Monday, September 07, 2015


A friend posted the above to my Facebook page several days ago, and -- while it is a bit of an exaggeration -- I had to laugh at how accurate it is. I almost always pack more books than necessary whenever I travel, inevitably overestimating how much reading time I will have and (apparently) forgetting that when I go somewhere I will be doing other things besides sticking my nose into books. For my recent week at the beach, I packed four and read one, for instance.

In fact, I usually start a trip book pile before I even begin the packing of clothes. I found myself doing just that today, building a stack for my six-day D.C. trip, which is still 12 days out. Thanks to a crazy-cheap flight, I'm heading up to visit my cousin Carrie, friend Kim and others and, hopefully see Pope Francis during his visit -- tickets are required for the Mass where he will canonize Bl. Junipero Serra, and two of the three Kim, Carrie and I need have been acquired. I'm not sure what will transpire if we can't get a third, but I'm sending up all sorts of prayers that we do; tickets aren't needed for when the Holy Father is scheduled to appear after he speaks to Congress. But even if we only manage the latter, how amazing would that be?! I'm beyond excited to possibly see (and potentially receive a blessing from) another pope, not to mention catch up with family and friends.  

Anyway, I'm currently reading two books, one a thriller/art heist mystery and the other on praying with the saints for the Holy Souls in Purgatory, so I'm not sure what exactly inspired me to begin book planning (especially when I haven't even thought about pre-trip laundry), although part of me thinks that we'll have to arrive early to places where the Pope will be, so I might as well have some reading material with me just in case, right?

I have a rather diverse group of potentials going so far: science fiction ("The Martian"); a bibliophile's humorous recollections of working in the rare-book trade ("Tolkien's Gown," which was among the books I bought in Scotland); St. JPII's "Love and Responsibility" that I've wanted to read for a while now; a reprint of an 1897 history of Catholic nuns who worked as battlefield nurses during the Civil War; and a book of natural history essays that I picked up at a local library book sale for next to nothing.

Of course, I could decide to read one or more of these before I leave. Or I could decide to bring Dante with me, once Amazon delivers "The Divine Comedy" (I haven't read the whole thing, just the Inferno back in high school, and for the last several weeks have had a yen to read it in its entirety) to my doorstep.

I tend to buy books on vacation, too, whether or not I run out of the reading material I bring with me. Last summer when mom and I went to Scotland, we visited so many used bookstores (which I should write about at some point, shouldn't I, seeing as how it's been more than a year now?), we found such amazing and fun books that, between the two of us, we had to buy extra luggage to bring the books back. There's apparently quite a nice used bookstore not terribly far from my cousin's place on the Hill in D.C., too... :)

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