Tuesday 10 July 2007


We sent around the Guardian's Great Escape links, which feature various writers on the topic of the books they read while travelling. (Part 1, Part 2; and note that the links on the Guardian's page are bad - someone forgot t include the '.co.uk' bit, which we didn't notice until Divya pointed out the error.) Weighing in: Bill Bryson ("I read the Archer as well, of course, and am not too proud to say that I was grateful for it, too. In fact, after Pnin and the telephone directory, it was one of my favourite reads of the trip."), Kiran Desai, Dave Eggers, Pico Iyer, Ian McEwan, Jan Morris, DBC Pierre, Ian Rankin, Paul Theroux, and many others.

Naturally, we began thinking of books we have read while on the road. And found that none really came to mind. We tend to buy magazines when we travel, because we usually wind up looking out of windows, people-watching, sketching or writing when we travel. This despite packing in several books on each trip.

But perhaps your mileage (heh) varies. Care to leave a note?



Tanu/Rinku said...

There is a picturesque little gypsumed village Marpha in Nepal, tucked into the lee of a mountain at an altitude of 2650 m, huddling from the gusty winds that arise every mid-morning up the Kali Gandaki valley. Was caught in a hailstorm there. The village has its own distillery, specializing in apple and apricot brandy. There, in the cozy "Yak Pub," sitting across the red and white checked tablecloth, where the shadow of the pendular lamp swayed back and forth between our filled glasses, we had opened the book to the right page- The Restaurant at the End of the Universe?

I had picked up the fat Douglas Adam's trilogy- The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, The Restaurant at the End of the Universe and Life, the Universe and Everything- from the bookshelf of our suite at the Patan temple complex, Lalitpur. My friend Paul and I were doing a segment of the Annapurna trek. We were at Marpha. Caught in a hailstorm. Luckily, had found shelter in a pub. And we began to read from H2G2 over peach brandy.

Not only was that sheltered nook in the Himalayas an appropriate place for me to imagine hitchhiking across the galaxy, it was also the propitious time! In March, earlier that year, I had turned 42!

Remember, The answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe and Everything is ...

Ravages/CC said...

A few books consumed/partly consumed/licked the top off while on road/rail/air:

Lolita - Nabakov. This one invited looks (of all kinds) from fellow travellers. Perhaps the cover (which had a close-up of a girl's lips) was to blame?

Notes from a small island - Bill Bryson. I read it on a bus, and on train. Quite fitting, I thought.

Hey Whipple, squeeze this - Luke Sullivan. On a bus to Hyderabad. Way more entertaining than what was outside, perhaps outside was dark and night was in.

Nisha Pillai said...

I love read about the places I'm in while traveling. Favorite (borderline eye-popping-earth-shaking) memories:

Reading "White Spider" while camped out on the patio of the Restaurant Eigernordwand in Kliene Scheidegg, staring up at the North Face of the Eiger.

Reading "Country of my skull" in South Africa, while I was meeting people and hearing all-too-memorable accounts of their experiences in the days of Apartheid.

Mere words are not enough.