I love airports because, within that glassy terminal, reading a book is the universal sign for “please don’t talk to me.” Somehow, when I’m out reading in my everyday life (at the salon or outside a workout class) people feel the need to talk to me. They think “Oh this sad lonely person has no one to talk to so she brought a little book. I better tell her all about my recent bunion removal.”
While most people are harmless and actually ask me about the book I’m reading, there are also those who feel the need to tell me why they don’t read or worse: why they hate reading. This confession immediately ignites the fire of anxiety inside me. I instantly imagine their sad life without books. Poor stranger! You had your bunion removed,but you don’t read? What did you read in the hospital waiting room? A Magazine? OK Magazine?! I imagine the worst.
Friends, if you are not buying a book in the airport, you are not living your best life. Imagine: you’re not working today, you’re headed out of town, you have plenty of time before boarding. Perhaps you’ve had a glass of wine! Best of all: you are about to get on a plane with nothing to do but read. How often can you buy a book and immediately get 100 pages read in one sitting? The book bought in the airport is as tasty as the wheel’s-up-vodka-soda on the plane, in my opinion.
Best Books I Ever Bought at an Airport:
Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler
The story: Lovely but lost 21 year old, Tess, decides to kill some time as a server while she figures out her life. She figuratively and literally tastes all that’s on the table. Fabulous pasta dishes, salacious waitstaff gossip, and my personal favorite: forbidden romance. Enjoyable enough to get through the turbulence, but not so saccharin you’re embarrassed to read it in public.
Pairs well with: reliving your past, Third Eye Blind, and that one really nice wine bar in the airport.
I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh
The story: Beautiful girl escapes her tragic past in remote off-season beach town. Meets well-meaning man with a savior complex and romance ensues until a truly enjoyable plot twist. I was happy to find there was more to this quick read than the old reliable damaged damsel tropes.
Pairs well with: sitting at the fire pit under gray skies and thoughtful Merlots.
Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff
The story: In short, it’s the story of a marriage. How it begins, how it ends, how it survives on sex and carefully placed lies. What I enjoyed most was the inventive style of prose and details so intimate I, at times, felt voyeuristic.
Pairs well with: longer flights, fights with your husband, drinks mixed by your heavy handed friend from college.
The Butterfly Garden by Dot Hutchinson
The story: A deranged millionaire known as The Gardener kidnaps a diverse group of beautiful young women and girls to be the “butterflies” in his lavish garden. Obsessed with physical beauty, he tattoos intricate butterfly wings on the back of each and then dresses them in backless gowns. Some try to rebel while others viciously compete for his favor in the painful world he’s created.
Pairs well with: Law and Order marathons, self defense classes, flying at night, tipsy bookclubs (mine loved it). Note: Do not mix with romantic evenings. Things get weird.
So next time you’re at the airport grab something at that terminal bookstore, order a drink, and find some legroom in a book.