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Let's Procrastinate With Books! Post 5

Time to get this train back on the tracks. For egelantier, from this list of questions.

29. Your vacation reading habits

Reading is one of the best parts of any vacation! The excuse to read is definitely the best part of traveling by plane, train, or bus, and it's not a vacation if I can't make time to sit around and read wherever I am. If I have to haul luggage around, like for traveling on a plane, I pack light; if the trip is by car, I don't bother & just fill a tote bag with books.

Packing light means one (or maybe two) “travel” book and one or two “arrival” books. Arrival books can be anything and are usually just whatever I would be reading anyway, but travel books are a particular kind of book: easy to read and guaranteed to make the time go quickly even when I'm stuck in the middle seat. Foundation is an old standby and so are the Bertie Wooster novels. A new-to-me mystery by a trusted author, like Agatha Christie, is also a good bet. I suspect that in the future some of Terry Pratchett's books will also step into this role.

Depending on the vacation, I might actually read less than I do when I'm home working. I work in a retail store that doesn't get a lot of traffic, so I can spend a large part of the work day reading if I want to. If I'm visiting family there's usually some work to do, and sometimes a five-year-old who wants me to read a large stack of picture books to her, one after the other.

14. The book that, in hindsight, really should have clued you in to the fact that you’re _________ (queer/in love/doomed to be an academic/etc)

Etc.? This is a difficult one. A book that should have taught me something about myself, but didn't, except in hindsight? I think this is especially difficult because normally I think of my mind as a kind of magpie's nest made up of the scraps of different books (and a bunch of song lyrics). It's hard to think of something that was there already, but revealed by the book! I don't know if I believe there was anything like that. I'm pretty impressionable.

If I spend too much time trying to suss this out, I might start to question whether there is anything at all under my mantle of words, which seems a little heavy for a book meme (the question, not the mantle; words are weightless OR ARE THEY?)

A memorable book experience I may not have talked about here: when I was a teenager, back when the local daily newspaper had a Wednesday book review section, I read a fairly negative review of The Moor's Last Sigh by Salman Rushdie, that quoted (as an example of excess) a short digressive passage from the book. I was so enchanted that I went to the library that afternoon and got it off the New Books shelf, the first book I ever read in the same year it was published. I bought a copy a few months later and it became one of my favorite things to re-read for many years. There were a lot of books that made me want to read more books, but that was the first one to make me think I could write them (accurately or otherwise) because the narrator mythologized his family, his hometown, and the big city in a way I hadn't encountered before outside my own head. It was excitingly familiar and inspiring even though Rushdie and Moraes and I didn't have a lot of specific things in common (and actually the book is full of satirical references that I didn't get then and probably still wouldn't get now).

I don't know if that actually answers the question, though. Also, LJ's spellcheck keeps trying to get me to spell "Salman" as "salmon" or failing that, "Sal man." Read a book, LJ spellcheck!


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 24th, 2016 10:27 pm (UTC)
Wow...that last one was a toughie indeed! Especially after the first question which was rather softball in my opinion, lol!

Sep. 24th, 2016 10:42 pm (UTC)
Right? How am I supposed to sort out what I should have known all along from what wasn't even in me before a book put it there? 3existential5me.

It's a really interesting question, and I'm sorry I can't do it justice! I'd love to see what other people's delayed book revelations are. I wish I had a good book revelation of my own to share.

But my own book revelations are mostly about what kinds of books I like, alas.
Sep. 25th, 2016 02:35 pm (UTC)
Blimey! I would have had trouble with that last question too. I don't think it's happened to me yet.
Sep. 25th, 2016 02:58 pm (UTC)
I'd guess that it happens very memorably to a subset of people, one of whom made the list of questions! If you have an example in mind from your own life, it probably seems like a much easier question in general.
Sep. 28th, 2016 10:48 am (UTC)
thank you! that was awesome. i'm picky about my travel books the same way (and sometimes resort to saved fics, alas): something engrossing and light and familiar, above all; woodehouse definitely quaifies!

because the narrator mythologized his family, his hometown, and the big city in a way I hadn't encountered before outside my own head - this is just beautiful.
Sep. 28th, 2016 01:22 pm (UTC)
Thanks, egelantier!

Wodehouse is the best; I had to walk past the Wodehouse shelf yesterday on my way to Evelyn Waugh (for 99 Novels obligations) & the longing came off me in waves. There will always be a part of me that just wants to read The Code of the Woosters and never worry about anything else.

I'll always have a soft spot for Salman Rushdie! though I'm reasonably sure that by normal Rushdie-reader standards I'm not appreciating him correctly at all.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )


blase ev

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