With regards to commuting, I suppose I’m fairly lucky. It takes me about 25 minutes to get from home to office. That’s quite short even for such a small city that Helsinki is. During summer when I can cope with the idea of riding my bicycle instead of public transport, it shortens down to ~15 minutes. However, that 25 minutes is split between few stations on the subway and then tram/bus for 10 minutes. Easy, but not optimal.
With such short periods in a single mode of transport, it is fairly hard to get anything done. Most books have chapters that I can’t finish during that time, and I like reading chapter by chapter. One can always just read the mostly uninteresting and a bit old news from those free newspapers that are handed out, but they are … mostly uninteresting and old.
I have also tried listening to podcasts / audiobooks. That works very well, apart from the fact that there is way too much noise from busses passing by when I’m waiting for the tram. Might just be a case of good old crappy headphones, but I’ve tried a few differnt pairs.
Bring in the smartphone with dataplan! What difference that would make! I could go through my blogroll with a device that much more handy to keep in hand than book. I could have access to news that interest me, and are as fresh as they get. It would probably even provide a better player for listening to audiobooks, so that I could do a handy pause when I come across a place where I can’t hear anything for the environmental noise. Not to even mention the possibility to take notes of ideas and actually find them later (I have several notebooks full of lost ideas)
Despite my ideas of minimalism and hope that someday my employer would offer me such a benefit, I think I might have to put my own money on the line here.