What do you do if you read too fast?

Jun 26, 2007 by

I know a lot of people that buy a nice thick novel and bring it on a 2-week vacation in hopes of getting through it on their trip. Well, what do you do if you can get through that thick novel in one plane flight?

When I was a child, my family would have to make room in the trunk for a box (yes, a box) of books for the family vacation, just to keep me occupied. (mind you, this was before the advent of portable DVD players).

So, if you can consume reading material at lightning speed, how do you keep yourself entertained on long plane trips, car trips, train trips, bus trips. Obviously, you can’t carry a box of books with you (unless you’re planning to travel naked).

My self-entertainment plan: iPod with Audio books from Audible, two Paint by Number puzzle books (they don’t take up much room, but do take a lot of time), two novels (which I will swap with folks at hostels for more reading material), one leadership book (need to read it for my comprehensive exams in the fall), disposable reading material (like magazines) and one book of logic puzzles. This is a total of six physical books, several magazines, and an iPod. I know that still sounds ridiculous, but for me, that’s not very much reading material.

iPod Leadership books (studying for exams):
The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership (John C. Maxwell)
The Book of Leadership Wisdom (various speakers)
The Fifth Discipline (Peter M. Senge)
Primal Leadership (Daniel Goleman)
Transforming Leadership (James MacGregor Burns)

iPod Books for fun:
* These are books I’ve listened to before, but I want to hear them again.
A Thousand Splendid Suns (Khaled Hosseini)
Deep Storm (Lincoln Child)
The Lathe of Heaven (Ursula K. Le Guin)
The Lemon Tree (Sandy Tolan)
*My Sister’s Keeper (Jodi Picoult)
The Power of One (Bryce Courtenay)
Quicksilver (Neal Stephenson)
*The Red Tent (Anita Diamant)
The Road (Cormac McCarthy)
Snow (Orhan Pamuk)
*Snow Crash (Neal Stephenson)
Social Intelligence (Daniel Golemen)
*Tara Road (Maeve Binchy)
Thirteen Moons (Charles Frazier)
The Thirteenth Tale (Diane Setterfield)
*The Time Traveler’s Wife (Audrey Niffenegger)
The Wall (Jeff Long)

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  1. cdinger

    HI! OK you are in my favorites. Have a safe trip and look forward to reading about your adventure.

  2. Emily

    Maria, I think your blog is my new fav. blog because every time I check it there is a new post! Have fun on your trip, we are looking forward to reading about it.

  3. Gwen Williams

    I’ll check in too – thanks for letting us share your trip!

    As for the rerouting – my philosophy is this: when you’re going on a trip the only part of it you control is when you walk out the door of home. Everything after that is a crap shoot – and part of the adventure. If there were no deviations from the plan there would be no interesting memories…

    Have a blast!

  4. Tom

    I was wondering if you listen to books at a extremely high speed on your ipod…in other words can you listen as fast as you can read?

  5. Maria H. Andersen

    I listen to books at normal speed. It really slows me down! Sometimes it’s maddening because I know that if I had the paper version of the book in front of me, I could get to the thrilling conclusion much faster!

  6. Sally

    I’ll look forward to checking in to see where you are and what you are doing. Have a great time, remember it is a vacation, so relax and enjoy!!

  7. Deepthi

    Hi Maria,

    Glad to know you are multi-tasking – traveling, baking streudels, taking photos, uploading said photos into your website and reading.

    Now it’s time to sing:

    “How do you solve a problem like Ma-riiii-aaaa?”

    Glad to know you are enjoying yourself.

    Keep up the blogging!

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