It just makes me sick!

Growing up, my appetite for reading was insatiable.  At night, I read under the cover of darkness with a pen light.  I read while tanning at the beach.  I tried to read at the dining room table during dinner, but my Puritanical father forbade it.  I read during classes, hiding paperbacks in my textbooks, which I kept at a 45 degree angle resting on my lap and desk.

There was only one location where I desperately wanted to read but was physically unable: in a moving vehicle

 Yes, it’s true.  I suffer from debilitating motion sickness in cars, planes, trains, boats, and buses.  If I try to read while in any of these modes of transportation, it compounds the nausea, weakening my already delicate constitution.

The cruel irony doesn’t escape me–I love to travel AND I love to read.  I can’t do both simultaneously without breaking out in a cold sweat, being racked with waves of nausea, and issuing forth a geiser of vomit, much to the pleasure of  traveling companions and others within earshot.

Sadly, Dramamine and other remedies don’t work for me.  Instead, I’ve taken to listening to audio books (when traveling alone) and they have saved me from the plague that is motion sickness. 

How about you?  Can you read in a moving vehicle without dying a thousand deaths?

30 Comments

  • At 2009.03.25 23:37, Cathy said:

    I’m lucky and unlucky all at one go. I’ve always enjoyed reading in moving vehicles, but I can’t do it anymore because my husband takes it a bit personally that I have my nose stuck in a book rather than talk with him. I can see his point, but I still miss reading in the car!

    • At 2009.03.26 02:30, Jena said:

      I’ve always been a vehicle reading. But like Cathy, my husband would rather I chat with him while we’re driving, but we do both enjoy audio books, so we stock up before a long trip, and we’ve listened to Lolita, TKAM, Colbert’s book, Geoge Carlin…

      Can you listen to books on an iPod or something while you travel?

      • At 2009.03.26 02:59, Emma James said:

        Absolutely not! It’s almost as bad as being on a boat at night. I simply want to die.

        • At 2009.03.26 05:09, Susan from WhelanFlynn said:

          I can’t read in the car, especially if sitting in the back seat, but love to read when travelling by bus/coach, train or plane.

          At least you can use audiobooks now when travelling. You don’t have to miss out. 🙂

          • At 2009.03.26 05:50, Marg said:

            I used to be able to, but these days I start to feel sick! This is really when audiobooks really come into their own!

            • At 2009.03.26 06:59, Emily said:

              I, thankfully, am able to read in the car (or any other form of transportation) which is a really great thing because, in 8 hours I’ll be in a car with my husband and In-laws driving all the way from Michigan to North Carolina (12 or so hours). I already have a bag of books ready to go!

              • At 2009.03.26 07:16, bermudaonion said:

                I can’t read in the car either, that’s why I’ve started listening to audio books on car trips.

                • At 2009.03.26 07:22, Beth F said:

                  I can read on planes and trains but not in a car or bus. Well, I can read a map — but no way I can read a book. Audiobooks are the solution!

                  • At 2009.03.26 08:48, Connie said:

                    Wow…seems like a common condition. I can read on a plane…reading in cars gives me a headache and the headaches usually make me nauseous etc.

                    • At 2009.03.26 09:03, pannonica said:

                      Yes. But I can’t write very well, including filling in crosswords, in a moving vehicle. Too sloppy and I end up waiting for stops or pauses or extended bumpless, turnless periods which always becomes too frustrating.

                      • At 2009.03.26 09:08, Stephanie of Stopbouncing said:

                        bblllleeeehh.
                        I can hardly stomach reading a map/GPS in the car.
                        Thankfully though, my condition was determined at a young age, thus preventing a (more) embarrassing teenhooddum.

                        Do they make books on CD? I don’t even own a tape deck anymore.

                        • At 2009.03.26 09:36, Hayden Tompkins said:

                          It’s happened to me a couple of times in a car, but never – THANK GOD – in a plane or train.

                          • At 2009.03.26 09:48, nat @ book, line, and sinker said:

                            oh, let me tell you how much fun it is to be lavishly sick while trapped in your seat in an airplane. oh, and how about while traveling to sleep-away camp by charter bus (grade 4)? tossing your cookies on a seatmate is an invaluable way to make friends. and i speak from experience.

                            • At 2009.03.26 07:32, nat @ book, line, and sinker said:

                              i have taken up listening to audio books…and it’s been a life-saver. 🙂

                              • At 2009.03.26 10:33, Stephanie said:

                                I used to be able to read while in a car, but over the last few years I’ve found myself getting sick each time I try. Luckily though I can still read on a plane (which makes long trips WAY easier)!

                                • At 2009.03.26 10:56, Jessica said:

                                  not when my husband is driving! Thats enough to make ANYONE sick- reading or not.

                                  • At 2009.03.26 12:46, claire said:

                                    I also cannot read in the car when in motion, it makes me nauseous and I get a terrible migraine. Also, I like talking with my husband more when we’re driving.

                                    • At 2009.03.26 13:58, Megan said:

                                      Definitely no reading in the car for me, either! Which sucks, as much as I wind up going on road trips — especially to the Outer Banks. That’s a solid seven hours of sustained reading time right there!

                                      Ironically, when I was riding a commuter bus to work, I had no problems at all reading — and finished books so fast. So that cost me money, of course — constantly having to buy new books to read on the bus! But I guess because it was a larger vehicle, it made for a smoother ride… and kept the nausea at bay? Not sure. Sounds reasonable though, right?

                                      • At 2009.03.26 07:37, nat @ book, line, and sinker said:

                                        oh, the backseat…my own personal hell.

                                        as kids, my sister didn’t believe that i would really get sick sitting in the back. we would bicker over the front seat…but after i demonstrated what riding in the back did to me, she learned to let me have the front seat. hee hee hee.

                                        • At 2009.03.26 14:22, Karen said:

                                          I’m the same as you – any movement at all and I’m in a bad situation if I try and read! I even tried reading while I was on the exercise bike – nope!!

                                          • At 2009.03.26 15:20, Holley said:

                                            audiobooks have changed my traveling life! I can’t even look at my shoes to tie them in a moving car…

                                            • At 2009.03.26 20:59, J.C. Montgomery said:

                                              I even think about reading in the car and I get queasy. Boats are okay if I’m above deck. Something about fresh air and being able to see the horizon line. Planes and trains have always been good for me, and I can never understand why I can do those and not a car.

                                              If it makes you feel better, I can’t watch movies at IMAX theaters. Ever.

                                              To this day my son makes fun of me for having to run across two rows of startled patrons trying not to barf popcorn all over myself – and them.

                                              • At 2009.03.26 23:17, Carrie K. said:

                                                I love audiobooks for traveling for that very reason. I used to be able to read in the car when I was a kid, but something changed in my system after four pregnancies, and now I get very carsick if I even look down at a map while my husband is driving!

                                                • At 2009.03.27 10:44, belleofthebooks said:

                                                  I suffer from the same curse and have all my life. If the book is really good, I’ll suffer through it and lose a day or two being sick because, well, I’m an addict and can’t help myself. When I was working for a publisher I had a two hour commute each way and it was just torture carrying all of those books home and not being able to crack any open!

                                                  • At 2009.03.27 14:54, avisannschild said:

                                                    Like you I can’t read in cars or boats, although luckily I can usually read on buses, planes and trains. I am sensitive to motion sickness as well, so I do sometimes have trouble with these modes of transportation too. And I found out the hard way that I can’t look at microfilm without feeling nauseous. However, I did find a (partial) cure: ginger pills! I actually made my own (buying powdered ginger and veggie capsules) and took upwards of 15 a day when I spent a week in the library in Salt Lake City doing family history… I haven’t tried using ginger caps for other types of motion sickness, though. (You do have to take a capsule 1 hour before the activity in question and then another one every hour during the activity. It can be a bit hard on your stomach!) I should try it because I think I still have a bottle of leftover from that trip!

                                                    I also can’t play most video games or even watch someone else play for fear of feeling sick to my stomach. And like J.C., I sometimes have trouble with movies: Hancock was a horrible experience. Oh and blogs that have backgrounds that don’t scroll with the text? Not so good either. I can’t read them for very long…

                                                    • At 2009.03.27 23:35, thewordjar said:

                                                      After reading these comments, I feel very fortunate that I can read in practically any situation, moving or stationary. Whenever my husband and I travel together, we’ll both read. If he’s driving, I’ll read, and he’ll read while I’m driving. Many a plane ride has been spent with our noses buried in our books. (Although I guess this sounds bad–we do talk to each other, too!)

                                                      • At 2009.03.28 03:24, bybee said:

                                                        I can read in a moving vehicle.

                                                        • At 2009.03.28 14:58, Amy @ My Friend Amy said:

                                                          Nope, can’t. It breaks my heart too. Well, I could read on the train in Tokyo and on planes, but NOT in the car or buses.

                                                          Those remedies don’t work for me at all, either!

                                                          • At 2009.04.05 13:33, Melissa said:

                                                            I’m like you, I can’t read in a moving vehicle for more than about 5 minutes without becoming sick to my stomach. I learned it at a young age while on a trip from VA to GA, riding in the backseat. Not fun. From then on I knew I would have to stick to listening to music instead.

                                                            My husband isn’t much of a reader, but does he get sick while reading in the car? No! So unfair!

                                                            • At 2009.03.26 09:47, nat @ book, line, and sinker said:

                                                              you’re hilarious…”do they make books on CD…”

                                                              how cute. i LOVE audio books. they save me from the tedium that is traveling.

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