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Can you read in the car poll?

Reading while traveling (check all that apply)

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SB Sarah mentioned on her twitter feed that she reads in the car alot.   I know that sometimes I can read in the car and sometimes I can’t.   I think it depends on whether I am reading with my glasses and whether I’ve eaten decent food.

I am generally able to read in an airplane or bus.   Like SB Sarah says, the ability to read while traveling is a blessing.   What about you?   Is this something you can do or do you get too queasy?   Are you able to read in paper form better than eform in the car?


(Sorry for the poll answers, I got a little punchy there.   Too much holiday spirit).

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


  1. Jane O
    Dec 27, 2008 @ 11:48:59

    However, I do my best to avoid reading in the car when I am the driver.

  2. Jessica
    Dec 27, 2008 @ 12:08:37

    Yes, I do read in the car, even while driving.

    I plug in my iPod and press play. ;)

  3. Janicu
    Dec 27, 2008 @ 12:27:34

    I used to be able to read better in the car when I was a kid. Now I get a little nauseated if there are a lot of turns. So I basically will take some breaks to look out the window during turns, and read only when I know we’re staying mostly straight and going down a highway for a while. I find the trick is to look at the horizon for a bit if I feel woozy.

  4. rebyj
    Dec 27, 2008 @ 12:39:51

    I read ANYWHERE!

  5. SandyW
    Dec 27, 2008 @ 12:43:15

    Reading in a moving vehicle has never been a good idea for me. I have, however, eaten green eggs and ham. Out of a can, in basic training. ;)

  6. Anne Douglas
    Dec 27, 2008 @ 12:45:51

    Absolutely not in a car, nor a small boat – barf is not the word for the power upchucking that comes from me reading in a car. (But then I also can’t do 3d rides, something to do with my particular type of visual defect I think)

    Planes – thank goodness that just gives me a headache, because those flights from LAX to NZ = way too long and I would be certifiably insane by the end of them without a book.

  7. Courtney Milan
    Dec 27, 2008 @ 12:54:29

    There wasn’t a poll option for, “I can’t read in the car, but if a book is really good I will keep reading even knowing it will make me nauseous because it will be SOOOO worth it.”

    Just got Victoria Dahl’s TALK ME DOWN from the store today and was so enraptured reading it that I read through the scene with the photographs in the car, and only noticed I’d gotten car sick when I was trying to scramble up the icy stairs to my apartment.

  8. Samantha
    Dec 27, 2008 @ 12:58:43

    I can read just about anywhere, never actually tried to in a boat. I tend to like reading on my ipod while traveling better since I always have to set it down to help the kids do something or other and I don’t lose my place. I’m really bad about reading while cooking, one page for the recipe one for the book and I just flip between them when needed. My mom on the other hand cannot read while in a car for anything, she turns green.

  9. joanne
    Dec 27, 2008 @ 14:05:30

    I’m thankful that I no longer have to commute but how I wish ereaders were available when I did. The queasy factor came into play a lot plus people always want to talk when they see someone reading. What is up with that?

    I love reading in the comfort of my home.
    Minus the mouse, please.

  10. MaryK
    Dec 27, 2008 @ 14:20:36

    I cheated a bit because I’ve never tried reading on a train, boat, or plane. The effects of reading in a car are enough – I don’t want to risk it in a public place.

    It’s not just queasiness or wooziness for me. It’s a full-body weakness and malaise that blots out everything else and doesn’t go away until I sleep it off. I can’t ignore it at all, not even for the best book in the universe. :-(

  11. Caty
    Dec 27, 2008 @ 14:22:35

    I never could when I was a kid – I had to look out of the window or I felt really ill – but I can read pretty much anywhere now. I sometimes feel very slightly nauseous in the car or on a bus, but not enough to stop me reading. When I used to get the bus to work, I always took a book.

    Trains don’t bother me at all; just about the only plus-side of living 350 miles from my family for a couple of years was the six hours uninterrupted reading on the train home. Two books on the trip down, two more on the way back.

    When I was a teenager, I read my first and only Jackie Collins novel cover to cover on a ferry trip; it was that or stare at the English Channel for six hours. The book made me feel a little ill in places (not really to my taste), but I had no trouble with motion sickness. If I’m on a boat and the sea is rough, I might get seasick – but reading doesn’t seem to affect it one way or the other.

  12. Ann Bruce
    Dec 27, 2008 @ 15:39:58

    I also read while walking to and from work. Occasionally, a good Samaritan will pull me back before I walk into oncoming traffic.

  13. Angela James
    Dec 27, 2008 @ 16:12:51

    I travel a lot. I used to never be able to read in the car. Ever. Now, I can read on both my laptop and my ereader–no paper, no way no how. Reading on a plane is very easy for me, any format, no problem. Train is the same as a car. Boat? I can’t even look at a boat without feeling nauseous, let alone contemplate reading on one. But definitely, for me, eformat makes me less ill while traveling in a car/train.

  14. Jaci Burton
    Dec 27, 2008 @ 16:14:02

    If in the car, it really depends on the kind of road we’re on. If we’re on the highway and breezing along, no problem. If we’re doing side roads with a lot of winding, or if we’re in stop and go traffic, then no way–I get carsick trying to read.

    I can read on a plane with no problem at all though…unless there’s turbulence. Heh.

  15. Angela James
    Dec 27, 2008 @ 16:16:22

    Oh, that’s a really good point, Jaci, and one I was thinking when I originally read this post. I’m the same way with reading in the car. It has to be highways, but not bumpy or windy highways or side roads, and definitely no stop and go traffic.

  16. Marg
    Dec 27, 2008 @ 18:02:33

    I used to be able to read in the car whilst moving, but not anymore. I take audio books for those trips! I do however read in the car when traffic is stopped in jams or at the lights!

    I read on the train all the time. With a 3 hour or more each day, that is my major reading time!

    LOL @ the poll answers.

  17. Anki
    Dec 27, 2008 @ 21:37:00

    I have to read on the bus and in the car or I’ll get carsick. It really helps to have something else to focus on so I don’t notice all the twists and turns in the road.

  18. Nicole
    Dec 27, 2008 @ 22:45:51

    Trains, yes. Took Amtrak way too many times home during school (it’s a 24 hour trip).

    Meclizine is wonderful for me to be able to read without getting nauseous, but my main problem is that moving vehicles make me fall asleep. Even when I’m driving for long distances. Only way to really stay awake is to listen to audiobooks. Music? Nope, even when it’s hard rock and loud, I nod off. Perhaps I have a bit of my mother’s narcolepsy…..

  19. theo
    Dec 28, 2008 @ 10:52:24

    Every year, we are forced (by family responsibilities) to make an eight hour car ride. I read one book there, one book home and take three to cover the time I spend there.

    I read anywhere, always have a book in the car to read when I get caught at the train crossing (that is only supposed to be blocked for three minutes but usually ends up being blocked for twenty!) and read on the treadmill, holding the book in my hands while I walk. As long as I don’t look away from the page, I don’t slip off the end…

  20. Helen Burgess
    Dec 28, 2008 @ 12:10:50

    I once riveted a train carriage by reading The Vampire Lestat out loud to a blind friend. It’s very strange to look up and realise you have the complete attention of a lot of people. I often wonder if any of them went out and got the book to find out how it ended.

  21. ms bookjunkie
    Dec 28, 2008 @ 15:13:42

    I can read in a car, bus, train and plane. I haven’t tried it in/on a boat. What size boat?

    I’m rarely in a boat, and when I am it is usually a rowboat with maybe a small engine. I have to say that the idea of bringing a book aboard (let alone an ereader!) to manage to drop into the lake has not really crossed my mind. Reading on a ship OTOH, really depends on the weather. I’ve experienced seasickness once -when I was four- and never want to repeat the experience. That probably had something to do with winter storms in the English Channel since my other four overnight sailing experiences (on large-ish ferries in the Mediterranean and the Baltic Seas -during the summer) failed to make me queasy.

    I prefer being a passenger in a car to driving one because I can read as a passenger. If the road is too twisty/bumpy for reading then I can usually still knit or embroider -if I’m having one of my ‘inspiration phases’- so my time is not wasted.

    I read on paper for now, but do appreciate the library audiobooks because I can do handicrafts at the same time as I enjoy the books. Except a) I don’t like audiobooks on trains because I want to be able to hear the announcement informing me when I’m supposed to be getting off! and b) the handicrafts have to be in a phase where I don’t have to do much thinking/planning because I miss out on the book if I am concentrating on solving some problem.

    And I have to say that I feel really uncomfortable with a mouse in the house so lets just say that there soon won’t be one -and I do NOT have a heart about it!

  22. kirsten saell
    Dec 28, 2008 @ 19:39:28

    I can read on a plane if there’s not too much turbulence–keeps my mind off the fact that those folks in charge of Bernoulli’s principle still can’t difinitively prove why your shower curtain flies up when you turn the water on. Being an island-dweller, I’ve had to learn to read on ferries or die of boredom.

    In a car? One word: vomitrocious. I can’t even play first-person shooter games on the computer–they make me motion-sick in my own living room.

    Don’t have a mouse or a fox, but I do own a rat and a dog. They’re good company in the teeny tiny box that is my house. I read with (though not to) them all the time…

  23. Mireya
    Dec 29, 2008 @ 13:13:39

    I can read fine while riding on a train (I have a 1 hour commute from LI to NYC and it’s a perfect way to catch up on my reading). I can read perfectly fine while in a plane. However, reading while in a moving car makes me sick. I can read in a boat… a BIG one as in large cruise ship. If you are talking about a smallish one, forget about it. I get seasick in those.

  24. Keri M
    Dec 29, 2008 @ 13:58:03

    I am like a lot of you, I can’t even look at a book in the car with out getting nauseous and I do mean almost instantaneous sickness. My mom can read in a moving car so I asked her how she did it. She said she holds the book close to her face to where she can’t see movement out of the corners of her eyes and she can read with no problem. So I tried that, I got through one page and had to have my husband pull over so I could barf…lol…never again! I can read on a plane with no problem, but can’t comment on the train or boat issue since I haven’t been on those yet.

  25. SonomaLass
    Dec 29, 2008 @ 19:36:39

    I can read on a plane, unless there is turbulence. Anything else that moves, not a chance. In the car, I tend to fall asleep if I’m not driving — I think that’s an automative defense mechanism against nausea, because I do get dreadfully carsick. Boats are even worse. Trains don’t make me ill facing forward, but facing the rear is difficult — and reading is right out.

    I put that paper is easier than electronic only because electronic requires both my laptop and power. On long plane trips (to the UK once or twice a year), I can’t count on my laptop battery to last the whole trip — it seems to get longer every year. I hoard paperbacks for these trips, so that I’m not lugging hardbound books, and I learned the hard way not to take library books with me on overseas trips!

  26. John
    Jan 28, 2012 @ 14:10:23

    Too much holiday spirit? You drunk ****!

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