If I were to write one of those horrendous-but-kinda-fun-to-read books about etiquette for ladies, I’d say “a proper lady must always take a book with her to the airport”. I really hope you read that with a british accent, because there’s no other way of reading it. Anyway, moving on. A book. Books are a must-have airport accessory, because:
- They never lose signal or wi-fi;
- They’re a great prop for those airport pictures with the luggage, the Starbucks coffee cup and a neck pillow;
- They’re also useful, because you can read them while you wait! Yes, there’s that, too.
I always take a book with me when I travel, but I only take ONE – regardless of how long I might be away. And I do that because I know I’ll be buying books eventually, maybe when I arrive or even at the airport, so there’s no use in taking a full bag of them with me to begin with.
Now, picking just one book to take with you can be hard, because you probably have a few you’re really excited to read. So, to make my life (and now yours) easier, I thought of a few requirements that my traveling books always have to meet in order to be eligible for a trip.
Size and weight ratio is everything
Taking an 800 page book with you is probably not a great idea, but there is such a thing as a perfect size and weight ratio, and I’ve read a lot of short books (around 300 pages) that were incredibly heavy for their size. That’s due to the paper they use, if it’s a hardcover or a paperback, so please consider the weight of your book and try to pick one that’s as long as possible (so it’ll take you longer to finish, which is a good thing when you want to kill time), but not too heavy.
Unless you’re reeeeally into complex literature, pick something fun
This obviously depends on the person, but I’m not always in the mood for reading a russian classic. So if you’re like me, and you suddenly find yourself at the airport with one book in your hand, it better be something you actually feel like reading. When in doubt, go for that book you just can’t wait to read, or a fun, entertaining story – which for you can be a thriller, a romance, a chicklit, or something else. Just pick something that you know you’ll want to read.
Bring something you haven’t started reading yet
Now, don’t take this advice too seriously, because I’m not sure I’ll always follow it myself. Here’s the thing: the best book to take with you on a trip is a book you haven’t started yet, because the reading experience becomes part of the journey. You’ll remember it as the book you read when you went wherever you’re going. However, I, personally, couldn’t possibly start a new book knowing I’d left one unfinished at home, so I’d probably take the unfinished one instead – but I do try to finish all the books I started before the trip, and I’ve managed to do so in the past.
So if you a have book you know you won’t be able to finish before leaving and you can’t just start another one like that, I completely understand your circumstances. Otherwise, go with the book you haven’t started yet.
If you really want to take the perfect book…
This is just a plus, but it’s a big plus: choose a story that takes place in the city or country you’re going to. There’s nothing better than when the stars align and you’re flying somewhere, reading a book about a place you don’t know yet, and then you get to see it through the eyes of the characters. That’s book magic for you right there.