Surviving The Daily Commute



Inspired by Library At The End Of The World‘s recent video, I thought I’d talk to you about something near and dear to my heart – how I get through the 40 minute (plus) commute I tackle twice daily.

When I leave the house in the morning and head off in the direction of the bus stop, I have a few options:

  1. Listen to music
  2. Listen to a podcast
  3. Listen to an audiobook
  4. Forgo the headphones altogether
  5. Bonus: open up an actual book once I’ve found a seat

I mostly nix number 4 because I like the allusion of seclusion that headphones afford me when I’m walking downtown.  And if I’m fair, number 5 is never really an option because I can only  read for so long until I still to feel travel sick, so that leaves me with options 1 through 3.

Listening to music has been my favourite option lately (thanks, Spotify Premium) but I don’t feel like I’m accomplishing very much.  I have almost an hour and a half’s worth of commute every day and I could be doing something with that time.  Enter audiobooks.  This is a great option for me when I can find a book/narrator combination that I actually like.  I use Audible or Overdrive and both apps now allow me to speed the narration up to 1.5x or even 1.75x the normal speed.  This all means that if the stars align, I can get through a heck of a lot more books in a year by using time otherwise spent just sitting.

But as I said, I have to find the book, get on with the narrator and be in the mood for the story.  This is where podcasts come in.  There are so many well produced podcasts out at the moment and they cover pretty much every topic imaginable.  (For example, I’ve just found an Australian History podcast by the name of Rum, Rebels, and Ratbags.)  They also range in length from five minutes to over an hour so I can usually find something to cater to my needs.

So there you go.  I’m a big listener.  I like it because it keeps my mind occupied and my hands free.  As an added bonus, there’s no one reading over your shoulder, and it blocks out that woman who spends the entire morning bus ride yelling into her phone.


5 thoughts on “Surviving The Daily Commute

  1. Ughh I just left a job because of the awful commute. Mine was almost 2 hours each way!!! Insane the amount of traffic I sat in. I got a lot of reading done, but since I didn’t do audio, I had to listen to the woman screaming into her phone and annoying the entire bus. I should’ve tried audio, but my phone is always dead and I didn’t want to drain the battery even faster than it already goes. Good tips though!!

  2. I drive about 40 minutes to work one way each day and I like to listen to either audio books or Pandora. I prefer audio books but I can’t always find a book I like that also has a good narrator. Sometimes I end up “rereading” an audio that I already listened to and enjoyed. I used to have an Audible membership but due to economizing I now rely on what I can check out from the library through Overdrive. The downside is that there is often a waiting list for books I want to listen to.

    I can’t read in moving vehicles when I’m a passenger so I usually bring earbuds and listen to audio books. When I went to Canada earlier this year (7 hours one way) I listened to The Supremes at Earl’s All-You-Can-Eat (my favorite audio book so far this year).

    • I’m with you all the way re: audiobook narrators; I actually have a post coming up discussing that very thing. I also use Overdrive for audiobooks, handy, yes, but annoying when you have to wait for the books! I will definitely be looking into The Surpremes. =)

  3. Right after I started blogging in 2013, I started listening to audiobooks. I was sick of my 20 minutes commute in the morning and 20 minute commute in the evenings being all commercials on the radio. I’ve listened to some pretty amazing audiobooks. My favorite so far…Code Name Verity.

    Great post!

    Terri M., the Director
    Second Run Reviews

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