Commuting to and from work or school is a great opportunity to focus on some of the things we might not find the time for during our busy schedules. Like reading. Since you’re stuck on the subway (aka the metro or the tube depending on where you’re from), you might as well sharpen your mind with some great literature.

However, some of the books that people read on their commute are so interesting and peculiar that others couldn’t help but snap a photo and send them to the Subway Creatures Instagram page. This community has over 2.1 million followers on IG and is dedicated to sharing all the weird things people see on public transit. Scroll on down, upvote your fave New York City subway book covers, and let us know what you like to read on your commute, dear Pandas.

Rick McGuire, the founder of 'Subway Creatures,' told Bored Panda that the subway always has the most interesting and unusual people because commuters are forced into a confined space and have no choice but to deal with each other. "The NYC subway is still one of the most efficient ways of getting around and if you need an audience, this is the perfect place to find one. This can sometimes work out for the best and the worst," he said.

Read on for our full interview with McGuire, as well as for Bored Panda's chat about productivity during commutes with certified career coach Rita Friedman.

More info: Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | TikTok | Reddit

#1

Subway-Commute-Book-Reading

subwaycreatures Report

Mihail Amarie
Community Member
7 months ago

Best advertisement.

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#2

Interesting Reads For Your Commute

subwaycreatures Report

Neon
Community Member
7 months ago

A guide to best imposter

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#3

Interesting Reads For Your Commute

subwaycreatures Report

Aleksandra Elias
Community Member
7 months ago

Where's the popcorn?

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McGuire said that he started the 'Subway Creatures' website in 2011 and then moved on to Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook a short while afterward. "I was commuting to work in NYC everyday and seeing the wild, bizarre, and crazy things the city has to offer and noticed there really wasn't a place where it was all being documented." That's why 'Subway Creatures' came into existence.

"NYC has this unspoken rule of 'keep your head down and mind your own business' but I'm a huge people-watcher. There's so much going on around you at all times and it would be a shame to miss some of these typical 'New York moments.' When I'm on the train I always find myself looking for obscurities and checking my surroundings. You never know what you'll see!" McGuire shared his love of people-watching on the subway.

#4

Interesting Reads For Your Commute

subwaycreatures Report

Helen Haley
Community Member
7 months ago

Good dang question.

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#5

Interesting Reads For Your Commute

subwaycreatures Report

Daria Z
Community Member
7 months ago

Oh, I feel you, stranger.

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#6

Interesting Reads For Your Commute

subwaycreatures Report

BusLady
Community Member
7 months ago

Either he needs glasses, or there's some interesting pictures in that book.

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Career coach Friedman told Bored Panda that a lot can be said in favor of not always being productive. "A commute is literally a transitional unit of space and time, and a lot of commuters use it as their break between the responsibilities of home and the responsibilities of work or school, so it's the perfect moment to look at pictures of failed cakes or animals making funny faces. It's just nice to have time where nobody is holding you accountable," Friedman told us that it's alright to cut ourselves a little bit of slack sometimes.

Friedman said that it can be very therapeutic to "disassociate and zone out" during our commute. Especially when we're feeling stressed out. "That might be scrolling through social media or half-listening to a podcast. I'll also say some of my best ideas have come to me when I've been staring out a window or at a wall," the career coach said. "If work is really taxing, you might find that bringing something on your ride lets you focus away from the distractions of the office—it actually might be a lot easier to knock out a report without a chatty coworker hovering nearby."

#7

Interesting Reads For Your Commute

subwaycreatures Report

Tina-Marie Tarrant
Community Member
7 months ago

Couples therapy, working out who is the optimist in the relationship.

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#8

Interesting Reads For Your Commute

subwaycreatures Report

chaitu cherry
Community Member
7 months ago

try and check... :)

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#9

Interesting Reads For Your Commute

subwaycreatures Report

chaitu cherry
Community Member
7 months ago

keep it in prayer...

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According to Friedman, your commute might also be a great time to catch up on personal communications and manage your calendar and get things in order for the day or the week. This way, when you walk into work, you're ready to dive in.

"You might also find yourself more productive at work if you spend your commute doing something like reading or playing a strategy game that gets your brain warmed up. If you are actively walking / driving / biking, taking a different route can help shake things up and break up the monotony," she added.

"Unless you have a very long commute, it's probably pushing it to try to get into any kind of study or meaningful work that requires a state of flow, but it could be a good time to watch a 5-minute refresher tutorial on a new skill you're working on or to skim through an article your colleagues will also have read."

#10

Interesting Reads For Your Commute

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Xandra
Community Member
7 months ago

That's more of a Monday morning vibe for me...

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#11

Interesting Reads For Your Commute

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BusLady
Community Member
7 months ago

While listening to music.

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#12

Interesting Reads For Your Commute

subwaycreatures Report

BusLady
Community Member
7 months ago

It's a cat. Next question.

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Obviously, reading, people-watching, and browsing Bored Panda are all fun ways to spend your time stuck on public transportation. But there are other activities that you could do to make you feel just as productive, energized, or relaxed, depending on what your goals are.

Teri Hockett, chief executive of What’s for Work?, says that your commute can be the perfect time to check in on your goals, reflect about your life, and make any adjustments that you feel to be necessary.

Meanwhile, career expert Connie Thanasoulis-Cerrachio explains that you should use your morning commute to work to get tasks done while you’re fully awake and raring to go.

#13

Interesting Reads For Your Commute

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Daria Z
Community Member
7 months ago

Very specific :)

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#14

Interesting Reads For Your Commute

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Neon
Community Member
7 months ago

Preparing for 2021....??

Vic
Community Member
7 months ago

Nope 2020 year end party..

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Tyler Duffy
Community Member
7 months ago

Fact: I own this book. Its f*****g Awesome.

Joran Quinten
Community Member
7 months ago

Same! Boxed with World War Z

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Sinkvenice
Community Member
7 months ago

I have this, it's great. It's written by Mel Brooks' son.

BusLady
Community Member
7 months ago

Hang on while I ask Woody Harrelson.

Bacony Cakes
Community Member
7 months ago

Step 1: DON'T. PUT. THE. ALIEN. CRAB. ON. YOUR. HEAD.

Emilingo
Community Member
7 months ago

How did that sentence come to be?

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Colleen Hennessy
Community Member
7 months ago

I have one that's "How to Survive a Lawn Gnome Attack"

Nic Dudley
Community Member
7 months ago

I have that book!

abby smink
Community Member
7 months ago

I actually have this, for some reason. It just sits on the shelf.

Levi Baker
Community Member
7 months ago

I have that book lol

Kyndall Mack
Community Member
7 months ago

i have that book...

P Douglas Innes
Community Member
7 months ago

Same author who wrote World War Z, BTW.

Panda Kicki
Community Member
7 months ago

I have that book, it is really funny!

Vanessa
Community Member
7 months ago

lol I have it too

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Claire Beko
Community Member
1 month ago

i mean i think we all need this book tbh

Tyna Harrison
Community Member
5 months ago

I am pretty sure the Zombie Survival Guide will not include a Starbucks coffee......

Bama Belle
Community Member
7 months ago

I re-watched Zombieland just last night, so I'm good. (always check the backseat, always wear your seatbelt, cardio, don't be a hero, double tap)

Autumn
Community Member
7 months ago

Nice job memorizing the rules.

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Josh Tall
Community Member
1 week ago

Awesome book!

im normal
Community Member
6 months ago

they are all around us!

Kate J
Community Member
7 months ago

My friend owns and has memorized this book.

Brian McReynolds
Community Member
7 months ago

I actually own this book.

Teresa Thomas
Community Member
7 months ago

This is a great read!!

shyanna banana
Community Member
7 months ago

omg yes

Panda with Heart
Community Member
7 months ago

This one now..probably is important!!

togcrewsc
Community Member
7 months ago

My brother actually has that book

Jackson Allinder
Community Member
7 months ago

I LOVE THAT BOOK, I got it when I was like eight

Maximiliano De Borba
Community Member
7 months ago

That's like the kind book I'd like to read

TabledTurnsxddd
Community Member
7 months ago

rip that book aint gonna help u unless you were in the Walking Dead

Ayra
Community Member
7 months ago

The audio book is amazing, too

El Dee
Community Member
7 months ago

I've read that the US had a plan for a Zombie outbreak, but seemingly unprepared for COVID..

kjorn
Community Member
7 months ago

that's a classic

Chez
Community Member
7 months ago

That book is brilliant.

Lou Lopez
Community Member
7 months ago (edited)

This is a fantastic book, written by Mel Brooks son, Max. It's the book that Workd War Z was based on (the movie sucked, but this book would be hard to adapt... they all could have *tried*) and it feels very disturbingly plausible to the point that I had to go research some s**t before accepting that it wasn't real. Zombies scare the f**k out of me, so it was both a great book and a terrifying one. 10/10

Blarrg
Community Member
7 months ago

The movie "World War Z" is based (extremely loosely) on the book "World War Z", also by Max Brooks.

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#15

Interesting Reads For Your Commute

subwaycreatures Report

Slinkman
Community Member
7 months ago

There has to be a whole book to answer that question?

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Checking voicemails, replying to emails, drafting up to-do lists, and checking in on your family and friends are just some of the things that you could do instead of mindlessly scrolling through your social media feeds and wishing you were anywhere but on the subway.

However, your commute back should be spent relaxing and reenergizing. One way to do this would be to get some much-needed sleep. Just make sure to keep your belongings close to you as you nap. And don’t miss your stop!

Listening to music and audiobooks or just plain letting your imagination roam free can also help you relax and feel more inspired. Of course, they might not be a substitute for grabbing a strange book and smiling to yourself as others take photos to share with their friends.

#16

Interesting Reads For Your Commute

subwaycreatures Report

BusLady
Community Member
7 months ago

Well, obviously he's not gay.

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#17

Interesting Reads For Your Commute

subwaycreatures Report

Cathelijne van Weelden
Community Member
7 months ago

That looks like a good read!!

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#18

Interesting Reads For Your Commute

subwaycreatures Report

LadyMarsh
Community Member
7 months ago

Yes it is

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#19

Interesting Reads For Your Commute

subwaycreatures Report

BusLady
Community Member
7 months ago

Respect other people. That's numero uno.

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#20

Interesting Reads For Your Commute

subwaycreatures Report

Adam C
Community Member
7 months ago

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I guess marriage is not going well.

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#21

Interesting Reads For Your Commute

subwaycreatures Report

BusLady
Community Member
7 months ago

What's the second issue? Guacamole and Manslaughter?

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#22

Interesting Reads For Your Commute

subwaycreatures Report

Stephanie Chapman
Community Member
7 months ago

A book for the game? Yes, there is a Dream Daddy game in which you play a gay man who is a single dad looking for love.

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See Also on Bored Panda
#23

Interesting Reads For Your Commute

subwaycreatures Report

BusLady
Community Member
7 months ago

That'll keep you busy.

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#24

Interesting Reads For Your Commute

subwaycreatures Report

SuGu
Community Member
7 months ago

This book is actually good!

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#25

Interesting Reads For Your Commute

subwaycreatures Report

Rose the Cook
Community Member
7 months ago

Aren't there enough of those already?

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#26

Interesting Reads For Your Commute

subwaycreatures Report

BusLady
Community Member
7 months ago (edited)

What!!!??? It's a book about cats.

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#27

Interesting Reads For Your Commute

subwaycreatures Report

chaitu cherry
Community Member
7 months ago

you need diaper.........

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#28

Interesting Reads For Your Commute

subwaycreatures Report

Capelli rosa e patate
Community Member
7 months ago

Ma’m is there something you need to tell us?

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#29

Interesting Reads For Your Commute

subwaycreatures Report

Cinders Hunch
Community Member
7 months ago

Pioneering book on stress

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#30

Interesting Reads For Your Commute

subwaycreatures Report

Adam C
Community Member
7 months ago

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Respect

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Note: this post originally had 124 images. It’s been shortened to the top 30 images based on user votes.