Friday, December 19, 2008

Lindsay-with-an-A's Guide to Airport Reading

UPDATE, 12/21/2008:

Well, kids, I survived my flights (by the grace of God and the skin of my teeth, by my measure), but I have a piece of disturbing news to share with y'all:
"Jet skids, passengers yell, 'The plane's going to blow up!'"

CNN is nothing if not good at the short, descriptive headlines. To be honest, though, I can't say I'm that surprised. The runway was covered in ice when my flight took off on Friday night and I was scared shitless. On a somewhat brighter note, I've drummed up a couple more titles you should avoid while on a plane or at the airport:

Lord of the Flies, by William Golding
The Satanic Verses, by Salman Rushdie (courtesy of Homero, below)
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As I will in approximately ten hours be sitting in Denver International Airport waiting for my flight to California, I thought I'd do a little piece on what constitues good airport reading. If you don't already know, I'm an extremely nervous flier--"I will not think about falling to my death. I will not think about falling to my death. I will not..."--and often have images of fiery, painful demises in my head (see right). Taking off is bad, but landing is even worse, which is why one of the first short stories I had published was entitled "The Flight Home." (In case you were wondering, returning "home" in this case wasn't Mom and Dad's house--it was the great abyss from which we are all born. Ack.)

And with that, I will leave this panic attack-inducing subject and move on to that which will keep my mind away from the above image. As evidenced by the plethora of bookstores in every airport across the nation, reading in the airport is extremely useful to distract one from the almost-certain chance of death. While I touched briefly on books that I enjoy reading in airports here, there are several factors to take into consideration when choosing a book:

Entertainment value
: This is probably the most important factor to consider. While getting recommendations from blogs and other reliable sources is good, I find that I generally like to read books by authors I have already read and enjoyed so I don't have to suffer if someone else has bad taste.

Length: The book should be long enough to last through the whole trip but short enough that you don't get discouraged that it takes a long time to finish.

Subject matter: Books about plane crashes, terrorism, and/or martial arts should be avoided at all costs. Plane crashes and terrorism for obvious reasons, and martial arts because I think it's boring.

Keeping these factors in mind, I have compiled the following list of titles you should probably not read in the airport. You have been warned.












5 comments:

Homero said...

WOn my flight back to London, that glorious 11 hour flight, I picked up "The Satanic Verses" by Salman Rushdie. Guess what the opening scene is? Two guys are following down to the English channel because their hijacked plane exploded. I have yet to pick it up again.

lplzydeco said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lindsay-with-an-A said...

That. Sucks. Big time.

I'm a terrible flier, so if I read something like that while on a plane, I'd probably have a mini panic attack.

Daniele said...

Are you back in CA? How long are you staying? I'm in town until the 9th of January (except for a few days around new years). Give me a call if you're in town and have some time to hang out.

PS You can't be as bad a flier as my dad. He usually needs about 3 Bloody Marys before takeoff...I don't have issues with flying so much as with airports. Seriously,scheduling a flight from Chicago to arrive at the far end of terminal 7 and all connecting flights leaving at the end of terminal 8? There was a mad rush of people sprinting through LAX in their snowboots, which, if I hadn't been one of them, would have been hilarious.

Lindsay-with-an-A said...

I HATE the set-up of LAX. I had the same problem, and by the time I got to the United terminal which has flights to Santa Maria, I was sweating and pulling off layer after layer of winter gear. There was an elderly couple who were staring at me.

And I'm sorry I didn't get back to you sooner--we had a full house and kind of a full schedule, so I didn't see too many people. Just call me the Denver Hermit!

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