Books, life the universe

Sunday, 20 June 2010

Problems of choosing a book for a train journey

I am off to Norwich by train tomorrow and I was pondering what book to take with me. It has to fit in my bag and not be too heavy to carry around. Should it be an old favourite or something previously unread? If an old favourite it might not quite fit my mood. If unread I might decide I don't like it after page 1. So should I take two books with me? An average size one and a thin one perhaps?

You see even the most trivial decision is fraught with difficulty if you want it to be. I was debating whether to take Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey with me but I like to appreciate Austen in peace and quiet - so maybe not her. But there is Joan Aiken's Mansfield Revisited (thank you, Noreen, for the information about this) which may need less savouring but is fewer than 200 pages long. My journey is about 2.5 hours each way and I therefore need something longer than 200 pages.

In the end I've plumped for Dan Waddell's The Blood Detective and Joan Aiken's Mansfield Revisited - neither of them heavy books in the physical sense; and I'm taking my trusty Kangol messenger bag so there's plenty of room. I had considered a heavy weight tome about feminism - Simone De Beauvoir's The Second Sex but as I've tried to read that before and found it difficult a train journey is not the place to get to grips with it.


NAM said...

Hmm, I sympathise. Definitely not the occasion for the heavyweight subject, I agree.

What you took sounds like a very good compromise. I sometimes take one of the smaller (because hardbacked) volumes of Arthur Mee's 'The King's England and rely on The Times crossword to fill in the rest of the time...

Jilly said...

Dan Waddell- was good and very interesting - though a shade violent for my taste. I didn't get around to Mansfield Revisited - though I might have done if I hadn't travelled as far as Peterborough with a former work colleague!

NAM said...

Yes, that was always likely to result in less reading!