Car sickness while reading is the bane of any bookworm’s existence.
For as long as I can remember I could not read in the car. I can read on a plane. I can read on a train or subway. But if I tried reading in the car I would get so incredibly carsick. As a child and tween, I would keep persevering and would whip out a book to read on the long car rides and after maybe 30 minutes to an hour I would inevitably be feeling queasy as hell and begging my mom to pull over (which she wouldn’t) so I could vom my cookies (which only happened maybe once). And every time, like after a really wretched hangover, I promised myself I’d never do it again. But I did. Until my teen years in which I finally just gave up. UNTIL THIS PAST WEEK.
It’s a freaking CHRISTMAS MIRACLE, y’all!
Let’s set the scene: Will gets offered to take a drive out to Pittsburgh for work on Labor Day (umm hello like double and triple time pay) to make a delivery to one of the sales guys that needed to get there. The best part — I get to go with him. Now it’s about a 5 1/2 hour drive each way so I knew I had to entertain myself SO I decided to bring a book and just give it a try and if I started to feel nauseous than I’d lay down. So we get on the turnpike and I crack open a book….and I was FINE the whole way. I kept giving myself little breaks to look up and talk to Will to perhaps help prevent the sickness but I read so much in that car ride that I finished the whole book! I don’t know if this means I will be able to do this forever (we were in a bigger truck — not my little car or Will’s car) but I was so stinking excited that I defeated Car Sickness.
I mean, my life would be so much better if I could read in the car all the time. I’d get so much reading done on my way to visit my dad who lives 4 hours away AND Will and I would fight less while he drives because I’d be occupied (I’m the worst backseat driver ever).
A little science lesson about reading in the car: Our brain uses our senses so that we know what our location is. Our inner ears and eyes are both used to do that. When you get car sick, it’s because those two are disagreeing with each other. Your eyes are fixated on the book and so your eyes think you are still but your ears and the rest of your body feel the movements of the car so they think you are in movement rather than still — the motion sickness is the response of this discrepancy between your body. (Source)
One optometrist suggests that bookworms who want to read in the car do the following:
- Slouch below the windows and hold the book at eye level.
- Rest the reading material on your lap and block side views with your hands.
- Turn your back to the window on your side of the vehicle, rest the book in your lap, and avoid looking out the window on the other side.
- Read at night, with a light. When it’s dark outside you don’t see as much motion.
SO, dear friends, I’m curious…how many of you can read in the car? How many of you get car sick? Any tips for reading in the car for those of us who can’t do it?