I’d heard wrong, and that it hadn’t been the postino’s scooter, and go out and check again an hour later, just in case. And then again. For an hour or so I would find it hard to concentrate or work well. You are obsessed, I would tell myself, heading off to check the empty mailbox for a fourth time.

Imagine a mind like this exposed to the seductions of email and messaging and Skype and news websites constantly updating on the very instrument you use for work. In the past, having satisfied myself that the postman really had come and gone, the day then presented itself as an undisturbed ocean of potential—for writing (by hand), reading (on paper), and, to pay the bills, translating (on a manual typewriter). It was even possible in those days to see reading as a resource to fill time that hung heavy when rain or asphyxiating heat forced one to stay indoors.

Now, on the contrary, every moment of serious reading has to be fought for, planned for.

I, too, remember when reading was an effortless way to pass the time. And what my work routine looked like as a result. Writing in the morning, reading in the afternoon, writing in the evening. Reading was easy. It required less concentration and stamina, so I did it during the lazy hours after lunch. My most alert times—just after my morning coffee and during my insomniac hours—were reserved for writing.

Nowadays, it’s the reverse. Writing absorbs me, so I do it in the afternoons, maybe the evenings. But reading, as Parks writes, has to be planned for. I have to wrest my reading time from the come-hither arms of the internet, so I do it in the morning.

Here’s how I do it. After I drop off my daughter at school or summer camp, I jump on the subway. I ride the rails for three to four hours. Maybe the F train: out to Coney Island, back through Brooklyn, into Manhattan, out to Forest Hills, and then back. Or if I’m pressed for time, just the Q train: again out to Coney, back through Brooklyn, into Manhattan, out to Astoria, and back. Or if I’m in the mood for a change, the B or the D trains: they ultimately take me to the Bronx and back.

I take nothing with me but my book and a pen. I take notes on the front and back pages of the book. If I run out of pages, I carry a little notebook with me. I never get off the train (except, occasionally, to meet my wife for lunch in Manhattan.) I have an ancient phone, so there’s no internet or desire to text, and I’m mostly underground, so there are no phone calls.

When I get back, I sometimes post about my little rides and what I’m reading on Facebook: Schumpeter in Queens, The Theory of Moral Sentiments in the Bronx, Hayek in Brooklyn. The more incongruous, the better, though sometimes I find some funny or interesting parallels between what I’m reading and where I’m riding and what I’m seeing.

But the joking on Facebook covers up my dirty little secret: I ride the rails to read because if I’m at home, and not writing, I’m on the internet. “It is not simply that one is interrupted,” as Park writes; “it is that one is actually inclined to interruption.”

I’m not sure why it’s reading that requires these Odysseus-like acts of self-denial (sometimes I also use the Freedom program to read), while writing does not. I suspect it has something to do with what Parks says: “The mind, or at least my mind, is overwhelmingly inclined toward communication or, if that is too grand a word, to the back and forth of contact with others.” When I write, I feel like I’m in communication with others: not only my imagined readers, but also my imagined interlocutors—the people I’m arguing with, the theorists I’m arguing about, that professor in grad school whose comments still spark my imagination. It’s nothing as grand as what Machiavelli described in his letter to Vettori:

On the coming of evening, I return to my house and enter my study; and at the door I take off the day’s clothing, covered with mud and dust, and put on garments regal and courtly; and reclothed appropriately, I enter the ancient courts of ancient men, where, received by them with affection, I feed on that food which only is mine and which I was born for, where I am not ashamed to speak with them and to ask them the reason for their actions; and they in their kindness answer me; and for four hours of time I do not feel boredom, I forget every trouble, I do not dread poverty, I am not frightened by death; entirely I give myself over to them.

But it’s definitely company.

Reading feels much more solitary. It can be boring and passive, and when it’s not, when I find something interesting that excites me, I want to share it with everyone. If I’m reading at home, I rush to the computer, and post about it on Facebook or here on my blog. And then I don’t get off. For hours. When I’m on the train, there’s nothing to do, but note it on the back page, and stay on. For hours.

69 Comments

  1. Gaurav Khanna June 14, 2014 at 7:38 pm | #

    Excellent as always. I can only get reading done late at night or early in the morning. The day is so filled with interruptions to be mind-boggling. By the way, you may have heard this of this book by Nicholas Carr: http://www.amazon.com/The-Shallows-Internet-Doing-Brains/dp/0393339750 … interesting read.

  2. s. wallerstein June 14, 2014 at 9:08 pm | #

    Reading the serious stuff that you do isn’t that enjoyable, for me at least and I only read it because I can communicate it with others, which means, as you say, I jump at the chance to communicate online and that chance is all too present, which distracts me from concentrated reading.

    I can only read Marx, for example, because I know that I will use what he says while conversing or that the opportunity to cite him will come up in a conversation or debate, online or off.

    On the other hand, when I read for sheer pleasure, say, a John Le Carré or a Mario Vargas Llosa novel, every email is a nuisance because, just as when I was a child, reading is the most absorbing pleasure in the world, except eating, sex and sleeping.

    So, yes, I’m overwhelming inclined to communicating with others, except if the book is a page-turner.

    • KTC June 20, 2014 at 10:31 pm | #

      I’m like that too.

  3. Catherine Browne June 15, 2014 at 2:09 pm | #

    Thank your for this post, I enjoyed it very much. I have been an ardent reader since childhood, and yet over the past few years I almost completely stopped reading books. This seemed to happen organically. I found the loss of my identity as a reader extremely puzzling and it made me sad. Recently, I got a new job that calls for a total of two hours commuting time by bus and subway every day. This is now my reading time and the commute is one of the most enjoyable moments of my day. But what I find so extraordinary is that in order to read, I have to put myself physically in a place where I can’t do anything else except look out the window. And yet I love to read. How extremely odd!
    Here is another thing I find odd: I have a negative view of Internet, e-mail, Facebook and their impact on my life, and yet this negative view fails to account for the entirely voluntary nature of my use of Internet, e-mail and Facebook. It is voluntary yet experienced as a constraint. While as a social being I delight in Internet, Facebook, and e-mail, at the same time I experience the socialness of my being as a constraint. Is there anything wrong with the fact that I love to communicate with others? Yet part of me believes that my craving for social contact is something I need to escape from.

    • KTC June 20, 2014 at 10:33 pm | #

      I don’t think anything is wrong with that. I too need both my alone time as well as time with others.

  4. Roquentin June 15, 2014 at 7:58 pm | #

    I do a lot of subway reading too, but during rush hour the train is often shoulder to shoulder crowded and it makes anything except for light reading rather difficult. I do a lot of underlining in the denser texts I read, and there’s many a line in my book that crosses out several words because the train slowed down and I almost lost my balance. It’s great if you can get a seat though.

    I recently fell back into video gaming, which was one my first passions. I prefer not to think about the amount of time I’ve thrown away playing. I have 400+ hours logged in Skyrim (I love Bethesda games in general, Fallout and Fallout New Vegas as well). I suppose there are worse vices one could have, but sometimes it’s the only way I can feel good after a long day of work.

  5. matthewdlinton June 15, 2014 at 9:53 pm | #

    I also find it difficult to read without getting distracted by the vast digital worlds of social media and email. After years of struggling with self-discipline, I realized that it was not the web’s allure that was distracting, but a general restlessness caused by an immersion in the instantly gratifying online world. To combat this restlessness I exercise. I find it much easier to read after a long run than at any other part of the day. The physical exhaustion I feel proves the inertia necessary to avoid translating the intellectual excitement caused by reading into physical remove (to post about it online, talk to my partner about it, etc.). Exercise also has wonderful health benefits and feels great after sitting at a desk writing all morning. It has been a ‘win’ all around.

  6. wetcasements June 16, 2014 at 3:30 am | #

    I do most of my “serious” reading these days on my exercise bike, which is a good thing I guess.

    (Scare quotes intentional — I’m not as much of a Luddite as I used to be, and I think there’s plenty of “serious” stuff out there on the internet. But yeah, I really wish I could make more time for dead-tree books.)

  7. paul June 16, 2014 at 7:44 am | #

    I love commuting… often I will choose a slow 8-hour train connection over a a little more expensive one that would get me there in half the time because there is nothing more pleasant than spending a day reading on the train. One more reason for never getting a car.

    The hardest is reading things on your computer without checking the internet constantly. Because I had “The Reactionary Mind” only as an ebook on my laptop, I read it entirely on the train. I just can’t focus on ebooks if I have the alternative of checking the internet.

  8. jhshannon June 16, 2014 at 9:57 am | #

    I gave up my iPhone 9 months ago partly for this reason and also carry around a relic of a phone that barely even calls. I was going to upgrade today and go back to the iPhone, but now I’m reconsidering. I have learned to walk the streets without my iProsthetic to my ear or at my finger tips and enjoy the surroundings. One other issue about the difficulty of reading these days is that we are getting more and more accustomed to (very) reading short pieces online – headlines, blogs, news items, etc. – and these produce a short attention span so that it tries the patience reading anything longer. Hurricane Sandy and the ensuing blackout retaught me the pleasure of reading entire books in one sitting. Lessons learned.
    I guess this is to say, See you on the F train (book in hand)…

  9. human June 16, 2014 at 5:45 pm | #

    Oh man, I totally struggled with this in grad school and still do. One thing I discovered that helps is that if I just could. not. focus. and if I could get a clean PDF of the articles or whatever, I’d have my computer read to me. Changing it up that way — doing some reading with my eyes, and some with my ears — helped a lot. Even more so with the terrible articles, because I could talk back to them and make fun of them out loud while listening, and that made it fun instead of excruciating.

    But yeah. The internet is in some ways such a blessing and in others such a curse. I don’t know that I’d go back if I could. I recall being in middle and high school and wanting to KNOW things and having to wait until I could get my parents to give me a ride to the library…!! and being so very isolated, whereas now, through the internet, anyone and everyone can find their people.

    So there are compensations. but things that require solitude, like reading and writing and art, are harder.

  10. jonnybutter June 16, 2014 at 7:50 pm | #

    Schumpeter in Queens, The Theory of Moral Sentiments in the Bronx, Hayek in Brooklyn. The more incongruous, the better, though sometimes I find some funny or interesting parallels between what I’m reading and where I’m riding and what I’m seeing.

    I think the ‘though’ in the second sentence maybe shouldn’t be there. It’s the incongruity itself which often sparks the interesting insights – the more incongruous the better. It’s improvising! and at a high level in your case. Glad you like to do it – makes for great reading.

    When I was a foot messenger/clerk for an old Park Ave. law firm in the late 70s, I learned how to read while walking. Peripheral vision is amazing! It was a little slower, but better than nothing. When I worked as a DJ in ultra-boring music-tonnage radio in the 80s and 90s I actually could read my entire shift, except when I had to say something. 5 hours a day 6 days a week! Like being a security guard (in that respect) but with somewhat better pay.

    One thing that’s very different now is that I no longer am haunted by traumatic memories of, once or twice a year, somehow forgetting to take a book anywhere I go. If I know I’m going to be waiting a lot or riding a plane/train, of course I have a book, but for all the other boring trips in life, I know I can check the little computer in my pocket and, for example, end up singing ‘Some People’ and laughing my ass off – laughing along with someone I don’t really know and will almost certainly never meet. There is something very cool about that.

  11. Origami Isopod June 18, 2014 at 10:01 am | #

    Parks’ essay sounds like yet another “The plebes aren’t reading what I want them to” screed. How dare all those frivolous people waste their minds on “children’s books” (sounds like someone who’s never read Tolkien) or erotica or anything but giant tomes. With bonus “good old days” nonsense implying that anyone but a fairly small slice of the bourgeois West had the time or literacy or access to pore through long books. I can’t believe the classism of this piece flew right by you.

  12. franthebookie June 20, 2014 at 3:12 pm | #

    I totally get what you’re saying! I couldn’t read books at all (non-academic) while I was in college, but now it’s as if I’m overdosing. I’ve bought dozens of them.. and the reading never ends now! I think we’re too busy to read as much as we want to. Once we start to live a life of simplicity (or time without the gadgets and attention grabbers), the more we are able to do what we want love… read, for example.

  13. Love, Life & Whatever June 20, 2014 at 3:29 pm | #

    Excellent article……the new era had snatched the pleasure of reading and transformed to skimming and sky ping…you certainly made a plausible point ….interesting read

  14. kanjamartin June 20, 2014 at 3:42 pm | #

    excellent.

  15. Mary F. June 20, 2014 at 5:03 pm | #

    If you’re ever on the C train in the early morning or afternoon, wave me a hello. I’ll be the lady avoiding your gaze because I’m writing in my journal or reading. I totally get this article. Thanks for the posting and the validation.

  16. J. Sander June 20, 2014 at 5:56 pm | #

    I love this post. I have to ride a bus and a train to get to work and I always enjoy when I actually get a seat so that I can spend the 45 minutes reading.

  17. unpackedwriter.com June 20, 2014 at 6:20 pm | #

    Yes – I’m here too with same interference, plus children: “Now, on the contrary, every moment of serious reading has to be fought for, planned for.” Oh, how I love it when they are off somewhere and I can focus on writing as well as reading! and unfortunately we don’t have much of a train where I lived, but I got much more reading done when I road the U- and S-bahn to work and school in Germany. – Renee

  18. Cherrie Zell June 20, 2014 at 7:29 pm | #

    Between the television, comic books and math tables of my childhood, I didn’t really try to read. Somewhere, a bit of my brain didn’t wire up as tightly as others. Motion sickness prevented reading while travelling in my younger years, but has abated slightly now that I’m older. But now I’m the driver.

    So how did I get through an undergraduate and masters during my middle-age … while working? Coloured pencils. Red for underlining the topic sentences. Green to signify when the author is referencing other people’s work. Blue worked hard: circling the likes of “but”, “however” and “not” to ensure I didn’t miss the subtle changes within a paragraph; marking off each item in a list separated by commas and semi-colons; and underlining “First”, “Second”, “Finally”. And finally, for longer pieces, purple in the margin to help keep track of the overall structure.

    I’m glad you were Freshly Pressed. I want to think about reading, how to do more of it, because I do enjoy it … when I can get to it.

    Thank you.

  19. nerithenomad June 21, 2014 at 2:38 am | #

    Nowadays I do my best reading on long flights or solitary business trips, usually when I’m disconnected from my “normal” environment.
    When I was younger I read voraciously, I even had the luxury of re-reading books I really liked. Now re-reading is simply out of the question.
    Thought I was falling behind… glad to know it’s not just me. 🙂

  20. Ravi Gautam June 21, 2014 at 4:46 am | #

    Reading is somethig not everyone find find enjoyable, but for those who really do it’s like a journey in a parallel universe

  21. espressoproject June 21, 2014 at 9:01 am | #

    I love you article and completely share your difficulty reading with all the distractions. Do you read only paper books then?

  22. Lily Wren June 21, 2014 at 9:10 am | #

    Such a great post which I can totally relate to. I used to be such an avid reader many years ago. I’m trying to claw that reading time back from the internet. I decided to write reviews as a means of encouraging me to read something and to keep my brain active as I get older. It seems to be working and I’ve probably read more books this year than I have in about 5 years. It’s hard though, I love the internet, I love technology but I do sometimes think that it’s addling me brain 🙂

  23. leadinglight June 21, 2014 at 9:16 am | #

    I actually commute on a 1 hour train ride to and from work each day. This gives me a lot of time to get through reading books. I have far less time than when I was a student to read though. I just feel my work lunch hour needs to be spent building relationships with colleagues.

  24. carleybradford June 21, 2014 at 9:30 am | #

    I enjoyed your post, I utilise my commuting time on the tube for reading, it beats admitting I have my face crammed firmly into someone’s armpit … Or that Those around me are oblivious to my being on the same train when they scratch their bits! Lol … So I read :).

    Any tips in how to make a living off of reading would be well appreciated.

  25. thesciencegeek June 21, 2014 at 11:07 am | #

    An interesting post which I really enjoyed.
    My wife who is an avid reader has an interesting approach to increase the time available for reading. She always has a book with her and her “default activity” when not actually doing anything else ] is reading. As well as planned reading time, she reads constantly as a sort of filler task, to fill the time between other activities. She never leaves home without a book and carries a spare if there is a risk she might finish her book while she is away from the house
    So, for example, if we are in restaurant and I need to go to the bathroom she will get her book out and start reading.
    She manages to read between 150 and 200 books in a typical year
    The Science Geek
    http://thesciencegeek01.wordpress.com/

  26. wakeupyourluck June 21, 2014 at 12:00 pm | #

    I’m the big reader out of my friends, but if they knew how few books I got through these days…

    I’m more addicted to the internet than to chocolate, which is saying something!

  27. Roy Sexton (Reel Roy Reviews) June 21, 2014 at 12:22 pm | #

    absolutely agree! I look forward to those times when I’m on a plane or in a hotel room or waiting somewhere for someone to catch up on reading. otherwise, it’s hopeless. “No, the reason I find it so difficult to read these days, now years, is the internet.”

  28. W E Patterson June 21, 2014 at 3:40 pm | #

    Great post. I can totally relate. Back in the mid 90s i was commuting from western New Jersey to my consulting job on Wall St. I spent a lot of time on NJ Transit trains. The internet was around back then of course, but it hadn’t gone mobile yet. Anyway,I read volumes back then. In the past few years though, I am reading less and less for some reason. Unfortunately, that has not stopped me from buying books, I am just not getting them read.

  29. mirrorgirl June 21, 2014 at 4:44 pm | #

    Reading is everything! Without books we would miss so much, and I think the act of reading is actually therapy too. I use EMDR when I treat trauma patients, and then I get them to move their eyes the same way we do when we read or when we have REM-sleep, so its literally therapeutic if you ask me 😉 Thanks for sharing

  30. miurujayaweera June 21, 2014 at 10:56 pm | #

    Reblogged this on Writer's Block and commented:
    I find this piece very engaging. He speaks my mind.

  31. ink2it June 22, 2014 at 12:29 am | #

    Reblogged this on ink2it and commented:
    Spare some time to read this.

  32. zotzotzotblogger June 22, 2014 at 1:32 am | #

    I can definitely relate to this. I love to read! I really do. When I have a great book in my hands, I can’t put it down. It’s so difficult though, in this day and age, to just spend hours sitting and doing nothing but reading! Especially with school, I always tell myself that I can put reading for pleasure off to the side. I love that you are able to put aside time for reading. Will endeavor to do more reading this summer and in the future. Not that many trains around me, but I’m sure I can find a quiet place 🙂

  33. b00kreader June 22, 2014 at 1:40 am | #

    Reading is my balm. If I am caught in a good book my life suffers, dishes and clothes pile up and I forget those who do not exist within the confines of the typed pages I am pouring over. I too, however, have to plan my reading, for fun, around holidays and plane rides, but it is always worth it. I enjoyed your post tremendously. All the best!

  34. geomcamvck June 22, 2014 at 3:06 am | #

    I spend a lot of time driving and have found audio books fill the gap. While not the same experience of reading meets a need and sure beats the radio.

  35. astalavista21 June 22, 2014 at 9:46 am | #

    I totally agree with your post and can relate to it.
    Thanks for the post.

  36. sunherisufi June 22, 2014 at 10:37 am | #

    What an absolutely wonderful post.While I can’t really read while on a moving train,tram, bus etc coz it gives me a headache, I empathize with your battle strategizing to make time to read 🙂 The Internet for me is not really a distraction.Rather, it lets me keep up with whatever is exciting in the reading world: new books, authors, new perspectives etc.And although I am aware that many in my circle consider me terribly un-hip ( euphemism for a dinosaur) to still prefer p books over e, the joys of holding a p book and the smell of paper is rather delightful to me 🙂

  37. drmshlowe June 22, 2014 at 11:57 am | #

    What a fabulous idea! Thank you! I love to read on the train. I’m sooo going to try taking the train, just to read. Like you, in the academic day, I struggle to find the time (or make the time) to keep up with my reading. Yet, on the train, it’s easy. Unfortunately in the UK train travel is expensive. I may need to take out a second mortgage 😉

  38. tomgeorgearts June 22, 2014 at 8:01 pm | #

    My confession: I take my own books into libraries.

  39. Henrietta Handy June 22, 2014 at 9:21 pm | #

    Yes, I too plan for reading. For me it is usually in the morning sitting in the sun. I think I plan just as much for my reading time as much as for my writing time these days.

  40. heyitsbolger June 22, 2014 at 9:42 pm | #

    I used to read on the subway but for some reason, stopped doing it. In nice weather I’ll think back to the “Good ole Days” I would ride and read. Surrounded by thousands of people but yet so far away at the same time…Great post!

  41. appslotus June 23, 2014 at 1:12 am | #

    Reblogged this on Apps Lotus's Blog.

  42. Red Hen June 23, 2014 at 3:03 am | #

    Lucky you to have found a way to build reading into your day. I wonder what the implications are for the rest of us and for society for whom the internet has mopped up any available time?
    Maybe there’s a special reading train out there, hermetically sealed from all wayward wifi signals and insisting we stay on board til we read at least one chapter. Here’s hoping…

  43. Nita June 23, 2014 at 8:13 am | #

    I loved this post, as I too, often find it extremely difficult to dedicate reading time for myself. I more often then not succomb to my internet addiction, even if it’s just mindless browsing. Luckily, I just started a new job and my commute has gone from 30 minutes to over an hour on public transport. As painful as the commute can be, I actually relish that time because I can actually tear through my books!

  44. anotherplaceandtime June 23, 2014 at 11:52 am | #

    I love this and completely understand. If we’re plugged in all the time, we’re not free to enjoy getting lost in our own thoughts.

  45. AgainAnew June 23, 2014 at 11:54 am | #

    I needed to find a way to get back from Portland, OR to Fort Wayne, IN this fall. When I checked Amtrak the ride was 40 hours. My first thought? Think of all that reading time. Trains are perfect for reading as there’s not much else you can do. Totally understand this post. Thank you.

  46. dearkrysta June 23, 2014 at 4:03 pm | #

    Great post. Reading used to be something I could do all day with no interruptions. Now, life happens, and being able to read has become harder. I find that it’s usually while I’m waiting for something, a class to start, a bus to come, etc is when reading is easiest.

    • Gry Ranfelt June 25, 2014 at 6:46 am | #

      Yes! I’ve started bringing my kindle everywhere for this reason.

  47. blancastones June 24, 2014 at 6:28 pm | #

    Your post has the same name of one the song of the musical band “the all americans reject”

  48. Gry Ranfelt June 25, 2014 at 6:45 am | #

    Ah, when I was solo traveling in America I spent a week in New York. I read so much because riding the subway ANYWHERE takes a lot of time. It’s such a huge city.
    And I re-realized my love for reading. What others call boredom I call freedom – freedom to be absorbed completely by this story in my hands. I get to retract from the world for a while.
    It was so nice that I decided to become better at making time for reading.
    But alas, it’s hard to get done.
    Do you print articles and bring with you?

  49. aekohli June 26, 2014 at 1:54 am | #

    I have a 2 hour commute to work, instead of driving and i very often take the train, just so i can use the time to read!

  50. aekohli June 26, 2014 at 1:56 am | #

    Oops, mixed up my words…that was…have a 2 hour commute to work and instead of driving , i very often take the train, just so i can use the time to read!

  51. myreflectionsblog June 27, 2014 at 8:56 pm | #

    Well said…though I don’t take a train on purpose…most of my reading is done while travelling

  52. SwanDancer June 28, 2014 at 12:07 pm | #

    Life is just full of distractions for readers, isn’t it? I tried purchasing audio books thinking I could go about and around with earphones stuck to my ear all day — but it isn’t working well for me. Thanks for sharing, I might just take the trains sometime. Great post!

  53. Miss Okabe June 29, 2014 at 5:02 am | #

    My sister used to take the train from one end of its route to another, then hop on another train to come back (usually a 4-5 hour journey in total) so she could study at Uni! She’d just find a quiet part with a table and have at it

  54. Nilooka July 1, 2014 at 2:47 pm | #

    So identify with this. I miss travelling by bus for the same reason. I am sharing this at Mindculture.wordpress.com

  55. Nilooka July 1, 2014 at 2:48 pm | #

    Reblogged this on Mindculture's Blog and commented:
    Stealing time to read. I actually got a Kindle Paper White instead of a Fire because it reduces distractions.

  56. bigwonderblogs July 5, 2014 at 3:49 pm | #

    Reading for has also become an uphill battle because of my cellphone , social networks and tv. It’s crazy how much the cellphone gadget can consume time .
    Nice article

  57. belle★beckford July 6, 2014 at 1:01 am | #

    I read so many books when I lived in NYC and had to commute by bus and train. Now that I’ve moved to another state where I must drive everywhere, it’s near impossible to finish one book.

  58. Andrea! July 7, 2014 at 1:54 am | #

    I think if a reader is dedicated enough to find sometime for read then surroundings condition hardly matters. I prefer reading while commuting through metros. Well thanks for sharing wisdom, this is detailed 🙂

  59. holdencaulfieldcampion July 10, 2014 at 2:52 pm | #

    I know exactly where you are coming from. I just have to totally switch everything off before I can concentrate on reading or writing anymore. It’s the new age virus of restlessness I suppose….

  60. hilarymillican July 15, 2014 at 12:16 am | #

    “It is not simply that one is interrupted,” as Park writes; “it is that one is actually inclined to interruption.”

    Couldn’t be better put! I love this idea. Sounds like something I might have to try 🙂

  61. lawyeringup July 20, 2014 at 9:17 am | #

    Reading has become a more deliberate activity. I prefer hard copies but when I have to read electronic copies, I like to go to a section of the library where no phones are allowed and the internet doesn’t work

  62. Crushed Red Velvet August 1, 2014 at 2:24 am | #

    The main reason I don’t mind my commute on public transit is because I definitely get more reading done. Great post!

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