One habit that I picked up when I was still in third grade was to carry a book with me wherever I went. Even when my mother scolded that my bags were too heavy, I was undeterred. Case in point, I still carry a book with me no matter where I go.
The Perks of Reading on the Go
1. Fill waiting time
For the most part commuting is made up for waiting: waiting for a bus or subway, waiting for said bus or subway to reach your destination. Waiting means that there’s a lot of time to fill. That time can so easily be filled with reading.
2. Books are great companions
Commuting with friends makes time pass so much faster. When you’re alone, time seems to really drag out. Reading on the go means you won’t even notice where the time goes.
3. Avoid awkward conversations
Say you end up on a bus with an acquaintance. Usually that means forcing awkward small talk. If however, you bury your nose in a book, they’ll probably just say hi and be relieved that they don’t have to actually start a conversation with you.
4. Sometimes that’s the only time left to read
If you have a lot of commitments that make you too busy to read, seize the last shred of time that you still have left thanks to your commutes.
5. Fight boredom
Rather than staring blankly into space, be entertained by a book. Reading on the go means you’ll never be bored again. Unless, of course, you don’t like a book you’re reading. In that case, care a back-up book or load a few ebooks on an e-reader.
6. Save data and phone battery
Reading a book won’t cut into data plans. That’s at least 40 hours of data saved per month, for an hourly commute to and from work/school. That’s also two hours of phone battery preserved every day.
7. Appear smart
Nowadays most commuters have their eyes glued to their screens. When people see you reading instead, they immediately peg you as the smartest person around. And who doesn’t like people to think they’re smart?
Essentials for Reading on the Go
1. A book plus back-up
Needless to say, reading on the go requires a book — preferably paperback, ebook or audiobook. Hardcovers aren’t as handy for toting around. Though if you don’t mind the added weight and bulk, be my guest. If you know that you’re likely going to finish your book or aren’t sure if you’ll like it, be sure to have a back-up book.
2. Comfortable shoes
Comfortable shoes are important too. I don’t recommend balancing on heels while toting a bag and clutching your book. It’s for your own safety and the safety of fellow commuters. I once stood beside a lady who almost lost her balance and stepped on my bare feet in flip-flops. It was painful! And she was holding her phone with both hands instead of holding onto a handrail.
3. Earphones or headphones
I also recommend a good pair of earphones or headphones. Sometimes I plug in my earphones simply to drown out surrounding noise. Of course, when I want to listen to an audiobook, my earphones are critical.
4. Portable charger
Portable chargers probably are a good idea too. This applies when listening to audiobooks or reading ebooks. Don’t let a flat battery stand between you and the book you’re currently reading. It’s extremely frustrating when that happens.