Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Casual Conversations: Writing in Books on Planes

Flying from Houston to Denver for some meetings earlier this week, I made a single-serving friend based purely on the fact that he was reading a book.  Well, it was a bit more than that, actually--the first thing I noticed was not that this gentleman was reading a book so much as he was writing in a book, something I very rarely see in the world outside academia.  (In fact, I stopped writing in the books I read about six months ago, after I ran through the ink of two entire pens reading three-quarters of Middlemarch.  Damn that George Eliot.) 

As if that weren't enough, the gentleman (who was probably in his fifties or early sixties) was reading a book by David Foster Wallace, something I very rarely see in the world outside the literati online.  Reading David Foster Wallace and taking part in the rarely-used art of marginalia?  Awesome.

... actually, that's about as interesting as this story is going to get, I'm afraid, although the gentleman did tell me his daughter studied under Wallace before his suicide.  I guess this shows just how easily entertained I am.


Greg Zimmerman said...

Which DFW was he reading? (Please say Infinite Jest, please say Infinite Jest.) I would've been instant friends with that fella, too!

Lindsay-with-an-A said...

Well, TECHNICALLY, it was Although Of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself: A Road Trip with David Foster Wallace, by David Lipsky. But... kind of close enough, right?

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