Friday, March 25, 2011

The Good Things About Travel: Reading & Arriving

I have a confession to make: I hate traveling. Don't get me wrong, I love to visit other places - it's the getting there that I don't like. My timing dependent on airlines and staff I have no power or authority over, crowded airlines, screaming children, overly perfumed bodies, and the guy with the overly-stinky bologna sandwich sitting behind, I have no love of in-progress travel.

The one part of traveling I do enjoy is that it is the one time I can usually indulge my reading habits without feeling guilty, since I find i cannot be productive in travel-mode. I haven't made the switch fully to e-books yet (I have an iPad, but I find it unwieldy, and I really just prefer dead-tree books), so I packed a number of books I've been wanting to read into my luggage. This past week, I traveled to Washington DC for the Computers in Libraries conference. On the way there, I read five books, and on the way back, I read another three. They were:

Darkfever - Karen Marie Moning
Obsessions of an Extraordinary Executive: The Four Disciplines of Making Any Organization World Class by Patrick Lencioni
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
The Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson
The Five Temptations of a CEO: A Leadership Fable by Patrick Lencioni
Silos, Politics and Turf Wars: A Leadership Fable about Destroying the Barriers that Turn Colleagues into Competitors by Patrick Lencioni
The Bride Collector by Ted Dekker
The Three Big Questions from a Frantic Family: A Leadership Fable About Restoring Sanity to the Most Important Organization of Your Life by Patrick Lencioni

Except for the lack of poetry (I dislike reading poetry when I travel, I like to be in a more stable environment so I can steep myself in it and concentrate), this is a likely representation of my reading habits. Usually it's a little heavier on the Darkfever end and lighter on the Lencioni, but a mix of paranormal adventure/romance, business, education, murder mystery fiction, and horror is my usual reading menu. I'm looking forward to a week-long vacation in May. I plan to scour the apartment clean, and read indolently on the couch (or in the sun, if the weather allows).

I have noticed that between work, projects related to work, and my work on the doctorate degree, I have not been maintaining the kind of balance I need to allow me the time for my reading and creative writing. In fact, I've been an anxious, harried hot mess for the past few months, burning the candle at all three ends. This weekend I am going to take a page from Lencioni's The Three Big Questions and draft up a plan to get back into better balance and make time for the other things I love. Reading, writing, gallomphing with my basset hound, and seeing friends.


  1. I feel pretty much the same way about traveling. I get more annoyed the more i travel, but it seems to be about the only time i get to read anything that's not a textbook or paper.

    Whenever I go anywhere (especially flying), I dread the trip. Then I look at the book or two stuffed in my bag and think "Yes!" :)

  2. Yes - sad when a hassle like traveling is also our excuse to read non-assigned work!