Best Books to Read Whilst Commuting

As an intern in London and as a student that lives away from home I take a lot of trains and I read a lot whilst I’m riding them. It seems to be a common trait picked up by many and so I not only get to read myself but I also get to see what other people like to read on trains and come up with a list of good books to read whilst commuting.
Penguin Classics – 80p books
Penguin started a new collection just last year to celebrate the 80th anniversary of Penguin and I have been collecting them ever since. They are small yet full of great snippets of literature including the poems of the likes of Christina Rossetti and Emily Bronte, the fiction of Hans Christen Anderson and Kate Chopin and even Non-Fiction excerpts from Charles Darwin and John Ruskin. They’re really short but full of insight and tiny/light to carry around with you. Good little reads.
Poetry Pamphlets
I love reading Poetry Pamphlets they’re often attributed to poets that are just starting to grow as poets before producing full books and become names. I have several pamphlets – many of them I found within my local Books for Free shop. I have pamphlets by Jen Campbell, Carol Ann Duffy (Christmas specials) and Christina Dunhill. Very light and flimsy but full of great imagery and time can be spent deciphering the language if your trips are that long.
Small Memoirs
I have recently started reading memoirs and the smaller ones, again by smaller writers or historical-based memoirs, are great train reads. I would recommend:
-         The Divine Bell & the Butterfly by Jean-Dominique Bauby
-         The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan
-         Sapper Dorothy Lawrence: The only English Women Soldier by Dorothy Lawrence
They’re, again, easy to carry but full of weighty entertainment and facts to keep you interested whilst reading aboard trains. They also have the added advantage of making you seem studious.
Children’s Books
On the less ‘academic’ spectrum and more enjoyable factor, this is the perfect opportunity for people to revisit their childhood favourites.
-         Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie
-         Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
-         The Lion, Witch & the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
Are great, small, classics to get to. But even modern children books are great books to read on trains. You’re never going to see any of these people again, so it doesn’t matter if they see you smiling at the adventures of Peter in Neverland or getting annoyed at Edmund in Narnia. They’re great for transcending you from the cramped carriages of the trains.
How many times have I see Aldous Huxley’s ‘Brave New World’ being read on trains, or even, recently particularly, ‘War and Peace’ by Leo Tolstoy. Trains are a great way of getting to books that you wouldn’t otherwise read but have always wanted to. I used my train trips, during last year, to read the Lord of the Rings series (which I’m still yet to finish) by taking the book with me, and only that book to entertain myself. If you do the same then you have the perfect opportunity to read the book without getting distracted by other entertainments that you’ve brought with you. You almost trick yourself into reading a book that you would have otherwise ignored on your bookshelf.
There are some suggestions of types of books to read whilst commuting on trains. I do most of my reading whilst travelling so I try reading new things as often as possible; it helps with achieving diversity within my reading, but also allows me to enjoy myself by learning/reading new things.
I hope that that helps anyone who are soon to be, or already are, commuting.
Happy Reading!

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