A Real Reader’s Emergency

On the escalator up toward the terminal at the Atlanta airport on Monday, I suddenly realized that I only had half of a book to read with a two hour flight to Philadelphia plus a long layover and another hour or more flight after that. Shit. What should I do? As I reached the top, I saw that my flight was beginning to board. Shit! My head turned left and right looking for the ubiquitous Hudson News. Where is it?! To the left I see a store front called Buckhead Books. Even better! An actual bookstore! I rush over to see their wares. Shelves upon shelves of books from which to choose!

Wait, the fiction section is 3 bays, mostly face outs. The classics section has approximately 8 titles, 7 of which I’ve already read. The front table only seems to have Scott Turow, Michael Crichton, and John Grisham on it in massive piles. Shit! I scan the bestseller wall. It’s a lot of Christian material plus some of Sookie Stackhouse series. Augh. What about Sacred Hearts by Sarah Dunant? I tried reading one of her previous books The Birth of Venus, but I didn’t care for it.

Some will start calling me a snob here. Fine. Go ahead. I just wanted something a little more solid. I can read a John Grisham novel in about 2 hours. I need a thick book that can entertain me for at least three or more hours. So stop. I know my own tastes.

This is taking forever! I’ve got 3 minutes to pick a book, pay for it, and run to my plane. Finally I spot it. Lurking toward the bottom of the fiction section, which I’m back in front of for a second look I see Michael Chabon’s The Yiddish Policemen’s Union. Finally! Something I haven’t read and actually want to read. Panic over. I grabbed, paid, and ran.

I’m so glad I finally read this novel. It was so good! You might be laughing at me for panicking about all this, but I’ve said it before. Being without a book is torture for me. I know I’m not alone.

9 thoughts on “A Real Reader’s Emergency

  1. Samantha

    Or, you know, get a Kindle. This is exactly why they rock. You could have found and bought almost any book in the world (or two) while you were sitting on the plane waiting for everyone else to board.

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  2. Skip

    I had the same damn thing happen recently and I ended up with Water for Elephants. It’s a pretty average book but felt like manna from heaven in that situation. Any port in a storm, I guess.

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  3. frankie

    Yeah, I love paying 300 bucks up front to buy a way to read books that I can’t sell to a used book store and can’t ever loan to my friends if I love it. And I love paying that 300 bucks to an evil empire that’s trying to put my favorite stores out of business and twist the arms of publishers so hard that they can only afford to put out pieces of crap to sell at k-mart. ugh.

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  4. Shelley

    Yes, not only my writing but my reading keeps my sanity! When I sit in airports or doctors’ offices and look at the people sitting there minute after endless minute without a book, I wonder: how on earth do they keep from running screaming out of the room?

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  5. Vickie

    this is going to be a bit of a switch. thank you for not having a kindle. this experience proves how having one changes our book buying experience. had you the option to choose between every single book available on the kindle, you may never have chosen the chabon. instead you had to wade through the ocean of fluff at the airport bookstore until you found the jewel hidden on the shelf. there are some wonderful books we may never end up reading if almost every book is always nearly instantly available. i know i would never go back to my to be read pile, and that would be a tragedy.

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  6. Hannah

    Once, when I was in high school, there was a lock-down and I was stuck in Algebra for three hours without a book. I have never repeated that mistake. Torture (twice over since math was thrown in)

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  7. Steve Walker

    Had a bad flashback reading about your experience in Atlanta. People think I am nuts. I always, always carry two books with me under any circumstances. Sometimes three books. I’m
    heading South in a few weeks and already I am thinking about what books I want to have in my carry on luggage. The Kindle? Get behind thee, Satan!

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  8. Biblibio

    Ah yes. The airport conundrum. I haven’t had that problem in years. I always overpack these days. Less than two books? Not on your life. Glad it turned out for the well!

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