I don’t travel as frequently as some people do, but with OpenWorld and various Oracle conferences each year, I definitely see my fair share of the inside of a plane and a hotel room. To pass the time on flights, I try to read, but when you’re reading on a work-based trip, it’s a case of reading a page or two here and there, rather than a true extended session of relaxed reading.
The net result ? I generally buy what I call "airport crap" when it comes to books. That is, cheap, easy to read, crime thrillers that are totally formulaic in nature. Its pretty simple:
- Our hero is a loner or non-conformist trying to live his own life,
- Something bad happens to an innocent victim,
- Our hero struggles with his conscience about whether to intervene,
- He then has several near death struggles,
- And amazingly…he wins out in the end !
- (optional) teaser in last page suggesting the next book in the series…
These books suit the purpose of stop-start reading because (a) they are cheap, (b) if you lose it, it’s available in every book store around the world, and (c) it never takes more than two paragraphs to be fully abreast of the entire plot 🙂
Of course, this strategy ultimately results in a book shelf full of crappy crime thriller books, that will never be read again, because it was a dull enough experience to read them the first time 🙂
But there’s a solution to this, which I’ve used for some time now – but with Easter here, it dawned on me that I should share the concept. It’s very simple.
Leave your completed book on a bus stop
Once the book has been read, I place a book mark inside it saying "A free book to read. Once you are finished, please leave at a bus stop for the next reader".
This way, the book is not wasted on a book shelf – it continues to be read and enjoyed by others. [ Admittedly, given the quality of the junk I’m reading on planes, one could argue that I’ve merely spreading the suffering and lowering the literary skills of the general public, but I try not to think about that 🙂 ].
So next time you finish a book, don’t just stow it on the shelf. Give it forward at a bus stop.