Thursday, June 26, 2014

Reading in the Car


Some of my favorite childhood memories are of reading books in the backseat of my parents' car. I cried over the ending of Where The Red Fern Grows (several times) on a road trip to Phoenix from our home in Yuma. I was shocked and disturbed by the ending of I Am The Cheese by Robert Cormier on a road trip to Flagstaff. Those are only two of the hundreds of books I read while other people were driving.


Even before I could read I associate books with the car. My mother can't read while driving; she gets carsick if she tries. When I was a little kid, we had picture books on tape. I had a cassette tape that read the book, and I had a picture book to follow along with. I specifically remember a book adaptation of The Fox and the Hound that I listened to / read many times.

As an adult now, I am often the drive, so books are out of the question (except occasionally at red lights). I do listen to audiobooks sometimes, but I prefer to listen to podcasts.

Even when I'm not driving, I don't read in the car nearly as much as I used to. There are two reasons for that. First, I like to chat with my husband or at least appear to be available for chatting (although that doesn't stop me from browsing the Internet). Secondly and more significantly, I like looking out the window. As a kid, I wasn't all that interested in scenery. Now on long car trips, I like to look around. We drove through Yellowstone last weekend and apart from glancing at the guidebook, I didn't read at all. There was so much to see. So much that I would have missed as a kid, because I kept my nose stuck in a book.

What about you?

Do you read in the car? Have your car reading habits changed over the years?



If you're interested, here are a few photos I took at Yellowstone last weekend:

Old Faithful

Morning Glory Pool

Pretty pond with Yellowstone Lake in the background

Mud Pot




17 comments :

  1. I don't read in vehicles because doing so makes my head ache. But like you, I never appreciated the scenery before. The trees just bored me! But now, I like looking out the window whenever we travel. Yellowstone is beautiful, particularly the Morning Glory Pool. Is it particularly toxic?

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  2. I never read in a car, I can never concentrate on the book because my family love putting the music at the highest volume possible haha

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  3. I never ever read in the car as a child because of carsickness, and I do not remember my older cousin (who went on many of our vacations with us to "babysit" me) reading to me either. Our family was big on listening to the radio and singing along. We went camping alot in the summers and I do remember bringing library books to read on our boat. My mother was always frantic out about them getting wet, or left behind somewhere along the way (never happened though). Where the Red Fern Grows is my all time winner of books I cried over. I cried about that book months later if I thought about it. I have only read it twice because of this. I think maybe my next year's New Year's book "resolution" will be to have one childhood/teen favorite re-read going at all times (this years "resolution" is at least one Adult book going at all times).

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  4. For short drives, where I'm a passenger, I don't read. But for longer ones (30 minutes or more), I'll bring a book along. We just did a road trip yesterday (2 hours each way), and I was able to finish a book, yay :)

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  5. I can totally read in the car without getting sick or dizzy.

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  6. I always get sick when reading the car, but I always do it anyway. Oftentimes, we'll climb in the car, I'll open the book, my mom will say "You know you'll just get carsick," and I close the book fifteen minutes later because I have, indeed, gotten carsick. For long car trips, my mom has some medicine to prevent carsickness so I can read.

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  7. I can't read in the car. I get carsick so easily. Even glancing at my phone makes me sick sometimes. I wish I could read in the car.

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  8. I always read in the car... I just love it. When my husband and I are on a road trip we will take turns driving just so we can both jump into reading whatever book we want. I want to Yellowstone last September and it was amazing. One of my favorite vacations ever. We stayed at Old Faithful Hotel and then at the end of the week at Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel. Just amazing.

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  9. I read on the bus to work - as well as the bus back home again. Sometimes it's hard if somebody is indulging into an overly-enthusiastic chin-wag just left of my ear lobe - or worse yet if somebody is chatting away to the aether on their i-phone. I really wish people would realize that the bus I am riding on is STRICTLY reserved for my reading pleasure. I might actually tolerate them riding home on my very own bus but they need to be quiet about it, durn it!

    :)

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  10. I wish I could read in the car! I get so car sick tho. I can hardly look down! But I do listen to audio books while driving :)

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  11. I used to devour books on long car rides....Little House on the Prairie was a series I read in the car, but sadly now I get sick. Even now on the bus reading this :-(

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  12. I can't read in cars or on trains or planes they all make me really dizzy and feel sick. Always hated the lost reading time of travelling. But now I'm an adult, I always have a spoken word book on to listen to as I'm driving around and I love it. Been getting through so many more books, and love having them read aloud to me, brings something extra to them. Although noting will ever replace the experience of curling up with my paperback.

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  13. My reading habits in the car (or in my case these days, the train) have changed in a similar manner to yours. I even have specific memories of which trips we took when I read certain books - The Poisonwood Bible was in Alaska, Hitchhiker's Guide in Mexico, and the Redwall books pretty much everywhere we went haha! I still read a lot, but I also have a sudden interest in looking out the window. I'm not sure when or why that happened because as a kid I thought it was pretty boring for the most part. There's only so many times you can drive through the mid and south west before it stops holding even a second of your interest haha

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  14. I used to read in the car all the time growing up. I remember hating it when it got dark outside because my dad never let me turn the car light on and I had to stop reading because I couldn't read the words.

    Of course I don't really read in the car anymore, except the few times I'm stuck in crazy bad traffic. And even on long road trips it's normally just me and the boy so it doesn't seem fair to read and ignore him while he's driving. Plus I get car sick now more easily than I used to. So basically in summary, yes, I used to love doing it, but don't really anymore.

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  15. I wish I could read in the car but I get motion sickness from doing it. If I did, all those road trips to national parks would be so fantastic! Those photos btw are beautiful!

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  16. I can read in the car for short bursts, but I usually take naps if my husband is driving. Apparently, in cars, I like sleep more than reading.

    Terri M.
    Second Run Reviews

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  17. Your photos are beautiful! When I was a kid, I couldn't read in the car or I'd get carsick like your mom. The older I get, I can read a little while without feeling carsick or getting a headache. Most of the time, I'm reading off directions for my husband when we go on vacation. :)

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