Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Something there is about a trip

To my dear Readers:

First, thank you. I am endlessly amazed and humbled that anyone reads my blog - especially anyone who isn't counting on me to leave stuff under their Christmas tree in ... oooooh let's see ... 17 days. Ack! Ack!

Second, apologies. You would think that in my gratitude I would not be such a neglectful blogger, but I am and I regret it and I fully expect there won't be anything under my tree either in ... OMG ... 17 days!

I am woefully behind on my reading, as you already know, and I have no one to blame but myself, although it is tempting indeed to blame my numerous ancestors for hanging so many colorful characters on my family tree. I always found geneology intriguing, but when there are witches, murders, and even squatters in one's bloodlines - well, it's fun stuff, and it's hard to tear away from it and read a regular old book, especially when the book in question is Knit the Season.

But last weekend we spent four days down in San Francisco, and as I usually do when on vacation, I got a lot of reading done, even though it was a relatively short vacation. Last summer on Cannon Beach, I read three full books, despite having three kids and a dog, all in need of constant activity. Last weekend in San Francisco, I finished two books and got halfway through a third, despite the presence of my husband, child, and inlaws, and the discovery that I could bid on crap (er, fine holiday collectibles) on Ebay using my blackberry.

I think part of it is simply that I choose books differently when there's a plane ride involved. No matter how many books I have packed (three), I always buy one at the airport. I make the selection quickly, because no matter how early I am, I am always convinced I need to sit near the gate so that I don't miss any announcements, no matter how irrelevent they might be to me personally.

My favorite announcement of this trip: "Mr. XXX, please return to the Massage Bar to retrieve an item you left behind."

Yes, everyone looked up to see who Mr. XXX was. No, he never did stand up. Yes, I also want to know what the mysterious "item" was.

For the plane ride itself, I don't want any books that involve intense concentration, or require much of me at all, to be honest. I've got my hands full clutching the armrests and making sure, by sheer force of will, that the plane stays aloft. I am what you might call a "nervous flyer." I don't need any heavy thoughts while in midair - anything that might make the plane heavier is counterproductive.

The funny thing is, I always finish my airport books. I spend hours choosing other books: reading reviews, Amazon recommendations, suggestions from friends. Maybe I finish them, maybe I don't. But those light distractions I buy in airports? Those books I often leave behind in hotel rooms? I take about five minutes to choose them, and those books, I finish.

I should probably spend some time thinking about why this might be, but that would probably be counterproductive - when it comes to me and books, impulse shopping may well be the way to go.

Hopefully, those same impulses will be equally successful with my holiday shopping, because I've only got 17 more days to go!


  1. I have never bought a book at the airport but I always want to. Maybe I will have to start doing that. When I was a kid I read constantly on vacation. My parents took me to Hawaii when I was eleven and I read Harry Potter the WHOLE time. They were mad, haha.

  2. Airport impulse buys are the best- candy for the brain.


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