Saturday, March 30, 2013

What You're Not Reading, Day Nine

I never leave home without a book, especially when I travel. Wait, no, that’s not true. What I meant to say is, I am constantly forgetting to bring a book when I travel. I am not an e-reader fanatic and the only thing I read on my phone is news (and by news I mean celebrity news; it’s the only thing worth reading in miniature).  It's not that I hate e-readers (I have two) it's just that I am constantly losing things when I travel, so I would rather lose a fifteen dollar book and yet another pair of socks than my iPad.

I get major anxiety when I enter a bookstore--too many choices. I could probably make a life and death decision within seconds but picking out which book I want to read on my three hour flight sends me into panic. The solution used to be to take a Xanax and talk myself through the genres and then authors; in total, choosing a book took between 45 minutes to an hour. By the end of it I was completely exhausted and ended up sleeping the whole flight, making the entire exercise futile.

I found a new solution. When I find myself sans book on the road, I buy a volume of the Best American series. Most recently I purchased the 2012 edition of The Best American Mystery Stories edited by Robert Crais, which is filled with gems. Mary Gaitskill’s "The Other Place" about a man who is obsessed with violence, Thomas McGuane’s "The Good Samaritan" about a man who hires a mysterious ranch hand, and my favorite story in the collection, "Returning the River," by the great Daniel Woodrell, which might just be the most dark yet beautiful Woodrell story I’ve read.

Filling out the Best American Series this year are Best American Comics, Best American Essays, Best American Nonrequired Reading (next on my list), Best American Short Stories, Best American Science Nature Writing, Best American Travel Writing, and Best American Sports Writing. 

So that’s it, that’s my solution to travel. Now, I’m like everyone else, I take Xanax just for fun. 

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