One of the toughest parts of packing for a trip is, for me, the selection of reading material. I can’t just read whatever’s in front of me; the book has to fit my mood, level of concentration, etc, so I like to bring enough options. On top of that, the book has to move at a pace that will hold my attention, even if I’m tired or uncomfortable or really sick of sitting on a plane where children are screaming and the air vent isn’t working and my entertainment system is broken. And then there’s the issue of weight; hardcovers are out, as are heavier or extremely thick paperbacks. Bonus points for a book if it’s something I don’t think I’ll read again and, therefore, can give away when I finish it instead of carting it home!
I usually select a whole pile of candidates, then cull until I think the final selection will provide enough variety and last me the whole trip without too much to spare. Here’s my candidate pile for my upcoming trip, which is a long one, with lots of plane time. It mostly consists of galleys I’ve been looking forward to reading (though they’re heavier) and mass market paperbacks I’ve been meaning to read and get rid of:
From the top down, that’s:
“A Dangerous Fortune” by Ken Follett, which I’ve had forever;
“The Widow of the South” by Robert Hicks;
“A Canticle for Leibowitz” by Walter M. Miller, Jr.;
“The Religion” by Tim Willocks;
“Still Alice” by Lisa Genova;
“One Day” by David Nicholls;
“The Agency 02: The Body in the Tower” by Y.S. Lee;
“The Polysyllabic Spree” by Nick Hornby;
“Super Sad True Love Story” by Gary Shteyngart, which I’ve borrowed;
“Room” by Emma Donoghue;
“Ape House” by Sara Gruen; and
“The Wolves of Andover” by Kathleen Kent.
Two days to decide…let the deliberation begin!
On a happy note, I already have my audiobooks picked out: “Zeitoun” by Dave Eggers and the Moon Books trilogy by Susan Beth Pfeffer!