Four BOOKS TO PACK on Friday
Yesterday, my friend and fellow blogger at SmartGirlsRead posted a meme from Good Reads about choosing which book to read next. She commented how appropriate it was as she was trying to pick which books to pack for an upcoming trip. As I am also getting ready to head out for Spring Break, I started to think about which books I was planning to pack.
I honestly think I spend more time choosing which books to pack than which clothes! There are strict guidelines and criteria for every travel adventure and the books chosen must meet those standards. I usually put out a pile of books on the bed and evaluate each: hardcovers are cumbersome and heavy in a carry-on, library books are ripe for getting left or lost, and ebooks . . . well, that is a completely different blog post! Anyway, as I look at the stack, I realize that there are four main types of books that I pack for a trip.
The one I’m currently reading
This is the book that I intended to finish prior to the trip. You know, the one that just has about 50 pages left and I am going to sit down and finish it as soon as I finish packing . . . folding laundry. . . cleaning out the fridge. The one, despite my best intentions, does not get finished. I can’t wait the three days, five days, or week until I get home to finish it! Then I will be busy unpacking . . . doing laundry . . . restocking the fridge. You get the picture. It doesn’t matter how many pages are left; it has to get thrown into the carry-on bag and most likely will be completed in the waiting area before I even board the flight.
The one I can’t wait to read
This is the one I’ve been saving. The one that I’ve put aside special for the trip. The one whose anticipation gets me just as excited as the trip itself. When I was young, my mom would purchase books for us whenever we traveled. She quickly realized that I would read them before the trip, and she started to wrap them and they couldn’t be unwrapped until the vacation started. For me, as soon as the car was backing out of the driveway, the spine would be cracked open and I would start reading. The apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree because I have to do the same with my own children!! I often remember these books as I remember the trip: California 1983 – Trixie Belden 12: The Mystery of the Blinking Eye, New England 2009 – C. S. Harris’ What Angels Fear, Austin 2014 – Deborah Harkness’ The Book of Life. See what I mean.
The one I’m not sure about reading
This is the book that involves a psychological game with myself. This is the book on my shelf that either I am not sure that I want to read or that I am afraid to read. For whatever reason – a new author, a major plot twist, an uncomfortable conflict – I am apprehensive about starting this book. My thought is that if it is with me, I will be forced to try it. I may like it, I may not; but I will try it because I have it with me and there are no other options. This way, I have found books that I have loved and books that I have given 50 pages to and said forget it. For some reason, books are easier to let go of without guilt when you are on vacation!
The one for the flight home
I very intentionally pick a book that I plan to read on the flight home. It is almost always a fluff book that requires little to no brain-power, an author or plot-line that I know I will enjoy, and one that can be completed easily within the flight timeframe. I know that when I get home, reality will hit me in the face and my reading time will become non-existent. If I don’t finish the book on the trip home, it won’t get finished. This is my detox downtime reading before the transition back to real-life. These are my guilty pleasure books that will make me laugh-out-loud but won’t remember days later.
As an additional note, I usually budget a book a day. I rarely complete that, but as you know, one must be ready for a zombie apocalypse . . . or a delayed flight . . . so it is best to be prepared! Yes, this makes my suitcase heavy, and yes, I will sacrifice shoe space for books.
So, what kind of books to you pack for travel?