Transit Reader: what are you reading?


Paper books are great, but they can really weigh you down! (Plus you can pop an e-reader in a Ziplock bag to safely read when traveling in the rain.)

Are you an avid transit reader? Do you whip out a well worn paperback the minute you step foot on bus or train? Or do you prefer the Kindle/Nook/tablet – lighter to carry, and no one can tell what you’re reading (is it romance? It’s okay if it’s romance, says the person who recently finished The Governess Affair).

What am I reading now? Night Shift, a short story collection by Stephen King. (And if anyone wants to discuss his Dark Tower series, I’m game. Blaine is a pain, right?) I’ve found that short stories are great for reading on buses or trains. You can usually finish a few of them before reaching your destination and not get upset that you have to stop just as the chapter’s getting good. Plus, Stephen King books read like eating candy – easy to digest horror candy. I try to leave the books that require me to do some research or deep thinking for at-home reading.

But perhaps you like philosophical contemplation during your morning commute. Maybe you like reading comics, or self-help magazines, or books on the Vietnam War. What are YOU reading now? Tell us in the comments and check back for more recommendations!

17 replies

    • Hi Transit Watch LA;

      That makes me want to buy you a real book!

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

  1. On the way to concerts, at the Bowl and at Disney Hall, or on the way to museums, I typically read “disposable reading material”: typically charity newsletters and the like. Usually about 6 or 7 will keep me occupied from Wardlow to at least 7th/Metro, and maybe further. Or if I already have the program covering that performance, I read that.

    That way, if I absentmindedly walk away from my reading material, or it falls out of my pocket (both have been known to happen), or if it gets beat up from being folded or rolled and stuffed into a pocket, it doesn’t really matter.

    I also take a fair amount of the stuff with me when traveling by air or by train, although with those trips, I actually have luggage to stuff real books and magazines into.

  2. Very interesting book I’m just about finished with is “Detroit City is the Place to Be: The afterlife of an American metropolis, by Mark Binelli.” It’s a great combo of Detroit history and interesting stories about the city today, very well written.

    I typically read the Bible on the morning commute, and whatever other book I’m in on the evening commute.

  3. I do a good audiobook, to drown out all the noises of the city. Just finished the Harry Dresden series and Iron Druid Chronicles both very good series.

    • Hi David,

      I tried watching the Dresden TV series…sadly never got into it. But I shall include audio books in the next rec!

      Anna Chen
      The Source, Writer

  4. Haha, I also read manga on the train. Usually bought in bulk at a dollar apiece from Book-Off.

    (As an aside, a light rail down Redondo Beach Blvd is definitely on my Metro fantasy map. Connect the Blue line in Compton and the Green line extension when that gets built.)

  5. Tales of the City by Armistead Maupin. Each chapter is about 4-5 pages long. It’s very easy to read a few chapters on the train. It’s available on Google’s Marketplace, so I just use my smartphone to read it. [“The series opens with the arrival of Mary Ann Singleton, a naive young woman from Cleveland, Ohio, who went on vacation to San Francisco and impulsively decides to stay.” -Wikipedia]

  6. like Japanese commuters, I like to read manga when I’m on a train.

    However, since the phone book-sized JUMP is hard to find, I generally stick to the omnibus manga editions which seem to be more popular in the U.S. – or more frequently, the iPad edition.

    • Hi James,

      Mmmmm JUMP. (Is Naruto finished yet? I refuse to read any more Naruto until it is done.)

      Anna Chen
      The Source, Writer