I choose travel reading material by weight. Lest you think I mean intellectual vigor, no: I mean heft. If Bazaar weighs less than Self, I’m self-less. Hardcovers? All reading material gets bounced like a newborn before receiving the nod. There is the danger of going too far to the edge with this thin lifestyle: My Life in Modern Times was a stunner, but so concise that it ran out of words before we could touch down in Tel Aviv.
The lightest, cheapest solutions mean that I save the slimmest magazines for trips (the September Issue is reserved for in-house use only). E-readers are welcome second sources of entertainment, but those Nooks, iPads, and Kindles are verboten during take-off and landing and impenetrable if they run out of juice. The Kindle-ster and I got into some strange positions in Turks & Caicos trying to pick up a wireless signal to catch my latest book select. My usually graceful sister stepped on hers in the Dominican Republic. Goodbye Columbus.
Entertainment quality may suffer and annoyance prevail with my approach to selecting reading material. Memorizing instructions on the back of the tray table has seemed more inviting than continuing reading the only English-language book available in a Munich gift shop. Ah well, the best-read plans…
Reading can sub for sight-seeing when work takes up the best part of the day: Under the Tuscan Sun and A Thousand Days in Venice were great reads when I was covering meetings in Italy. Want to be culturally relevant? Snag a Financial Times on the flight. Winner!!