2.25.19 The joys of taking books on vacation
One of the great joys of vacation, for me, is a chance to arrive at my location and dive into a book. It sounds counter-intuitive — to travel hours in order to disappear into yet another world — but I just adore traveling through a city or the countryside, finding a perfect location, and getting cozy for an hour or more at a time with a book I’ve carried all this way.
Reading while traveling seems to imprint both the place and the book in my mind in ways that either one singly just can’t. And sometimes there’s incredible synchronicity: I can still picture reading Jonathan Carroll’s Kissing the Beehive in a California diner and coming upon a scene … that takes place in a California diner. I actually remember looking up and casting a glance around the room, half-expecting the author to be right there, giving me a thumbs-up.
I also tend to take books with me that I plan to leave behind (once finished). The idea is that there’s no reason to necessarily carry a finished book back home, and leaving it behind means there’s a chance someone else will pick it up and read it. (Plus, I’ll need room in my luggage to bring home new books, naturally.) That didn’t happen this time around, but I like the idea that a book can be a traveling companion who then gets set free in the world once we’ve completed our journey together.
During my recent trip to Costa Rica, I finished two books: Brett James’ Tangent and the Michael Ventrella-edited Release the Virgins, an anthology predicated entirely on the idea that each story had to include the phrase “release the virgins” in it. Not only were the vast majority of the stories creative and highly entertaining (as well as well-written), but after a few it became a bit of a game to see just how each author would interpret the phrase.
Speaking of Mr. Ventrella, he and I are about to embark on our own anthology! This is my first anthology editing experience, so one could say that when we announce the Kickstarter to get the project funded on Tuesday that we’ll be releasing a different kind of virgin into the world. In any case, stay tuned for the big announcement tomorrow!
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