I’m planning a trip to Ireland, and I’m at that point where I have to decide what to bring along as reading material. As a general rule, I see traveling as a good opportunity to catch up on the odd classic. This is probably because my DJ career involves me working on books most people want to read on vacation. This is not to say that my DJ is like other people’s vacations (although it isn’t exactly digging ditches), but simply that my need for light entertainment reading is more than satisfied before I even arrive at the airport. Come to think of it, my steady ingestion of audiobooks, usually but not limited to SF (I’m currently listening to A Moveable Feast), means that I don’t even need to vary the nature of the entertainment diet. I get entertainment coming and going. So that does leave classics, and to paraphrase Roger Ebert, why would anyone read anything but classics, given the choice? Good point. Books that have hung around for generations probably have a lot to offer, if you give them a shot. It’s not even a question of easy versus hard reading. I mean, is there any writer easier to read than Trollope? It’s all a question ultimately of what you want to put into your head, given the choice from every possible book ever written. It’s your choice. It’s your head. I’m just talking about what I do.
I studied a lot of Irish literature in college; what English major didn’t? So I’m thinking of grabbing a few appropriate authors. I may be fooling myself that I might reread Ulysses, but why not? Then again, a little Wilde would have the benefit of being perhaps a bit more fun. We did Yeats up the wazoo, in more than one class, but I’m not likely to turn to poetry for airplane reading. Swift maybe? I was just reading about a new bio of the good rev. Or maybe Irish Murdoch. Yeah, I’ll grab one of hers. The nice thing is, you just go to Amazon and click a few times and voila, there you are. I think I’ll pass on Beckett. I never could read him, even back in the day. I wouldn’t mind seeing a play, though. None are scheduled while we’re there. So it goes.
Anyhow, I have a few weeks. I’ve also got to decide what movies to put on the iPad for the flights. More agony. Too bad I’ve already seen Brooklyn. Oh, well, I’ll come up with something.