Travelling is not easy for book lovers – unless they have some kind of e-reader, which I haven’t, there are always these tough choices: which books shall I take with me? how many? When I go by car, I tend to throw a humungous number of different books in the boot, because, well, how on earth can I foresee what sort of mood I’ll be in… but flying means you have to whittle it down. I love books, but they weigh a lot.
So when I flew home recently, I forced myself to keep the number of books down. There was the Jodi Picoult I’d started reading, but it was quite short and I was going away for three weeks, so I took a few possibles for later: a couple of Shopaholic books, plus an Alexander McCall Smith – light reading, fail-safe authors, just different styles. (Oh, and there was one in Hebrew that I dipped into on the plane, but it didn’t grab me enough to keep going. It’s a collection of short stories, the first of which I absolutely loved, but then after that he lost me.)
The two Shopaholic books were from a recent purchase – they were on a special “buy one, get one free” offer. The funny thing was that I’d totally forgotten that I’d already read the first one. As soon as I started reading, I realised I’d been there… but it was still such a fun read that I carried on anyway and read it to the very end. I didn’t remember the plot, so it worked – I only had these odd moments of “ah, I remember that turned out to be a disaster” or “oh, that was funny”, but I didn’t remember details. So thank you, Sophie Kinsella, for writing stuff that I can enjoy more than once! I enjoyed it so much that I went straight on into the next book in the series!
I had more books to carry on the flight back, as my brother was sifting through his old books and gave me a few. One is called Oddities and Curiosities of Words and Literature – looks like hours of fun, plus lots of stuff I could bore you guys with! And then there are three old paperbacks which I know I’m going to enjoy – they are all Rex Stout books, about this fabulously crazy detective called Nero Wolfe, who loves his orchids and his food and is so rude to people it’s unreal. My brother had introduced me to Nero Wolfe way back when I was a kid, and it’s great to be reunited with the dude after all these years.
The reason I’m bringing all this up now is because I’ve finally, two weeks after getting back, got round to updating my Shelfari bookshelf with all this stuff. Oh, not just all this but also the book I bought last week when I was in town (which hardly ever happens) and found myself in an actual real bookshop (which also hardly ever happens), and they had a book that I’d been wanting for ages, ever since my niece translated a chapter as part of her university application (which makes it a few years ago, as she has finished her BA) and asked me to check her translation, and I thought: wow, this book is crazy, I want to read it. (It’s The Gun Seller by Hugh Laurie.)
In case you haven’t twigged yet, I love books…