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July 29, 2010

Books in Motion #6

Everybody was reading novels at around 5:00, as our subway train sped westbound on the Bloor-Danforth Line. I spotted a man reading Oryx and Crake, one reading something by Patrick O’ Brien, and another with his face buried in After Dark by Haruki Murakami (from the Toronto Public Library). Plenty of others reading books I couldn’t see the covers of, and then the woman reading a gorgeous vintage copy of The End of the Affair. (The edition pictured here is not the same, but it’s the closest in hue that I could locate). She looked about forty, perfectly pretty in an ordinary sense, wearing glasses, and shoulder-length curly hair. She was traveling with a man beside her who was stuck in a book too, but I couldn’t see the front of his. Neither was talking to the other. They were laden with two enormous suitcases, and a few other bags. I speculated that perhaps they were en-route to the airport? A trip-out, I assumed, because their luggage had no YYZ tags, but the woman was about two thirds into her novel. And how curious, I thought, to take a half-finished book on holiday with you. I would never, ever do such a thing. Most of it already used up then, and she’ll just have to cart it with her for the rest of her journey…

5 thoughts on “Books in Motion #6”

  1. Rebecca says:

    I bring only periodicals on trips, because I am willing to leave them behind when they’re finished (unless they’re particularly brilliant), but I’d never ever leave a book. Thus the bag lightens as the trip progresses.

    1. Kerry says:

      You are a more practical woman than I am. I always bring books back, and they’ve usually multiplied.

  2. Lisa says:

    Oh I totally identify with the woman and her near-finished book. I couldn’t possibly leave it behind and start a new one on the trip. The entire time I’d just be thinking about the unfinished book back at home and wondering what happens next in the story. Besides, I never mind lugging a book around with me (they are like appendages after all and I would feel something missing without them).

    1. Kerry says:

      See, I would stay up all night the night before in order to finish the book in time to start one fresh for the journey. I might even go without a book for a half-day or so in order to begin at the very beginning. But I am a bit weird about this sort of thing. (And yes, lugging has never been something I’ve complained about. It only annoys my husband.)

  3. sara says:

    When going on a trip I actually prefer bringing a book that I’m part way through! I am usually super excited when I go pretty much anywhere to be able to focus on a new book -I find it much easier to be in the middle of something. I always have another one or two books in my suitcase too!!

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