I am writing this two weeks ahead of time because on the day it posts, I’ll be far away from my home and my computer. I’ll be traveling for twelve days, and I won’t be able to access the blog, even to reply to comments.
So far in advance, I’m not sure what I’ll be reading, but I know I will be reading. Indeed, reading is one of the joys of being on the road. A fourteen hour plane trip provides a lot of opportunities to lose oneself in a book—not to mention the hours waiting to board or to make connections. I may be doing an all-day train ride as well. Meanwhile, since I’ll be in a rural area at least part of the time, I expect that there will few activities in the evenings to compete with reading.
What will I bring with me? Well, my tablet, of course, stuffed with at least two dozen titles, many of them erotica. Thank heavens for e-books. They definitely lighten my luggage!
I’ll also be carrying George R.R. Martin’s A Dance with Dragons, the last (so far) volume in the Game of Thrones series. I’ve been rationing my consumption of that series, saving it for long journeys. I read the first half of this volume (five hundred plus pages) on my last international odyssey. I’ll finish it on this one, then feel frustrated, I’m sure, because just like real life, these books never tie up the loose ends.
That won’t be enough, though. After a while, I get tired of reading on a screen. I’m sure I’ll want to bring at least a few more print books, even with our limited luggage allowance (low cost airlines... argh!) But which ones?
At the moment, there are all sorts of candidates on my bookshelf. Riven Rock by T.C. Boyle. Sweet Caress by William Boyd. Books by Umberto Eco and John Crowley, Thomas Pynchon and Salman Rushdie, not to mention half a dozen titles from Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series and (as a stark contrast) Arundhati Roy’s The Ministry of Utmost Happiness. Lots of less well known writers, too—we have access to some excellent used book stores!
One needs to use special criteria choosing books for travel. They need to long enough to justify carrying them, but small enough not to take up too much space. I look for books that will really hook me and pull me in, to distract me from delays, backaches, hunger, bad smells, and other inevitabilities of travel. At the same time, for me at least, a travel book can’t be too intense, complex or intellectual. I’d rather read those books at home, where I have a wider selection and can put them down to pick up something else.
Anyway, I really can’t tell you in any detail what I’ll be reading as you read this. Very likely, though, I’ll be enjoying it.