[Travelogue] Puttin’ on my readin’ dress

One of my favorite things about going on vacation is the guarantee of unfettered space in which to read. I have not yet warmed up to the eyepod, and I usually turn to reading instead of digital music as my way of passing that public transit time that comes (for some of us) with the commencement of a journey. Even in commuting, I enjoy a quick twenty-minute read (sometimes longer, depending on the whims of Muni) from whichever book I am carrying around on that particular day. The inevitable literary but noisy BART trip from San Francisco will also involve a brief but reading-accessible “Air-Bart” bus ride from the Oakland Airport BART station to the loading zone of the airport itself. For the sake of brevity, criticisms on why our system does not just connect to the airport itself will be saved for another post! Waiting around in the airport in that pre-holiday madness only serves to give us more time to chill out, and read something. With all the waiting around in the airplane and various trains, one could read a selection of different things, which begs the questions: how many books is it reasonable to bring on vacation?

I always overzealously pack more books than I seem to be able to read. But my eyes are always bigger than my stomach, as one could say. Commonly other books and magazines or newspapers are picked up along the way and supplant the originally packed materials, creating all sorts of overlapping capacities amongst the abundant resources. This holiday season, I head back into the hinterlands of suburban southern California, from where I came and will celebrate American Christmas with my family, before moving on to the greater San Diego area southwards. This will necessitate a delightful train ride with ample reading time involved, as mentioned in a post from earlier this month. The original reading intentions may be interrupted again, as it is quite something to see Los Angeles and the areas south of there from the rails than from the roaring concrete slab lined with advertisements and box stores. I think I have brought up to four or five books for a week’s vacation before, and will often read only one or two of them. It seems to be a bit of compulsion and a need for some variety when it comes down to the moment of reading. I have known friends to take many more, and burn through them in a similar vacation-relaxation-reading zone.

How many books do you take on vacation?

This reading season, I am considering taking just two books of my own to read. It will force me to read the works of one writer in particular, something I have wanted to do but it might be intense. But it might be nice to not lug heavy paper objects up and down the state of California too, and better for my body in a wellness sense. Any of you web wanderers out there, any recommendations on readings for this holiday season? Anything we should try to pick up at our public library or nearby used-bookstore before hopping on the bus to the train to the bus to the airplane to the car to the house?

5 thoughts on “[Travelogue] Puttin’ on my readin’ dress

  1. Oh I miss living in a place where train-rides were a regular occurrence, and I miss the reading they facilitated. I read two entire books on the train ride up to Liverpool from London and back and I loved muting out the monotony of my commute to and from work with a book. Trains trains trains. Books books books.

    But I say you can never take too many books on vacation as long as you can carry them. I mean, who knows what kind of mood you’ll be in from day to day.

    1. I agree, I always end up taking a bunch of books with me because invariably I am going to change my mind mid-trip and want to read something completely unanticipated. I’ve honestly had to stop packing before and think critically about the weight of my luggage due to the reading and writing materials I want to bring with me.

      My favorite way to pass the commute here in San Francisco is also to read! In fact, if I don’t get a seat on the bus and sit down to read for that twenty minutes, I have to wait a few minutes before I walk into work so I can read and get grounded.

      Anyway, thank you for your response to my posting! Safe travels!

    1. I fully agree, books are an essential travel companion… a magazine or newspaper at the very least! I always carry a small bag (some would say a man-purse) in order to easily facilitate always having something to read on hand.

      Thank you for you response! Take care.

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