One of my favorite things about traveling (now that the novelty of flying itself is a thing of the past) is peeking around at my fellow wanderers to see what they’re reading. Checking out airport bookstores is also pretty interesting, in terms of keeping up to date on what’s new and what’s bestselling – and what is marked down because it just isn’t selling as well as expected.
Planning to bring enough good reads for a week-long beach vacation is an acquired skill. Haruki Murakami’s After Dark got me through the four hour delay at my departure airport, as well as the last couple of hours of daylight at the coastal destination. Stephenie Meyer’s new adult novel The Host provided the bulk of my entertainment, packing a whopping 624 pages, but moving along at a pace one would expect from the author of the enthralling young adult Twilight series. Which is to say, it was tough to put down, even for a quick dip in the pool as the temperature soared. Finally, I brought a book I absolutely loved the first time around, having intended for ages to reread it: Audrey Niffenegger’s The Time Traveler’s Wife. What with other sand-and-surf related distractions I didn’t manage to get all the way through that one, but the beginning is every bit as delicious as I remembered.
As for looking around at the airport and on the plane, I noticed many people reading ratty paperback romances and well-thumbed mystery novels. One eye-catching new book, in the hands of a traveler across the aisle, was Michael Chabon’s new novel, The Yiddish Policeman’s Union, which I read a review of recently in the New York Times Book Review, and decided to put it on my list. Vanity Fair and The New Yorker were popular magazine picks in the hands of the gate-side waiting area population.As for the airport bookstore, well, there were too many pretty new books for me to talk about in the here and now, but you can be sure they’re on my reading list. What summer vacation reads are you looking forward to?