Sunday, July 29

Commuter Reading

Every day, I commute an hour to an hour and a half each way. It would have been nice to be able to really read something while in transit, unfortunately, I shift modes of transportation quite often. The longest ride I take is a 14 minute train ride, with perhaps a nine minute wait thrown in. Not exactly the best situation for reading.

MJ Iles, in this essay in The Guardian, agrees that commuter reading only allows you to "snatch at literature": "Though I see other people doing it, I don't think this is the way to read books. Only if I didn't care about a novel - only if I considered it not worth appreciating - would I subject it to such a reading process."

Iles suggests "episodic novels," which are "oddly out of favour nowadays." Short stories would be ideal, if only if they weren't the wrong length--it's either too short that a page is all you have, or too long that you have to stand aside and finish reading it while on the escalator, or hold up the line at the turnstiles. Poetry's also possible, but since I ride early in the morning and my caffeine buzz is still not there, I don't even want to try it.

It's really quite the dilemma, unless you're perfectly happy listening to the radio. Or as Iles suggest, do Sudoku. But since I'm not numbers oriented myself, I might just close my eyes and maybe catch some more shuteye.

1 comment:

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