Saturday, October 10, 2009

Books and Chocolate for Travelers

This is a late posting, but I wanted to let everyone know I'm in Philadelphia at the 31st Annual General Meeting of the Jane Austen Society of North America (JASNA) That's right, classic book lovers, I'm spending five days in beautiful and historic Philadelphia with 500 or so other Jane Austen fans, attending seminars, drinking tea, learning how to play whist, and just generally learning about Jane and her world.  In the most ladylike fashion, of course.  All Jane, all the time!

Of course, the hardest thing to decide when packing for a trip is What Books to Bring.  I don't think I ever go on a trip with less than five books, no matter how short.   (Always paperbacks, for easier carrying).  I have to have choices. What if I'm just not in the mood for my current read?  Plus, I live in mortal fear of being stuck on a plane or on a layover with nothing to read.  Oh, the horror!!

Here's what I brought in my carryon:  Of course, my two current reads:   The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins (classic Victorian/Gothic mystery/book group book) and A Girl of the Limberlost by Gene Stratton-Porter (coming-of-age/spunky girl wants an education/YA); and Kitchen, by Banana Yoshimoto (Japanese literature/owned-and-unread).   In my suitcase:  The Watsons/Lady Susan/Sanditon by Jane Austen (have to bring at least one Jane Austen -- will they let me in without one? -- plus it's the only one I haven't read); and Sorcery and Cecelia or The Enchanted Chocolate Pot by Patricia by Patricia Wrede (YA fantasy -- and it has chocolate in the title, what's not to like?  Plus my daughter is named Cecelia, so there you are).  I could bring lots more books, but quite frankly, I may be overdoing it already, considering my two current reads alone total more than 1000 pages. But they're quick reads, and the flight is only about 5 hours total with layovers.   I guess they have bookstores in Philadelphia, just in case.  Not to mention the vendors with Jane Austen-related titles.  I only bought three books so far, but there could be more before the day is over.

So tell me, gentle readers, did I overdo it?   I did read on the plane and every night before falling asleep (even after a long day of seminars and whist until midnight!)  Do you look forward to uninterrupted reading whilst traveling?  How many books do you pack?  And how much chocolate is enough?


  1. I pack a few books when I travel unless my suitcases are getting too heavy. I really just need to buy better suitcases! I just have a backpack.

    Jason bought an awesome paperback for me today that's three books together: The Castle of Otranto, The Mysteries of Udolpho, and Northanger Abbey. He found it at Thrift Town for like $2! How cool is that!?

  2. I made the mistake of bringing just one book on my last trip. It was for my book discussion, and I thought making it my only choice would force me to read it. Well, I finished it on the plane ON THE WAY THERE, and had to buy one on way back.

    I love to read when I fly, especially when I'm on my own. I always use my boarding pass as a bookmark. Long car trips demand audiobooks.

    When we visit London, I'm always amazed by how many commuters are reading on the Tube.

  3. Yay! You talked to O Gentle Reader! I love O Gentle Reader!

  4. Oh I always have tons of books when I travel ... and that is what is great about a Kindle or an e-reader ... you can take almost as many as you can think of! Have fun! I live near Philly and the weather has been perfect lately!