Blogger: Michelle Ule, Books & Such Assistant
Weather: You don’t want to know
While everyone else in the office is preparing for Mount Hermon’s Christian Writers Conference, I slipped out early on a long planned trip to Paris and London. La-di-dah, we’ll walk the Left Bank and visit the Shakespeare bookstore where Hemingway, Gertrude Stein and others enjoyed their literary lives.
In my family, the decision of what books to take on a major trip is always important. I have the requisite travel guides: Rick Steve’s Paris and The Lonely Planet’s Guide to London. New for us, we’re hauling a computer this time so we can keep track of last-minute changes in the schedule. And I’ll be playing with my new Kindle, happy to have my personal techie beside me to advise.
I like to read while I fly, but I find as I’ve gotten older, the types of reading material have, alas, shortened. Now I usually save up magazines for weeks prior and finish them off, as I jet along. I tell myself it’s because I can throw them away and thus have room for souvenirs, but I suspect it’s also because my attention span has shortened.
Some books are well-suited for travel: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is a good case in point. An epistolary novel—the whole story is told in letters–it allows the reader to drop in and out without losing track of what’s happening.
Another good example is Alexander McCall Smith’s novels in ” The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Society Series” about the traditionally-figured Botswana detective Precious Romotswe. The simple stories wander along to a relatively straightforward conclusion, and the leisurely pace of Botswana life makes for a refreshingly easy book to pick up and put down again.
How about you? What are your favorite books to take as traveling companions?