facing the prospect of three hours imprisonment while being hurtled through the air at 37,000 feet, i’m anxiously pawing through my bookstack this morning, searching for just the right solace to see me through this ordeal.
do you like flying? some people do, you know. while i can’t pretend to enjoy flying, i tolerate it as the most efficient means to an end. it is absolutely essential, however, to have the perfect book with me. i enter the plane with my book clutched tightly to my chest, my own personal security blanket. and from the moment i sit down (seat belt securely fastened) my attention is riveted to the page.
that’s why choosing reading material for air travel is so very tricky. it must be a book with an engaging story, yet not one that requires great amounts of concentration, for after all, people on airplanes do talk (and rather loudly at times) not to mention the incessant snap of soda can tabs and the ear splitting creak of armrests and tray tables.
it should be a small book, and the regular paperback novels are, of course, the perfect size. but hasn’t the print in these particular editions become awfully small of late? and i find these new paperbacks, touted as being “a more comfortable size for reading,” are really not comfortable at all, at least for my small hands.
and then there’s the matter of choice, for one can only carry so many books in one’s hand. today, for instance, i must decide between the Austen biography, Mansfield Park, Interpreter of Maladies, and On Common Grounds, a paperback mystery I picked up purposefully for this journey. so why not just take that one, you ask, and pack the others away? really, my heart races at the thought of that – after all, i might not care for the one, and then i would be required to get out of the seat (assuming the captain has turned off the seat belt sign, leaving me free to move about the cabin) and rummage through the overhead compartment to find one of the others.
oh my, i’m exhausted just thinking about that.
and i should be gathering the rest of my things for the journey. but somehow, all else pales in comparison to this task.
now tell me, what do you read whilst traveling?