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Nose in a book: do you read whilst walking?

reading whilst walking 300x240 Nose in a book: do you read whilst walking?

Hey, Ma! Im just going to take my book for a walk!

I dont doubt that somewhere in the world this phrase, or something like it, has been uttered. Because its with increasing frequency that Ive been coming across a phenomenon Ill call, for ease and accuracy, book walking.

My daily commute of 5ks each way to and from work (made either by foot or on my bike) allows plenty of time for sticky-beaking on other pedestrians and travellers. But of late its also included the avoidance of people walking about with their nose firmly stuck in a book.

Admittedly, Im prone to reading blogs and emails on my phone as I walk, and I invariably have an audiobook playing at the same time (at the moment its Swiss Family Robinson), but as someone who has a) a tendency to trip over my own feet and b) a propensity towards travel sickness, commuting with a book in hand is something Ive not yet mastered.

But, oh, those who do, I do envy you (once Ive navigated around you, that isyou do have a tendency to veer off in funny directions). Ive seen people wandering along with a Kindle in hand: most notably a chap going for a stroll about the walking tracks of Fawkner park with his ereader. Just today I saw someone reading George RR Martin as they walked past the Arts Centre. Harry Potter, Jo Nesbo, and the Twilight books also seem to be popular with walkersperhaps a book needs to be fat to help with balance?

I am curious, though, about why'people read whilst walking. I do it because I spend a good few hours a day strolling about, and as a Gen-Yer I positively must multitask. But why do others? Are they at a particularly good part of the book? Do they want others to see what theyre reading? Do they want to block out the world around them? Did they leave their iPod at home?

If youre a book walker, do clue me inId love to know your reasons for doing so.

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  1. What, Im supposed to set my book down while I walk through airports, switch subway lines, walk to the bus, and etc? You arent reading the right books if its that easy to put them down ;) LOL

  2. When my mum or brother visit that means marathon shopping hours and hence the reading while walking commences while I follow them around the shops, in between clothes, while waiting for them to try on clothes etc.

  3. Stephanie /

    Amy: I have this marvellous image of whole lines of people walking along with their noses in books. Audiobooks are the best I can manage (and even then, I managed to take a tumble whilst out running last night!)

    Tanya: Oh, I feel your pain! My family are all huge shoppers, so whenever Im over visiting Im always sure to have a book with me. The book is my nerdy equivalent of the man chair they place outside shops!

  4. I would love to do that, but I know that I would walk into people or poles or fall over. Instead I leave it to the last possible moment to put my book down and then pick it up as soon as I possibly can.

  5. Stephanie /

    I can picture you perched on the edge of your train seat asking someone to hold the doors as you finish your chapter, Marg :) Perhaps all of our delayed trains are due to avid readers?

  6. Im a book walker, although I probably shouldnt be because I have zero coordination. So far I havent had any major mishaps though. I do it on usually on the walk home from work, to pass the time and because sometimes its my only chance to read in the day.
    My mum scolded me when she found out I was doing it though, so dont tell her I still do it ;)

  7. Stephanie /

    Ah, given my mishaps so far this year, I really shouldnt be walking and reading, either! I promise I wont tell your mum. :)

  8. I have been known to wander down the street book in hand, I used to read while walking to school and when I used to walk every day I would always have a book took my mind off the exercise part!
    I also read while walking from room to room in the house, I resent having to put my book down so I will read as I wander into the kitchen or laundry or whatever, put the book down to do what I have to, and then pick it back up to wander back to the lounge :) Ive walked into a doorjam or two but suffered no significant injuries.

  9. Stephanie /

    I read while doing squats and calf raises at home, too. Hehe. :) Im giggling a bit at the idea of people bumping into things whilst readingI should do a post on reading injuries!

  10. I bookwalk for 30 mins everyday, if its a good book I walk a little longer. I walk on a treadmill though :)

  11. Stephanie /

    Maybe we should do a literary walkathon? :)

  12. Fun post! No, I cant walk and read at the same time Im sure Id stumble or run into people and lamp posts. I do read while using the cross trainer (at home).

  13. Stephanie /

    Good point, Sean! I guess I use literary just to mean bookish more generallyIm a genre lover, too. :)

    Judith: Im impressed by how many people seem to read whilst exercising! I think bookish exercising needs a whole post of its own.

  14. I was just being facetious

  15. Stephanie /

    Haha, one never can be certain online. :) (Ive had enough genre-lit wars in my day to be wary!)

  16. Cindy /

    i read & walk, cos theres just not enough time to complete the book, in between other less important stuff, like work, eating, etc

    most books i read, i just cant put them down long enough to do such mundane stuff, thats why all my food burns, there are holes in many ironed items & i have an automatic washing machine.

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