Reading in airports

The Hobgoblin is home! I picked him up at the airport Thursday night and yesterday we spent recovering — the Hobgoblin had more to recover from than I did by far, but since I’m the type of person who suffers if I get just the tiniest bit less than 8 (preferably 9) hours of sleep a night, the fact that I didn’t get home until 3 am threw me for a bit of a loop. Let’s just say that with all the flight delays I had plenty of time to get some reading done while waiting in LaGuardia airport.

I think two types of books work well for reading in airports — those that are so completely absorbing that the time flies by and you barely notice what’s going on around you, and those that you read slowly and ponder and look up from often to let your mind wander a bit before returning to read another paragraph or page. My airport reading experience this time around was the latter. With the slower reads, you can still do the people-watching that is so much fun in airports, particularly New York City airports, and you can get yourself in a dreamy book-inflected mood where you’re half in the airport, half in the book, but really no place except your head where the time flies too.

I had Nick Hornby’s The Polysyllabic Spree with me, but I didn’t get to it and still haven’t begun it, and I also had Marguerite Duras’ The Lover, which I managed to read about 60 pages in. Considering the number of hours I was at the airport and how quickly the pages in The Lover read, that isn’t very much. But I was relatively content sitting there and sort of reading, sort of watching people as they walked by. The book was a good companion — it’s got a powerful narratorial voice that rewards slow, meditative reading. This is not a book to rush through.

Plus, it’s kind of fun to notice people glancing at my book and to wonder what they think of it. Isn’t this a striking cover?

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