While I wait for the temperature outside to reach a whole 10 degrees, I’m thinking about traveling. Anywhere really, not even someplace warm. Just someplace other. Which would require a book.
I do read on my phone. So even when I’m not traveling, I have plenty of material there. Yet, there just doesn’t seem to be a good substitute for a book when there are distances involved. The Kindle app is good enough for the doctor’s office, but an airport or a restaurant requires corporeal pages and covers. I think it’s because the screen is so small. The psychological shielding that radiates from a screen is just not enough for me. I need more breadth and depth and some big block letters, darn it all. Besides, people who interrupt you while you are reading on your phone always claim they thought you were playing Candy Crush. Really? Did you really?
My perfect book to travel with is Robert A. Heinlein’s The Moon is a Harsh Mistress. It’s a book I picked up and loved in high school. Well before I knew it was supposed to be a great piece of Libertarian thought. Man, Mike and Wyoming are excellent company. The cover looks serious, but the pages contain one of the best buddy novels ever. Nevermind that one of the buddies is a computer. I also like it because I’ve read it enough that I don’t have to carry a bookmark. I can open it and know where I am in the story. Of course, my most recent copy is starting to look disreputable, but somehow I think that adds to the shielding.
Over the years, I have tried other traveling companions. Persuasion by Jane Austen is a solid choice too. But for heaven sakes leave Pride and Prejudice at home. It unfailingly attracts that one woman on the flight that wants to tell you all about her Mr. Darcy. Just no. This woman will also not be open to the argument that Pride and Prejudice isn’t the best of Jane’s works. Which will make the LAX to Narita leg of your journey fairly awkward. Trust me.
If you really want to read a best seller on your journey, do yourself a favor and invest in the hardcover version, and remove the dust jacket. I know, that’s heresy. Just understand, the dust cover can always be put back on, but the scars from being repeatedly interrupted for an opinion or a synopsis can last a lifetime.
Of course, as always, I am open to other suggestions.