Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Train Travel

I usually read on the train, but today I was feeling a bit lazy. Instead, I decided to people watch. First, I noticed a badly dressed woman sitting across from me. After tearing my eyes away from her, I saw that there were several people reading. From where I was, I could see four people reading book, two people using eReaders (I think they were both using a Kindle, but I'm not sure), and almost everyone else doing something on their cell phone.
I have noticed that reading on the Subway train is quite popular. Like iPods and other music players, it gives a person a way to tune out. Unlike various music players, reading gives an excuse not to look up when people come on the train asking for money. We are too engrossed in the words!

I have read from books, my Kobo, and newspapers while on the train. The newspaper is by far the most cumbersome. Sure, it folds up small, but every time I want to turn the page I have to unfold the whole thing, and then refold it, thus disrupting the people sitting next to me and causing a ruckus. If there is a trick to turning the page without causing a ruckus, I have not figured it out.
Books are much easier. Most can fit in one hand, and turning the page involves a simple movement of the arm. There are some disadvantages to books, though. They take up a lot of room in a bag, and when a bag has to fit lunch, notebooks for school, an umbrella (just in case!) and a water bottle...oh, and that whole wallet and keys thing...space is precious and not to be waisted. Books can be heavy, and with off that other stuff in the bag adding extra weight is not a pleasant thought. And when standing on a crowded subway, a small movement of the arm may be asking a bit much. Having to repeat that movement several times is out of the question.
EReaders are lighter and thinner than books, and all it takes to turn the page is a tap of the screen or the push of a button. Much less disruptive to the person sitting next to you, and nicer for your back since you don't have to lug around more weight.

Now, I'm not saying that eReaders don't have their flaws. For reading on a train, though, I think they are quite convenient.
But others may have a different opinion.

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