Skip to Content

How To Read A Book in the Car Without Getting Sick: A Guide

“This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases”

Learning how to read a book in the car without getting sick can feel like an uphill battle. Many people have no clue on how to do this. This ability separates those who endure boring rides from those who make every minute count. However, if you don’t master this skill effectively, you’ll never enjoy reading during your travels.

Avoiding motion sickness while reading is sometimes difficult. To read in the car without feeling sick, ensure that you’re comfortable and have ample back support. Adjust your mirrors for minimal head movement. Ensure there’s enough light to avoid eye strain – natural sunlight is best. Consider using a reading tracking app to maintain consistency and manage taking breaks effectively.

How to Read a Book in the Car Without Getting Sick: A Guide

How to Read a Book in the Car Without Getting Sick: A Guide

Prepare for Reading

Reading during your long commute might seem daunting, but the challenges can be overcome with simple preparation. Here are some tips to make your drive-time reading session successful and enjoyable.

Adjust Your Seat

To begin, ensure your seat is adjusted for upright posture with sufficient back support to prevent eye fatigue and motion sickness. You’re going to want to adjust it so that you are sitting straight. This helps prevent severe eye fatigue caused by straining to see what you’re reading—an essential step towards avoiding motion sickness.

Ensure Adequate Lighting

Adequate lighting plays a pivotal role when planning extended reading sessions during both long commutes and short trips alike. Don’t underestimate its importance. Too little light makes it hard to focus on the text, causing unnecessary strain on your eyes leading you to feel sick faster than expected.

If possible, aim at scheduling these periods around daylight hours, as natural sunlight provides optimal illumination conditions, allowing immersive engagement within any recommended entertaining activity, regardless of the surrounding environments encountered along the way.

Leverage A Reading Tracking App

In this digital age, where technology has seeped into every aspect of our lives, including literature exploration—why not leverage it? Consider using an app designed specifically for tracking your time spent engrossed within the pages of captivating stories each day or week.

This encourages consistency across all types of books being explored while also keeping track of the progress made. WebMD suggests finding apps offering features like reminders that help maintain regular intervals between breaks, preventing the onset of discomfort arising from prolonged exposure to reading in motion.

Position Yourself Properly

If you’re a book lover, chances are high that long car trips or your daily commute are seen as opportunities for extended reading sessions. However, the challenge of avoiding motion sickness while indulging in this recommended activity can seem daunting.

Keep your book-loving self free from motion sickness during car rides by maintaining correct posture and leveraging peripheral vision. Sit upright, avoid lying down while reading, and focus straight ahead to minimize sensory conflicts that can trigger nausea.

Keep your book-loving self free from motion sickness during car rides by maintaining correct posture and leveraging peripheral vision. Sit upright, avoid lying down while reading, and focus straight ahead to minimize sensory conflicts that can trigger nausea.

How to Read a Book in the Car Without Getting Sick: A Guide

There’s a simple and effective way to start reading without triggering those dreaded car sickness symptoms: Position yourself properly. Here’s how:

Maintain Correct Posture

The first step towards preventing motion sickness symptoms during a good reading session in a moving car starts with maintaining correct posture.

When we sit upright, our body aligns itself naturally with our direction of travel, thus reducing conflicting sensory information reaching our brain from different parts of our body, which can trigger nausea associated with motion sickness. Studies suggest that this alignment between visual field and movement helps avoid disorientation when you’re engrossed in your favorite book on the road.

  1. Sit Upright: Ensure ample back support by adjusting your seat inclination accordingly.
  2. Avoid Reading Lying Down: As cozy as it may feel to curl up on the backseat; lying down increases your chances for feeling sick due to increased conflicts perceived through sight versus inner ear movements.
  3. Leverage Peripheral Vision: Holding your steady gaze facing forward reduces discrepancies that you sense, helping you avoid the unpleasant sensations commonly known ‘car-sickness’.

Eyesight Considerations

Your eyes play an equally crucial role as physical positioning while trying not to get carsick during long commutes. Looking directly ahead, focusing right at the center of the page being read, is ideal.

All of these strategies combined should significantly improve your ability to enjoy your favorite literature, regardless of whether the journey takes you across your town, country, or the world beyond.

Take Breaks

The art of reading in a moving car is one that requires finesse, balance, and careful management. Motion sickness symptoms can be overwhelming if not managed properly.

Understanding the Need for Regular Intervals

To start off, it’s important to understand why breaks are essential when reading in a vehicle. These pauses serve two main purposes: they give your eyes much-needed rest from focusing on text and prevent potential bouts of nausea caused by conflicting signals sent to your brain concerning movement (a common cause of car sickness).

In essence, these intervals allow our bodies time to adjust back into equilibrium after being subjected to prolonged concentration sessions, which could potentially lead to dizziness and other related ailments, such as severe eye fatigue.

A Guide For Taking Effective Breaks

The frequency at which we should take breaks varies greatly, depending upon individual comfort levels. Taking a break every 20 minutes or so is generally recommended. This aligns with well-known advice given by optometrists regarding screen use, also known as “the 20-20-20 rule”.

In the event that you start to feel queasy, despite taking regular pauses, stop immediately and look outside at something stationary until the feelings subside.

Maintaining Engagement During Pauses

Break times don’t necessarily mean completely disengaging from the book at hand; instead, consider using this opportunity to reflect on what you have read so far. Mull over plot developments and ruminate on newly acquired knowledge.

These moments of introspection provide us a chance to delve deeper into the author’s world, thereby enriching the overall experience and enhancing our understanding of the material significantly.

Remember, the key isn’t just fighting motion sickness but rather creating a conducive environment where you can truly enjoy reading without experiencing any adverse effects.

Avoid Distractions

When it comes to reading in the car, one of your biggest adversaries is distraction. It’s not just about keeping your eyes on the page; you also have to maintain a mental focus that can withstand everything from passing scenery to unexpected traffic jams.

The Challenge of External Noise

The hum of the engine, chatter from fellow passengers, and even music playing softly in the background can be enough for our minds to wander away from what we’re reading.

For those who find themselves easily distracted by noise while reading, investing in noise-canceling headphones may be a worthwhile solution. These nifty gadgets work by reducing unwanted ambient noises through active noise control (NIH). They won’t completely isolate you (you’ll still hear important alerting signals, like sirens), but they will create a quieter environment where focusing on your book becomes easier.

Navigating Visual Interruptions

Beyond auditory distractions lie visual ones—another hurdle for readers battling motion sickness symptoms while attempting extended reading sessions inside moving vehicles. A busy road scene with constant movement can make concentrating on static text feel almost impossible at times.

However, there is a simple solution for this. Try adjusting how you sit so that windows aren’t directly within sightlines; fewer elements vying for your attention means more brain power dedicated to absorbing those fascinating chapters.

Tackling Technological Disruptions

In today’s digital age, smartphones and other electronic devices often compete for our attention—yes, even when engrossed in a gripping thriller.

Notifications, emails, social media updates, and messages disrupt the flow of a narrative and our comprehension of it if left unchecked. It is therefore better to put your phone on silent while enjoying your latest read.

Read Slowly

One crucial aspect to consider is your pace—how quickly or slowly you read.

Mastering the art of reading in a car without succumbing to motion sickness is all about pacing. Don’t rush through the pages, but savor each sentence and pause between chapters for mental rest. If this seems tough, try audiobooks, as they offer more flexibility with pace and significantly reduce nausea risk on long journeys.

How to Read a Book in the Car Without Getting Sick: A Guide

How to Read a Book in the Car Without Getting Sick: A Guide

This might seem trivial, but this can be a game changer for those long commutes year-round, as well as extended reading sessions during shorter trips. Let’s explore why!

Understanding Reading Pace

Avoiding motion sickness while indulging in an exciting chapter isn’t just about sitting right or having perfect lighting; it’s also about controlling the speed at which you’re absorbing what you’re reading.

Your brain needs time to process all the new data coming its way via words on paper (or a screen). Racing through your reading can lead to a queasy feeling caused by too much visual stimulation combined with motion around you—the same kind of nausea one experiences while riding in a car. You start feeling sick due to severe eye fatigue caused by too much visual stimulation, coupled with constant movement around you—classic symptoms of car sickness.

Tips To Control Your Reading Speed

You may wonder: How do we control our natural inclination towards devouring books at lightning speed? Here are some tips:

  1. Pause Between Chapters: No matter how gripping the plot gets, pace yourself. This gives your mind ample rest before diving into another pool of fresh ideas and narratives.
  2. Savor Sentences: Rather than gulping down paragraphs en masse, try savoring each sentence individually. Let every word leave its imprint on your mind before moving on to the next one. This helps improve comprehension significantly.

Leveraging Audiobooks For Better Car Trip Experiences

If adjusting your reading speed seems daunting, then switching over to audiobooks could prove beneficial, especially during longer journeys where the chances of experiencing nausea increase exponentially. These narrated versions offer more flexibility in terms of pacing oneself, thus reducing the risk of motion sickness drastically, making it a good recommended activity.

Remember, listening also requires concentration, so setting optimal volume levels and avoiding other auditory distractions should be considered to make the most of these bookish adventures.

Stay Hydrated

Getting lost in a captivating book can make you forget about the present and everything around you. This includes forgetting to hydrate, which is crucial when reading during long car trips or even short commutes.

In essence, staying hydrated not only aids physical well-being but also enhances the cognitive functions necessary for a rewarding reading session.

The Role of Hydration on Cognitive Functions During Reading Sessions

Adequate hydration ensures optimal brain function, which is critical while decoding complex narratives or new concepts through written words. When dehydrated, our ability to concentrate diminishes over time, leading to poor comprehension skills. The Journal of Nutrition’s study highlights how even mild dehydration impairs cognitive abilities like attention span and memory recall, both of which are vital components for understanding intricate plot lines or theories presented within certain books.

Fighting Motion Sickness with Adequate Water Intake

Motion sickness often accompanies extended reading sessions during travel due to the effects caused by moving cars. Staying hydrated may help combat this issue, as it helps maintain blood volume levels, potentially reducing your chances of experiencing nausea.

Tips For Maintaining Proper Hydration While Reading In The Car

  1. Sip Regularly: Instead of waiting until you feel thirsty, take small frequent sips throughout your reading session. Remember, the thirst signal already indicates the onset of slight dehydration, so preemptively quenching your thirst ensures optimal function of the brain and bodily systems involved in the digestion and absorption of knowledge.
  2. Keep A Bottle Handy: Having water close by encourages you to drink often without needing to interrupt the flow of the narrative.
  3. Select the Right Beverage: Although nothing beats plain old H20 in terms of hydration benefits, some people prefer flavored drinks to make the task more palatable. Consider infusing fruits or herbs to add a twist of taste without losing the hydrating properties of water.

With these tips in hand, readers will be better equipped to manage their fluid intake, ensuring they stay comfortably satiated during their literary journey in a vehicle, taking care of their health while simultaneously enjoying the ride and their passion for books.


Mastering the art of reading in a car is no small feat, but it’s achievable with the right approach. The first step involves choosing an appropriate book—not too heavy or lengthy. Next, preparing your environment for comfortable reading is key. This includes adjusting your seat and ensuring adequate lighting. Your body posture matters as well; sitting upright and keeping your head level can help prevent motion sickness. Taking regular breaks to gaze at distant objects helps to rest and refocus your eyes, reducing strain and discomfort.

Avoid distractions like music that could disrupt your concentration on the text. Read slowly to absorb information without feeling overwhelmed by it all while in transit. Don’t forget to keep yourself hydrated, as this can help you stay alert and focused while reading during long commutes. It will help to keep you alert during those long commutes when you’re engrossed in a good read!