I long for a vacation during which I can do nothing but read for long hours. But the bulk of this Fourth of July vacation that is not spent with relatives – whom I dearly love, don’t get me wrong – will be spent barreling down the highway. And no reading will be possible for me there.
While I can text in a car speeding down the highway, as a passenger, mind you – I’m breaking no laws here – I confess I must look at my phone (not like my son, who can text by feel, apparently). And I still have to look up often enough to find my horizon, and so that my phone jumping around does not give me a headache, or worse. You see, I get carsick if I can feel the motion.
So I cannot read a book in a car. Except once. We rented a car to drive to Indiana, because we were too cramped in my little Mazda, with three of us for that long ride. And I don’t remember what kind of car it was, but it must have been the smoothest ride, because I read most of The Prizewinner of Defiance, Ohio in it on the way back. Without even realizing it, I read in a moving car. And what a multi-tasking glory that was!
But do you think that I will be able to do that over this next holiday weekend, as we drive 10 hours to St. Louis? No. We will be in my trusty Mazda. And much as I love my little car about town, it is not a highway cruiser. Too much road noise, too many bumps.
So I will run up against the vacation paradox: hours of time in which I must do nothing, while my tottering TBR pile diminishes by only one or two volumes over the whole six day trip. I could read the whole award-winning book The Latehomecomer by Kao Kali Yang! I’ve been meaning to do that since I met the author in March. I could enrich my mind with The Shallows, and see what Laura Miller was talking about. I could dash off that manuscript critique due the week after we get back. Oh, so tantalizing…