It's a bit after 1:00AM in Buenos Aires, where I've still got a couple of hours to kill before going out to hit Palermo Soho and its legendary nightlife. All the buzz back in the states seems to be that the Ipad was released to as much fanfare as the original Iphone. Excuse me if I don't grab the next plane to Best Buy. During the past couple of weeks my wife and I have traveled through three countries and are looking at two more to come. I've been on eight flights so far and have yet to see a Kindle. I can't imagine that the Ipad will be much different, fanfare and dollars aside.
We're both (obviously) voracious readers, and packing a mini-library for a month's worth of excursions away from home was quite a chore. You've got to be committed to your selections. Every page needs to count. But that's half the fun, yes?
I tore through Sebastian Junger's forthcoming 'War' in an advance reading copy - it won't be realeased for more than a month. Yet when we saw that the lending library of our digs in El Chalten (Patagonia) had a bathtub bloated paperback of 'The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo' on its lending shelf, I gladly left 'War' and gave the dragon its due. Then we passed that "Girl" off to the Scottish couple behind us in line for our return flight; they were thrilled. I wonder who will find 'War', and if they will realize that it's something a bit special.
My wife was reading my old copy of 'Subterrianans' when an old photo of an older girlfriend fell onto the bed. She was cute in a late-eighties sort of way, and I hadn't thought of her in decades. The copy cost me $2.00 way back when, and even though it broke into pieces during this trip, between the two of us, a buck became a buck well spent.
I read a tattered copy of an out of print biography of W.C. Fields on Easter Island. Damn if he doesn't look like a Moai on the cover... There are 3,500 horses that roam free on the island and they claim as many people, but there are three libraries in the singular town of Hanga Roa. Still, I'll probably leave this tome somewhere near Bolivia. Or maybe in Uruguay if it survives the journey.
Killing time in the airport of Santiago, Chile, we were drinking beers in an earthquake shattered terminal beside an older Austrailian couple. He had a Lee Child mystery peeking out of his backpack. I had read that one in the past, but he'd just found his near where the penguins roam in Punto Arenas. We gabbed about Jack Reacher and then pooled our change to cover the drinks - all the ATM machines were on the fritz.
As I type this, my wife is flipping through 'Basketball Diaries' by Jim Carroll, a genuine poet who passed away while books were still read on paper, and didn't yet need a current converter to give them life overseas. She knew I was posting this blog, and chuckled at the serendipity of a line she came upon. Books are sometimes like that. Aku Aku.
"The more I read the more I know it now, heavier each day, that I need to write. . . and each time a page gets turned a section of the pentagon goes BLAST up in smoke. Solid."