Monday, August 29, 2011

Jen Talks Bookish Airport Observations

Earlier this month I had some traveling to do and the airport is my favorite place for people watching.  You encounter people from all over the world and everyone is headed to a different destination.  It doesn't matter the time of day or how big the airport is, observing people is best done at the airport.  I always root for the people who are running late, you know the ones you see them sprinting by with their carry-on bags that are practically bursting at the seams.

Other than in bookstores and libraries the airport is the one place I've seen an abundance of people reading.  This time around I noticed a lot more people using e-readers.  But for those travelers who were reading physical books there were two books in particular that kept popping up:  The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and The Help.  Overall, Larsson's book was by far the book I saw most people engrossed in.

My traveling book was The Help, purchased at the airport because I accidentally packed my book in my checked luggage instead of my carry-on.  The girl who was sitting next to me on one of my flights was also reading The Help.  We talked about the book and reading for a little bit before we each put our nose in our books.

Other books I saw people reading:

I really wanted to ask the people with e-readers what they were reading but I'm kind of shy and didn't want to approach people by myself.

If you've traveled this summer what book (or books) did you bring with you on your travels?

I had my nook with me as well but prefer reading a physical book while flying.  Mainly because of that portion of time when you can't have any electronic devices on.

Also, in the U.S., some of the airport shops have a special promotion called Read and Return.  You purchase a book in their store, read it and if you return the book within six months (with the original receipt) you get half of your money back.  The program isn't in all airports but it is in a quite a few and of course I've misplaced the bookmark that had the airports listed.


  1. I love the idea of a Read and Return program! I've never come across it, but will definitely keep an eye out now that I know about it!

    For some reason Barbara Kingsolver's Poisonwood Bible has always been my go-to airplane read. I must have 5 or 6 copies because I never remember to pack it and then can never say no when I unearth it at an airport news stand! I've been slightly better about diversifying my travel reads now that I have a Kindle-- I've actually been using plane time to catch up on the classics (Ivanhoe and The Mayor of Casterbridge on my last trip) since you can download so many of those for free.

  2. I'd never heard of the Read and Return program! :O I suppose none of the airports I visit participate or promote it much if they do.

    When I'm at the airport, I usually have a different book with me each time. Of course when your TBR list is out of control, you've got to do that. ;) While waiting for my beau to arrive at the airport a couple of months ago, I was reading Kiersten White's Paranormalcy. I thought I'd finish before he arrived, but I was getting antsy and had to put it down to watch for him. Really, I should make use of my Kobo more often, but there's nothing like the feel of the book in your hands. :)

  3. I love spying on what other people are reading in airports, but I hadn't thought about how you can't tell what people are reading if they're on their eReaders. I'm not THAT good of a spy. :)

  4. I'm always craning my neck trying to see what others are reading! I hate to interrupt them, but I need to know! Ebooks really make that a problem. Interesting post....

  5. While traveling to FL for vacation this summer, I took several books with me. (Seriously, The Complete Claudine, a George RR Martin, and a couple others.) I didn't finish any of them. But one night after our flight was delayed coming home, I pulled out my iPad and started reading The Handmaid's Tale. I had placed a hold on it through Overdrive and I couldn't turn the light on in our hotel room. I fell in love with Margaret Atwood on that return trip...

  6. I went on two trips this summer and read:
    -Setting Free the Bears by John Irving (I read that one on two plane flights and had to buy a book for my 3rd)
    -The Edible Woman by Margaret Atwood
    -How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe by Charles Yu (on my nook)
    -Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by JK Rowling (on my nook)
    -Obernewtyn by Isobelle Carmody (bought last minute for my return flight - finished it on the first flight)

    -The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet by David Mitchell
    -The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
    -World War Z by Max Brooks

    I've found my nook to be helpful while I travel. That way I can bring big books like Harry Potter, without the weight of them. BUT I make sure I always have a paperback for those 20ish minutes where electronics aren't allowed on the flight.

  7. The Read and Return program sounds really cool! Though I don't know if I could do the return part... I kind of get attached to my books.
    Traveled to Paris this year (6 hour drive) and brought my e-reader with Wildefire, Imaginary Girls, The Ghost and the Goth and Juliet by Anne Fortier (which was AMAZING! Totally appropriate travelling/summer read).
    I LOVE people-watching in airports as well :) Never gets old.

  8. Agreed! Airports are the BEST place to people watch, a favorite pastime of mine.

    Those e-readers are frustrating. If I'm feeling brave I'll ask what they're reading but usually I don't.

  9. What a great post -- I loved this. I love people watching anyway, combined with airport terminals and reading, well -- perfect. I would have loved to know what the e-readers were reading -- I travel with an e-reader but would have welcomed the bookish convo!

  10. I too love reading while traveling (and people-watching in airports). When traveling to and from Paris this summer, I read The Time In-Between by David Bergen, and Bride of New France by Suzanne Desrochers (both reviewed on my blog). They were both perfect airport/airplane books - engaging and thought-provoking, while not requiring too much effort to read after being awake for far too many hours and jetlagged!

  11. Ohh, that program sounds really awesome!! I brought my Kindle with me the last time I flew. I was lucky because I went overseas and could have my device on for a good chunk of time.

    That's super interesting that so many people were reading The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo! Crazy! I wonder that the American-made movie's going to be like?!

  12. I'm always curious about what other people are reading too. The last trip I went on was in July. I was reading Honolulu by Alan Brennert. The girl sitting next to me in the terminal was reading The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

  13. Actually, when I flew most recently, I noticed an abundance of people watching movies on their iPads or computers. I'd completely forgotten about not being able to read during takeoff and landing so I brought my Kindle with me. It wasn't so bad on the way back, though...because I bought a bunch of books during my trip.

  14. This post totally cracks me up because last summer when I was traveling those were the two top books! Those authors must just be raking it in!

  15. Very cool observations! I always love seeing what people are reading, and I get excited when someone's either reading the same book I am, or something I've recently read. I haven't been lucky enough to do much traveling this summer, except for day trips, so haven't had any travel books. I love the sounds of the Read and Return program, what a great incentive for people who travel (and read) a lot!

  16. I went on 10 different flights this summer and I saw Mockingjay and Harry Potter the most at aiports (Int.). Most of the people around me on the plane read from ereaders and some of them were in different languages so I wasn't sure what books they were reading.

    I also had the chance to read:
    Fury by Elizabeth Miles
    Daimon by Jennifer L. Armentrout
    Abandon by Meg Cabbot
    A Beautiful Dark by Jocelyn Davies
    Waterfall by Lisa Tawn Bergren
    The Mephisto Covenant by Trinity Faegen
    Cold Kiss by Amy Garvey
    Drink, Slay, Love by Sarah Beth Durst
    The Strange Case of Finley Jayne by Kady Cross
    13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson

  17. I did a trip to Australia this summer. Travelled for around 24 hours from Austria to Australia. Because of this long trip and a three week road trip through Western Australia I brought my Kindle with me and finished quite a lot of books (e.g. 13 little blue envelops, some Stephanie Plum novels and Monica McInerney's Those Faraday girls).
    When going to London in August I packed Ali McNamara's "From Notting Hill with love...actually". A wonderful book! Bought so many books there that I had real problems deciding what to read on my way back home.

    I am also a big fan of watching people and see what they are reading. In Vienna many many people read on publich transport which I think is soooo cool and came up in the last years. So I have a book out but I am totally spying on people and on their books. Sometimes I have to take notes (title and author) to look up a really interesting looking book.

    I also saw a lot of Harry Potter books. Do you think that was because of the release of the last film?

  18. We had four driving days and I read a book a day in the car:

    A Dog's Purpose
    The Stone Angel
    The Sone Diaries

    Loved them all.

  19. I love this post! I am glad I am not the only one who is looking around to see what others are reading! I have been on two flights this summer and read Best Friends Forever (Jennifer Weiner who you mentioned seeing) and Nefertiti and The Constant Princess (Michelle Moran and Phillipa Gregory.)

    I dont think I would ever ask someone what they are reading on their e-reader but I am always curious!

  20. I just returned last night from being away on vacation for a week, and having a copy of Mockingjay with me really made a difference! I kept saving the last book so I'd have something that would easily hold my attention through the plane ride! :)

  21. I love snooping at what other people are reading - that's pretty much why I started reading blogs in the first place. The book I took away with me this year was A Game of Thrones.

  22. I always bring some sort of paper thing to read during takeoff and landing! I travel so much that I must! On this past trip I brought the next two books I am going to review as well as my nook. But when I have something that I am going to read electronically (like I just finished The Wise Mans Fear) I bring a magazine for the no electronics part!

  23. I've always though a Read & Return program like that would be a brilliant move for airports. I've found myself doing a fair share of flying this summer, I know I read parts of A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin (Book 2 of A Song of Ice and Fire) and The Name of the wind by Patrick Rothfuss on planes.


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