Back when I used to commute 45 minutes each way to work by train, I read a lot. Or, if I'd had a big night, I dozed or put the minutes toward thinking. It was really easy to do. On the way to work, I knew to start paying attention to stops as soon as the train went underground. My stop was the second one into the subway. On the way home, no worries at all. My stop was at the end of the line immediately preceded by a long and gentle curve where the railway line slid out of built-up suburbia and in to parks and a sparkling bay dotted with boats.
Originally, I had to bustle down to the public wharf and catch the ferry to my home town - through the boat-sprinkled bay and across the more open stretch of water known as Port Hacking. As soon as I had enough money though, and a partner as it so happened, I moved to the end-of-the-line town and cut 1/2 an hour off my commute.
90 minutes a day is just enough time to think up some great plans for the WHOLE weekend, just enough to read a Larry & Stretch Western from start to finish, and more than enough time to flick through a newspaper or catch up on missed snack-times.
I really miss all that. Even Larry & Stretch.
Now, I have a 20-minute walk [depending on what music I'm plugged in to] or a 5-minute drive to my work place, and no time to read anything other than traffic lights. When I first embarked on this new routine, I thought it was great. Working so close to home has been super convenient on more than a dozen occasions. But as my children grew up, life became busier and reading/thinking time was slashed. I've become quite nostalgic for the good old days of rail commutes and enforced time alone.
If only reading while walking was easier to manage.