For my one-week trip — five days with a pretty full day of flying and layovers on each end — I packed four books. I figured I’d only get three read (we were traveling to see people). I finished the first one shortly after arriving at our destination, with the bulk of the reading done en route. Boo by Rene Gutteridge.
Then I picked up the next. Promise the Moon by Elizabeth Joy Arnold. But I didn’t like it. I was about 50 pages in when I put it down, never to pick it up again. It may be a good book, but it was just too sad for me.
I moved on to the third. The Disappearance of Lyndsey Barratt by John Wilson. Yikes! Awful. I could see where it was heading, and I didn’t want my fiction diet to consist of this. Next. This was mainly a failure in selection. I knew next-to-nothing when I picked it up for a song.
So I, with trepidation, reluctantly started the fourth and final traveling book. Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith by Anne Lamott. I was worried that I would finish it early and be stuck with nothing to do while traveling. My kind husband assured me we would find something if that happened. I was still worried, though, since I couldn’t figure out a time in our schedule that would allow that without taking away from our scheduled activities. So I read slowly, rationing my reading time in hopes that I’d be fine with my present books.
I’ll post later, separately, about the books I finished.
The point to this post, though, is a question: How do you choose what books to take on a trip? I don’t often reread books, so that’s out (for me). It seems like there’s such a fine line between over researching and researching too little.
I know some readers just take tons of tomes. That’s not really a solution when you’re flying, and you pay for each bag, though, is it? I sometimes use this approach when driving to my destination. But when you’re going to have to carry them all, this doesn’t seem like the most moderate approach.
A Kindle would be another obvious solution, but I don’t have the money for that at this point. I don’t travel often enough to make it worth it.
So, what’s your answer? How do you choose what books to take on a trip? Criteria: They need to be books you’re pretty sure you’ll like (or at least be able to finish), and they need to be at least semi-light reading (I can’t concentrate terribly well in distracting environments).