Train Travel Tips

14 Best Travel Books to Make Your Train Journey More Exciting

Books are fantastic companions whether you’re travelling or relaxing at home. Reading a wonderful book can take your mind off your problems and transport you to another place and time. Also, reading novels might be an excellent way to pass the time if you’re easily bored on a long train ride to an Indian destination. 


Always remember to carry your two best buddies when organising your future train voyages. One is a nice book to help you stay refreshed, and the other is the RailMitra train app to update you on railway PNR status, train running status, and other information.


Indian Railways Free Mobile Library Service on Train


Indian Railways has created a mobile library on board two trains for the first time in history. These trains are the Deccan Queen and the Panchavati Express. On these two train trips, a cart full of books transports through various coaches by a person. It helps boost book reading among train travellers while on their journeys. Passengers willing to read can select a book based on their assigned berth and PNR number.


14 Best Books to Read on a Train Ride


The Roman philosopher Cicero once mentioned, “A room without books is like a body without a soul”. And we wholeheartedly agree because nothing compares to the incredible power of words. Choosing a book from the thousands available is time-consuming. For an exciting train ride, check out one of these recommended travel books:



1. The Kite Runner


There are few better reads for long train rides than The Kite Runner. This book, published in 42 languages and sold seven million copies in the United States, has arguably one of the most amazing narratives you will ever encounter. The plot mainly focuses on how an unusual bonding between the two central characters, Amir and Hassan, develops in their growing-up years in Kabul during a time of great upheaval and change.



2. Into The Wild


Another great read emphasises the benefits of seclusion and oneness with the natural world in pursuit of enlightenment. The author’s interest in the true story of Chris McCandless’s adventures while exploring the Alaskan wilderness and his subsequent disappearance sparked the idea for this work. The story further delves into how McCandless’s body and the rescue signal were found in the forest after several months. You will surely find this an awesome read.



3. Life Of Pi


In this novel, a young man named Pi Patel goes on a series of incredible adventures. His ordinary, even mundane life takes an unexpected turn when, following the loss of his ship, he is forced to spend approximately 227 days sharing a boat with a massive tiger. It is one of the finest novels of all time, with plenty of determination and guts, and it makes a fantastic vacation read.



4. All The Light We Cannot See


This travel book narrates the tale of a blind French girl and a German youth whose lives intertwine against the setting of France in WWII. An incredibly moving story of community and support. If you enjoy reading about those difficult days and are fond of nostalgia, this book will not disappoint you.



5. Palace of Illusions


Award-winning author Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni recounts the Hindu legendary epic Mahabharata from the viewpoint of its main female protagonist. Draupadi, the most well-known figure in the Mahabharata, was the wife of the Pandava brothers. The story takes us along Draupadi’s journey into war and exile. The Palace of Illusions deftly retells her perspectives compared to the original epic, which only reveals her limited views and intentions.



6. Crazy Rich Asians


The story follows the life of a typical young female character who decides to visit her lover and his family in Singapore over the summer. However, her beau leaves out crucial information, which disrupts her otherwise relaxing holiday. It is the perfect book to pick up if you’re looking for something pleasant and humorous.



7. Murder on the Orient Express


A murder, thirteen possible suspects, a great investigator, and the most inventive crime ever committed—what more could you want from a classic whodunit? Additionally, the legendary Orient Express serves as the setting for the action. A trip on the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express will take you back in time to the heyday of rail travel, both in literature and real life.



8. The Girl on the Train


Despite being a stranger to Jason and Jess, Rachel cannot help pondering them. She observes them daily from her train window while riding into and out of London. A devastating revelation on a fateful day alters her life forever. Intriguing, isn’t it? Of course, you would be! For 13 weeks in a row, this Paula Hawkins thriller topped the bestseller chart of The New York Times.



9. White Tiger


In his Man Booker Prize-winning debut novel, Arvind Adiga offered a new perspective on the tensions and inequalities between India’s many socioeconomic classes. This page-turning first-person account is written from the point of view of Balram Halwai, a youth from a small, impoverished hamlet who leaves for Delhi in search of better economic opportunities.



10. The God of Small Things


In her Booker-winning first novel, Arundhati Roy follows one family through the turbulent 1960s in Kerala. This well-praised work by the renowned activist and author follows two sets of fraternal twins, their parents, and their close relatives as they deal with various challenges, from the caste hierarchy to the state’s brushes with communism. It is one the best travel books. 



11. A Suitable Boy


Vikram Seth’s celebrated novel chronicles the lives of four families in the years right after India’s independence and division. The novel primarily follows the quest of Mrs. Rupa Mehra to find her daughter a “decent boy” to marry. Still, it addresses post-partition politics, Hindu-Muslim struggle, caste and class tensions, and shifting family dynamics. The length of Seth’s work puts it in the company of the longest single-volume English-language Indian books ever published.



12. A Fine Balance


Rohinton Mistry’s classic chronicles the narrative of four individuals from diverse backgrounds in India in 1975 against the setting of a State of Emergency declared by the central government. This compelling history of the political, social, and economic factors that shaped modern India over the latter half of the twentieth century was nominated for the Booker Prize in 1996.



13. The Great Indian Novel


Shashi Tharoor’s novel reimagines the epic Mahabharata tale from the perspective of the Independence Movement in India and the ensuing years. In this fascinating work of modern Indian literature, the writer reinterprets historical personalities from India’s freedom movement and politics as mythological figures from an ancient epic.



14. Nectar in a Sieve


In her first novel, the renowned Indian author Kamala Markandaya weaves an intriguing story of Rukhmani, a lady from rural and underprivileged India. Rukhmani’s character observes and recounts the quickly changing face of mid-20th-century India.  The book deals with several engaging topics, from the female lead’s open marriage to the farmer, Nathan, to the effects of a massive new tannery on their rural community.


A train trip is the ultimate way to experience the diversity of the land, people and culture, and a good novel is the best travel accompaniment. Take a rail excursion across our country’s stunning landscape and immerse yourself in one of these must-read books.


Why Should You Bring a Book Along on a Trip?


You must carry a book with you for long train journey, because


  • A book can be your most reliable travel companion when you’re on your own.
  • Books can help you spend less time in front of the screen, which is good for your eyes and brain. 
  • The best way to familiarise yourself with the people, customs, cuisine, and history of a foreign land is to pick up a book about that country before you visit. 
  • Most of us hoard libraries full of books we intend to read one day. Your reading list is best tackled while on a trip.
  • Books are the most subtle conversation starters you can use to start conversations with strangers when you’re trying to meet new people. 
  • You can break away from the dullness of a routine life and rejuvenate by travelling. Reading is a great way to relax, take your mind off things, and enjoy the journey more.


How to Carry Books for Reading on the Train?


Tips on picking and packing books before you leave for a trip


  • Find some used books at a library, flea market, or bookshop before you leave.
  • Pack no more than one or two books to get you through the first leg of your journey and the first few days.
  • While travelling, look for new books to read.
  • Paperback books are lighter and more convenient than hardcover ones.
  • Consider bringing books that you can exchange with other passengers.
  • Bring along your favourite electronic reading device.


How is Book Reading Different From Travelling?


Comparing reading a book to actually going somewhere and experiencing it is like comparing apples and oranges. However, reading books and exploring the world go hand in hand. Both these activities can have a positive effect on your life. A book develops such a clear sense of a location that it presents you with an urgency to travel to the place. While travelling, you can stay carefree for some days and stop bothering about the insignificant things at home.


Moreover, don’t forget to regularly follow your railway PNR status updates to ensure a streamlined journey. In addition, the food in train service provided by the RailMitra app is a cool option for you to explore during your trips.


Organise your journeys on Indian trains with the help of RailMitra, a single-stop solution for all railway updates. It’s a smart resource that promptly resolves passengers’s train-related queries on its website and mobile app. Online updates such as railway PNR status, seat availability, station code, timetable, train fare etc., can be retrieved in a moment using the RailMitra platform. 

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