One of my New Year’s Resolutions this year is to take the train more often to work. Aside from being better for the planet and my health, I’m realizing that my reading life depends on it, too. Seriously, if I took the train to work twice a week, that’s two hours (and more, some days) of extra reading. Not surprising, I always feel better on days I take the train, probably because I’ve started my day with two healthy activities: exercise and reading. To encourage myself in this goal I’ve put together a Can’t Fail list of must-haves for subway reading. Of course, at the end of the day, all you really need is a book, but the other items will help to get me excited about waking up that little bit earlier on train days.
A book, preferably a paperback (it’s lighter and can be held in one hand when you’re forced to stand and read). I contend that subway reading is the perfect time to tackle that ‘serious’ book you’ve not been able to get into so far. There’s nothing like sitting (or standing) for 30-45 minutes with nothing to do and no signal on your phone to give you that extra push into a tricky novel. Plus, 30 minutes (heck, 10 minutes) of steady reading is usually all it takes to get drawn into a book. Sure it’s a good time to get sucked into a mystery, too, but I say, go literary. A good bag: Not a necessity, but when you travel on the train enough times with inappropriate baggage (canvas market bag, I’m looking at you), you appreciate the ease that comes from having a well-made, perfectly proportioned, compartmentalized, and comfortable-for-carrying bag. I like a sturdy (but not heavy), squarish messenger bag or large satchel, myself. It’s the perfect size to fit a book, a notepad and an iPad, if you carry one, not to mention all the other bits and bobs.
Again, not a necessity, but a bookmark makes life a little easier when you’re reading right up until the second the door opens to your stop. Sure, you can jam a finger in there and pick up where you left off once you’ve found your next train platform. Or you can look like a pro with a gorgeous, handmade feather bookmark. Plus, since these little guys are often given as gifts, I love being reminded of the person who gave it to me whenever I open my book. It’s the small things.
A scarf for nestling down into your reading. Maybe this is just a female thing, but I love to create a nest when I read. Nests are not all that socially acceptable in public. However, a soft colorful scarf makes a great simulation of the reading nest. Not to mention, a colorful scarf is an essential piece of anybody’s walking-to-work uniform. I love these hand-printed scarfs from the Block Shop, no less because they support an entire community in India who make them.
An effective alarm clock. This Flying Alarm Clock sounds horrible, but it would certainly do the trick. When the alarm goes off, the helicopter flies off into part of your room. The off switch is on the helicopter, so you have to get up and find the helicopter wherever it’s crashed and turn it off.
On that note, I’m off to catch a train. What is your relationship with train/bus/taxi reading? How do you incorporate reading into your daily life? I’d love to hear any of your tips!