There was a fantastic article by Dominique Browning in the New York Times this week titled, Learning to Love Airport Lit. With personal anecdotes, Browning tells of her love for the airport paperbacks when travelling. She long gave up on literary giants like Ulysses or War and Peace. Instead, trading them in for novels by P.D. James or George R.R. Martin.
All I want now, from a good airplane book, is transport. A sense of propulsion. I want to feel the rush of plot against my cheek. I want to know where I am going, and why. I’m willing to trade transport for transportation.
This immediately peaked my interest.
1) I live in Manhattan, meaning, I do not own a car, thus, resulting in my utilization of public transportation (re: subway, bus). New Yorkers are hardcore public transit book readers. I mean, how else can we avoid eye contact with the crazy homeless person yelling at us about sandwiches.
2) But more on point with Ms. Browning’s article, I have some upcoming travelling to do. I HATE flying. I don’t even think hate is strong enough a word. If I’m not able to totally pass out into dreamland, I must be in a constant state of distraction and engrossment. I’m sorry Gravity’s Rainbow, you won’t be making the cut.
The article dissuades the reader from memoirs, self-help books, etc. and offers the advice: Don’t make the mistake of straying off the plot path. You need books with hefty runways and fast takeoffs. So, it looks like I will be stocking up on suspenseful crime dramas for my long-haul flight.
The article is accompanied by these useful suggestions.
[click on the image to enlarge]