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The Best Books to Read on Your Commute

By uczcslo, on 9 March 2016

As term comes to an end, so do my commutes and thus my commuting blog. As a final conclusion to this series, I thought it would be appropriate to explore what books have made my train rides a little bit easier.

This choice proves to be a difficult challenge, as books serve certain moods and moods can fluctuate depending on how your day is going. From personal experience, you need to find a book with depth. Not a book that makes your attention wander occasionally, but one with a strong plot that sucks you in.

Out of all of the genres I have read on trains, I would say sci-fi or fantasy is the best, and if not, a textbook. I haven’t chosen the textbook because of its entertainment factor – admittedly, they can be quite boring. If you need to get through a textbook however, you’re more motivated to do it in an environment (with fewer distractions) that isn’t your home. Of trade books, sci-fi and fantasy is the best choice because of its ability to pull you into an alternate and action-packed world, thus distracting you from the quiet and boring train ride.

Although these books may not apply to everybody’s tastes, below are three examples that kept me entertained during train journeys.

  1. The Publishing Business From p-books to e-books, Kelvin Smith

“It explores the publishing process from writer to reader; examining the key roles performed in the editorial, design, production and marketing departments.”[1]

Out of all of the textbooks I have read on commutes, The Publishing Business From p-books to e-books is the most user-friendly because of its straightforward content, clarity, and colourful images and diagrams. Although I’m now in my twenties, my love of books with coloured pictures will never die. It keeps my brain active by giving me no option but to dart from image to image in order to understand the content. A welcome distraction from the commuters standing beside me. If you’re a publishing student, I’d recommend this as the best book on publishing. If you’re not a publishing student, then look for colourful, illustrated textbooks on your subject!

  1. Nineteen Eighty-four, George Orwell




This is one of my favourite trade books because of its dystopian setting. If you like stories such as The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, then you’ll enjoy Nineteen Eighty-four which preluded The Hunger Games explosion. Nineteen Eighty-four is a prime example of a book sucking readers into another world. The world is similar to that of modern society and the cramped trains I sit on, but the book manages to morph this setting into something else entirely. The book’s core theme – dictatorship – makes you take a step back and rethink moaning about a menial train ride.

  1. Room, Emma Donoghue

“Jack is five. He lives in a single, locked room with his Ma.”[3]

The third and final example is slightly different to those above. Room provides the reader with an insight into the world of an innocent five-year old and distracts commuters from the adult setting that is central London. Regardless of commuting, this is a great and unique read that opens up a whole new literary world. It is by far one of the most moving stories I’ve read!

There are plenty of other books that I could recommend (not just for commutes), but the list would go on forever. If you’re interested in learning more about what I think of books then have a read of my personal blog www.readreview.co.uk or follow me on Twitter @SarahLouiseOs. I hope this blog helped you with any commuting qualms, but keep your eyes peeled next month for my new blogging series, Tackling a Dissertation!



[1] The Publishing Business: From p-books to e-books, Kelvin Smith, AVA Publishing SA, 2012

[2] Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell, Penguin Books, 2013

[3] Room, Emma Donoghue, Picador, Pan Macmillan, 2011

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