Reading in Transit

Why a Plane Journey Is the Perfect Time to Read

While there’s nothing cozier than curling up in an armchair with a novel and a mug of tea, sometimes a great book can be made even greater with the addition of a stunning view, a cool breeze, or a glass of wine. Books take you on incredible journeys, so why not complement that by literally taking a trip? On a recent journey, I slipped Shotgun Lovesongs by Nickolas Butler into my carry-on luggage and set off to the airport.

book at airport

Novels aren’t really designed for multi-tasking, so it was a bit of a struggle to dive into the world of the characters while keeping one eye firmly on the departures board and trying to navigate through security. I crashed head first into several of my fellow travelers in the process, so I’m not sure I was the most popular person at the airport.

airport reading

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Once I was safely checked in and ready by the gate, it was time to fit in a meal. As long as you order wisely (preferably something that can be eaten with just a fork — and definitely not messy finger food that will get grease all over your pages), reading while eating can be rather enjoyable. In fact, I settled in so happily that I was a little worried about missing my flight.

book on a plane

Luckily, I made it onto the plane (and grabbed a window seat — score!) with no disasters, and settled in for the long haul. At this point I was pretty hooked on Shotgun Lovesongs, and so being trapped in a seat with nothing to do but read was basically a dream come true. Watching the world sail by beneath me was such a romantic backdrop to reading about the lives of my characters, and if I shed a few tears, I could blame the high altitude and just about get away with it.

A plane journey is the perfect time to read. There are no work emails, Facebook notifications, or phone calls to distract you, and so you can just relax and let the world go by. Gentle stories spanning lifetimes are ideal, or thrilling page-turners that you can devour in one exciting trip — but I’d stay away from anything about plane crashes!

About Emma Oulton

EMMA OULTON has more books than friends, and is perfectly happy with that arrangement. She lives in London with a dog called Hippo, works in publishing, and live-tweets her life from @emmaoulton.

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