Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The curse and blessing of an hour long commute

At this time I live about 6 miles from where I work, this is of course nice because I can be home in 10 minutes. There was a time when I used to commute from Princeton to New York City. I used to take the Amtrak (clocker) or the NJ Transit express train. During my commuting days I would read about 60 books in a year. After I found work in Princeton the number of books I would read in a year would drop dramatically. There was also another factor involved…twins….we welcomed a set of twins in 2006 and that was pretty much the end of me reading anything for pleasure. Besides the twins we already had another child who was 2 years when the twins were born. Here is a picture of them from last Christmas: http://www.flickr.com/photos/denisgobo/3101785602/in/set-72157600873902525/

Now that the oldest kid is almost 6 and the twins are 3.5 years old it is getting a little easier to read. This year I read about 10 – 15 books, most books these days I get in audio format. The advantage of an audio format is that you can listen to the book where you would usually not be able to read the book. I find it is very difficult for me to read a book in a noisy environment, when listening to an audio book I don’t have this problem. Some audio books are also read by professionals and it makes the book so much better than a paper edition.

So I do miss my commuting days for the reason mentioned above but I do not miss it when a train breaks down in front of us, if there is a brush fire or when a major blackout happens like the Northeast Blackout of 2003. Yes I survived that one but didn’t take the train home till 4AM the next morning. On the Amtrak trains there was this funny conductor named Marvin who would say when there was a problem with the train that Amtrak guaranteed same day service.

During the last week of this year I will post a list of all the books I read this year and also a list of the books that I hope to read next year. At this moment I am reading House of Cards: A Tale of Hubris and Wretched Excess on Wall Street. This is a really interesting book and I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to relive the crash of 2008. I also has the most F-Bombs in any book I read so far...kinda like the scarface of books :-)