Daniel DiManna
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Tips for Reading During Road Trips

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a good book for reading during road trips
Having trouble reading on the road? You’re not alone. But is there a solution?
Photo: LibreShot via CC

If you love reading, being a passenger during a road trip can be a great time to relax with a good book. For many people, the calming and constant hum of the vehicle and the quietness of a long drive makes the perfect environment for reading. Unfortunately, many of us aren’t so lucky. Reading has been known to cause everything from headaches and dizziness to nausea in passengers. However, there are ways to counteract these side effects and still enjoy your book on the road. If you’re looking for such a solution, read on for some helpful tips about reading during road trips.


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How to keep reading during road trips

Before we begin, it must be stressed that nothing you are about to read should be taken as professional medical advice. These are simply tips that have been shown to help readers during road trips and should be treated as suggestions rather than cures. With that said, let’s dive into it.

Lean back in your seat: Much of the discomfort many passengers feel while reading in a moving car has to do with motion sickness. Even if you’re not prone to nausea on the road, the movement of the car can cause dissonance between our eyes and inner ear while we read, make us feel sick. By tilting your head up and slightly leaning back in your seat, the effect can be lessened. Just make sure you’re not actually laying down in a horizontal or near-horizontal position; that can be incredibly dangerous and should always be avoided.

Bring headache/nausea medicine: If you’re used to feeling a little sick during road trips, chances are you’re already traveling with medicine on hand. With headache and nausea-combating medicine in your system, reading should be an easier task. Just make sure you’re not relying too heavily on medicine just so you can read in the car.

Take breaks: The speed at which motion sickness can affect readers in moving cars is different for every person. For some people, it can be almost instantaneous. For others, it may be an hour or two until you really start to feel affected. If you begin to feel a headache or dizziness coming on, it’d be wise to close your book for a while and relax your eyes and head. Once you’re feeling better, you can try again.

Consider audiobooks: If none of the above suggestions work for you, it may be time to consider switching to audiobooks. Even if you’re a stickler for physical books, making yourself ill for the sake of reading one is just not worth it. Popping in your earbuds and listening to your story will be a much healthier way to stay entertained on the road. Assuming you’re traveling with a sympathetic driver, you can also use your vehicle’s infotainment system to play your audiobook through the speakers.


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With these helpful tips at your disposal, your days of getting headaches while trying to read in the car may finally be over!