Whist I can’t wait to get to New York, I’m aware that before then, I need to get through a 7 1/2 hour plane journey, plus airport and transit time. On one hand, that much potentially uninterrupted reading time sounds fantastic. On the other, I’ve been on plane flights before and I know that’s not how things end up working out.
Even aside from varying success with entertainment systems (will it work? Won’t it work? Will it work, but only show Adam Sandler films?) there’s something about being on a plane that seems to change normal behaviour. The load of work that was definitely going to get done during the journey is suddenly unmanagable, while John Grisham novels become irresistibly attractive. My brain has been known to turn to mush until I can do nothing more than watch old ‘Friends’ episodes for hours on end…
I’m not claustophobic, but I do get anxious at the thought of being stranded with nothing I want to read. It’s happened before and it’s not pretty. It’s one thing not to feel like reading, but quite another to know the book you’re craving is in the hold, or on a shelf back at home. The last time I went to New York I had Donna Tartt’s ‘The Goldfinch‘ which solved the problem easily because I knew that it would be both engrossing and also way too long for me to finish in the time given. I’m lacking a sufficiently applauded doorstop of a book for this trip though, and the pressure of making a good choice is starting to get to me.
The two books I’d mentally picked out are both, apparently, hugely depressing (though also very good and would get my NY reading off to an excellent start). They are also, combined, a lot shorter than ‘The Goldfinch’… but what happens if I’m stuck 40,000 feet above the Atlantic ocean and realise I don’t like them or feel like something cheerful?
It’s probably cheating, but I’m clearly going to have to take the Kindle along as well. I’ve got over 600 books on it, including complete Agatha Christie, and so should be able to weather any delays or changes of mood. If my mind is up to it, I’ll be able to start my New York reading while in transit. If not, it’s just more to look forward to once I arrive. If I ever manage to finish packing that is!