London Calling

It is now less than a week before I board a plane for my trip to London and Paris.  You know what that means…the all important question arises: What books do I bring with me?  I don’t want to bring too many because I have plans (oh so many plans) for shopping while in London (I get to go to Persephone Books!).  But in the meantime, I have a plane ride to get through…

Apparent Dip and I are reading Naguib Mahfouz’s Palace Walk, so I could bring that along, but the version I have is a hard-cover Everyman edition of the entire Cairo Trilogy.  Do I bring it and read the rest of the books?  Do I bring Vassily Grossman’s Life and Fate?  All of a sudden the number of books that I just have to read has skyrocketed.  I’m hoping to finish Victor Serge’s The Unforgiving Years, before I leave, because I hate bringing along books that are already in progress (I always finish them too early in the flight) and because it is haunting me.  I started it last night before bed and it was the first thing I thought of when I woke up.  Or perhaps I should bring along Olivia Manning’s Balkan Trilogy?  By the way, can anyone explain to me why I seem to be obsessed with novels set around WWII?  And I apparently love those epic/multi-generational tales.  I don’t call this blog Loose Baggy Monster for nothin’.

As you can see, I am horrible when it comes to making a decision about reading material on flights.  Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated…

8 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by harleyman on May 15, 2008 at 5:05 pm

    Are you packed yet????????


  2. Enjoy London! I’ll be there myself in Mid-June – can’t wait to go book shopping and go to the theatre.


  3. Posted by Queen Mother on May 15, 2008 at 6:34 pm

    You need to remember that if you need to run through the airport you must carry what you read. Also because they are getting really tough on weight you need to think about not overloading so that you can bring new books back. It is all a matter of timing – and weight. Do let me know how the royal ones are doing on the other side of the pond.


  4. Bring paperbacks that you can leave in the hostel or hotel when you’re done with them – then pick up others discards. I read my way from London to Moscow this way without lugging heavy books in my pack.


  5. Posted by Peter on May 17, 2008 at 12:15 am

    Yeah, I was listening to something on NPR about airlines starting to charge more fees for checking in bags…

    I always have the same problem about what to bring when travelling. It is worse when I am driving though. I tend to pack a small office in the trunk then … not good.

    Have a good trip! You will add a blog entry or two from London, right?


  6. harleyman: ha, ha. We probably won’t pack until the morning that we leave!

    Ted: Thanks, I’m soo excited for this trip.

    Queen Mother: We have a five hour layover, so I’m not too worried. And I’m only planning on bringing 1-2 books, hence the need to find a really, really, really good one. Especially if I’m stuck in the airport for five hours.

    Clair: I can’t bring myself to abandon my books…I just can’t!

    Peter: I’ll try to post, but for a change we’re not packing a small office (which we do as well most of the time). But I’ll try to stop in to say how things are going!


  7. I would be the wrong person to give much advice about plane reading. I’m not sure what it is–the high speeds maybe–but my ability to read generally goes right out the window. The only book I’ve bolted through on a plane was Michael Cunningham’s Specimen Days.


  8. Andi: I have a feeling that I will sleep through most of the flight (I hope). And I’m not sure how well I’ll be able to concentrate at the airport, but here’s to hoping I can make that layover work!


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