The ups and downs of reading on public transport



Hey everyone! So last week I explained that I wouldn’t be doing a Top Ten Tuesday post this week because I couldn’t think of 10 for each subject and merged two weeks worth together! So, this is what I came up with instead! A kind of discussion / listicle!

I totally stole this idea from Shruti @ This is Lit who posted something extremely similar just over a week ago! I super enjoyed her post but had so many more things I could think of to add (mostly negative because I’m a Debbie Downer!) that I wanted to do my own. So, thanks Shruti for inspiring me!

Hmm, now how do I do this? Do I end on a high note, or do I start on a high note? I mean either way, we’re going get into the negatives at some point, right? Maybe I’ll do one, then the other, so we have an even negative and positive feel throughout!

You get time to read because you don’t have to do any of the transporting

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Oh the joys of doing nothing! This is my most favourite aspect of public transport… you don’t have to do anything, so you get the entire time of your journey to read! I can drive, but due to where my work is and the cost of running & funding my own car, I don’t drive currently. I’m dreading the time in my life where a car is necessary because I’m going to lose my hours worth of reading time I get each day!

I get so much read in the half an hour there and back every day that I think I would have a bit of a meltdown if I didn’t get that time anymore. I feel totally wiped after work most days, so this transport reading is often the only reading I do for the day, if I lost that, my reading count would plummet!


Super chatty passengers who don’t get the concept of inside voices

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I can’t be the only person who gets super distracted by conversations around me when I’m reading… right? I honestly need close to silence to be able to concentrate and some people on the train have conversations as loud as they can, so I can’t absorb the words of my book!

I’m not being a total bitch and saying “don’t talk on the train!!!!” I’m saying “please use inside voices and be respectful of your fellow passengers”. Conversations are fine. Conversations at 3 million decibels are not!


You’re the odd one out because you’re the only one not on your phone

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It’s probably just me on this one, but I always feel super smug when I’m the only one not glued to their screen, scrolling through Facebook or Instagram.

What’s really funny is that my train journey is all overground but there is this one section where we go into a tunnel for about a minute or so and everyone loses their signal and all huff because their social media isn’t loading! I’m just sat there reading my non-signal required book, getting the most entertainment out of everyone I’m sat around, hehe!


Sometimes you don’t have enough arm room to get your book out

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Sometimes my train can be super busy and this leaves you no room to get your book out! If you’re reading a physical book and the train is rammed full of people it can get crushed, which is my worst nightmare tbh!

That’s the benefit of a Kindle on public transport, it can’t get ruined. Just don’t drop it down the crack between the platform and train!


You get appreciative looks from other readers

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I love it when you see another reader on the train and they check out the book you’re reading and give you a little tip of the head or smirk etc, as though they’re saying “good on ya”. I do it to readers myself, I wonder how they feel about it back lol.


It can be super uncomfy 

 funny jenna marbles uncomfortable comfortable comfy GIF

Train and bus seats aren’t the comfiest. Even 1st class train seats aren’t anything special!

I like to be in super comfortable surroundings when I read, like my bed, or snuggled with one of my doge’s on the sofa. So having the smallest amount of bum space on a stiff and slightly scratchy chair isn’t great!

Those are my ups and downs of reading on public transport! I’d love to hear your thoughts on these and if you can think of any others it’d be great to hear them!

I hope this was post will suffice over my normal Top Ten Tuesday post I’d be putting up about now.

Happy Tuesday all!

43 Replies to “The ups and downs of reading on public transport”

  1. The thing with me, is that I am always listening to music… even if I just have to go out for 5minutes and come back home… It’s not normla I know, but I am always listening to music while on public transportation w/ or w/o a book, so thankfully I don’t have to listen to people… because I completely get what you are saying and I simply hate it!
    As for the other thing you said, I am actually happy when I look around and I am the only one who’s not with the phone… it actually brings a smile at my face!! I used to be glued to it but I am trying my best not to…

    I loved this post!! 🙂 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your comment Matxi! I can’t listen to music at the same time as reading, unless it’s classical, but I do listen to music very often, when I don’t have a book with me to read, or I just don’t feel like reading!
      Same as you, I’m trying to cut down my phone time, but with this blog popping up notifications all the time, it gets difficult sometimes haha! 😛

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Great post Zuky!! I don’t take public transport so I can’t contribute to that aspect but I will say i have to have my headphones in with ocean sounds going for me to be able to read or it has to be completely silent. I can’t concentrate any other way.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Misty! ❤
      I like to listen to classical music and piano pieces if the train is extra noisy. I can't listen to any music with words otherwise my brain focuses on those ones, not the ones I'm reading! I've never thought to listen to relaxing sounds like rain, the ocean etc, that's good idea though, I'll have to get an app on my phone for it!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I love reading on the train! It’s so relaxing and fun. I love seeing other people read on the train too, that makes me really happy for some reason.
    Chatty people in the train are the worst! I can’t focus if people are talking all around me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Same here. This morning I saw a man reading American Psycho on the train, and being one of my favourite book, I felt really cheery!
      Aren’t they? I don’t mind small conversations that are quiet and considerate to other passengers, but some people have no respect for others on the train. The other day I had the pleasure of sitting next to a group of 5 or 6 men with (no exaggeration) 8 bags full of beer, crisps and other snack foods. Not only were they the loudest group of people on Earth, they also all stank! It was horrible. Safe to say, I couldn’t focus on my book at all on the train ride home!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ugh yes those people are the worst. Often the trains here in the Netherlands have silent areas, which is the best thing ever, because it’s okay if you tell people to be quiet and people usually are. So when I feel like reading I always try to find a spot in those areas.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Sometimes, I wish I live a little farther from work so that I can read. I often miss my stop because I am too engrossed in reading so I stopped doing it. But when I go somewhere that requires at least 30 minutes of travel, I don’t leave without a book. 😀

    I am with you on needing silence in order to read. I can’t even listen to music. Fortunately, it’s considered impolite to talk loud in public transportation here so it rarely happens. XD

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’d be screwed if I missed my stop! The next stop is 20 minutes from my home (by car)! I get 30 mins on the train there and back so I’m lucky I get that much time to read each day.
      It’s considered quite rude to do it here, most of the time people are quiet but you do sometimes get some really annoying ones! 😂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Ahh yes it’s such a good time slot to just read!! Agree with you!! And I also use the kindle cos you only need one hand 😉 Hahha yes, I always feel like there’s camaraderie between fellow readers on the train! Awesome post!


    1. I’ve only just found this comment because it’s been sitting in my spam folder for some reason! Yes, the Kindle is definitely better for transport reading, like you said, one hand! 😛 Thanks so much 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Aw, what a lovely post! I could totally relate to all of these! 😀
    I usually have around 20 minutes to read on the train when I’m on my way to uni and I always make sure to put headphones in so I don’t have to listen to other people talking!
    I used to always take a physical book with me but now my bag is sooo heavy that I don’t want to add another book to it! So I usually have at least one or two books downloaded and just read on my phone! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I read on my phone occasionally but I have my Kindle with me most of the time so that saves me some space but I like carrying a book with me which is easy enough as I don’t carry much around for work. I can listen to lyricless music while reading but nothing else, otherwise my brain gets all confused with the words haha 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  7. The chatty passengers are super annoying when they start talking to you when you just want to read. Some of them don’t take the hint when you try to go back to your book, and they just keep talking.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I always attract the weird ones. I once had someone ask me about what I was reading, then he kept talking and when I tried to get off at my stop wouldn’t let me out of my seat until I gave him a phone number. So I made one up.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Very good points here! 😀 I have a hard time reading too when there’s a bunch of loud conversation going on all around me, so I feel your pain on that. lol I also hate when it is so obvious you want to be reading and someone keeps bugging you and preventing you from reading your book. It’s nice that they are friendly and want to chat but it kind of sucks too because you just want to read with what little time you’ve got there to read. 😛

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! Now I know how it feels to be annoyed by loud talkers, I could never bother someone on the train! I don’t mind if they talk to me for a second but most of the time of just like to get on with my reading, like you said 😋

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I miss public transport (I drive now, I moved jobs, counties and now live 12 minutes away from work). I used to get so much reading done on my commutes to and from London. I am trying really hard to still read for the same amount of time each day, it’s just harder when you have other things at your fingertips!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I now arrive to work early so that I can have about 40 minutes reading time before I start. 😛 Luckily, my partner starts work before me and thus I have to get up earlier as I drive him to work too, otherwise I definitely wouldn’t take that extra reading time.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Reading definitely does make time fly away. I read my Kindle at the gym sometimes, and those sessions always fly by in comparison to others!
      I can’t listen to audiobooks because I’m really particular about voices and I can’t seem to find any that I like!


  10. I love when you see another reader on the train and discreetly try to figure out what they’re reading. I read on the subway every day to work so I could definitely relate to all of this! I don’t mind the quieter conversations which turn into white noise, but someone talking loudly so you hear their distinct voice is really distracting. My great annoyance are the few times when it’s busy enough that I’m squished with people and don’t have anywhere, like a pole, to hold on so I can’t read!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, reading without being able to hold on to anything to keep you supported is a risky business! To many times have I fallen into the people around me just because I want to get a book finished haha. Thank you for your comment! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I didn’t get a pingback until today for some reason. I can’t believe I missed this post; it’s really good! I love your points. Kindles do feel like they’ve been made for reading on public transport but I still don’t like them as much as physical copies. Also, a first class seat and my resting bitch face make sure that no one encroaches my personal space!😊

    Liked by 1 person

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