Friday, April 4, 2014

Bookish Thoughts: Reading While Abroad

Reading While Abroad

Once again I had to travel for an extended period.  While traveling I stopped in about 10 different book stores, read 4 books, listened to 2 books, and wrote a couple of blogs.  I flew out of Dallas, TX and I am sad to say that there is nothing special about my local airport bookstore.  In fact, the choices were so limited I didn’t add a single book to my good reads to be read shelf!  My first flight was my “long” overnight flight to Frankford, Germany.  While I saw a few people reading traditional books on this flight there were considerably more video screens with some great movie options.  I took the opportunity to watch Ender’s Game which is based on the book with the same name by Orson Scott Card.  I really enjoyed the movie but what I really liked was how it ended and I will definitely be reading this series at some point.  I’m particularly excited about reading this series because it began in 1985, thus preceding the Harry Potter and Twilight phenomena and the book to movie formulations.  For those of you who read YA published before, let’s say 1997, do you find the books more complex and interesting?    
 Having completed the first flight I landed at the international airport in Frankford Germany where I had to spend 5 hours waiting for my next flight.  Despite my exhaustion I loved my time in this airport for three specific reasons:  great coffee, fabulous airport book-store, and AMAZING chairs.  I’m not kidding these chairs reclined and had foot rests.  The bookstore was PocketShop and it had an entire section dedicated to YA with a rich selection of books in German and English.  I was fascinated to know which books had been translated and which had not.  There was a strong bias towards fantasy at this particular store.  After choosing my newest selection, I settled into a comfortable airport chair with a cup of coffee!  While waiting for this flight, I observed a number of older persons reading traditional books but most of the younger ones were listening to headphones and playing on phones and laptops.  While some of these younger persons might have been reading I’m worried what this one-time observation might indicate about rates of reading among young international travelers!  Does this mirror what others have observed about reading patterns in airports, older people read and young people don’t?  Does fantasy YA get translated into more languages than other YA genres?

A week in Warsaw!  While the majority of my time was spent presenting, conferencing, and working I found time to enjoy some great books, read interesting blog posts, and write a few of my own.  Here were some of my favorite places either because they had free WiFi, other readers were nearby, or they simply served an amazing meal which I enjoyed with my kindle.  I do have to say that while I often read at restaurants in the US this must NOT be typical in Poland.  I got a lot of curious stares and kind smiles as people walked by my table and one brave soul asked me what I was reading.  Is reading while eating alone an okay thing to do or should I have put down my book and just watched other people eating?
Grycan Lodziarnia (Ice Cream Shop), ul. Nowy Swiat 57/59
Carpaccio Ristorant Italiano (Italian Restaurant), ul. Nowy Swiat 36
Dawne Smak Restauracjy Polska (Polish Restaurant), ul. Nowy Swiat 49
Bristol Hotel Wine Bar, Krakowski Przedmiescie 42/44
Aroma Espresso Bar, Krakowski Przedmiescie 7

My final bookish thought from this trip is, audiobooks are truly amazing.  First, I loved the ones I brought with me as I waited to check in, getting through security, and passport control.  I loved them as I walked from my hotel to my conference, waited for buses, and when my eyes were too tired to focus on my e-reader.  Finally, I loved them when I got to listen to new ones on the flight home!!  I couldn’t believe it, one of my entertainment options was a wonderful selection of 10 books all averaging about 8 hours in length.  Has anyone else experienced this option on their airline or is Lufthansa leading the way on this one?

I know this post was long so I appreciate those of you who stuck with it and hope you feel like sharing some bookish thoughts on any or all of these topics! Do widzenia!

Posted By: Sheri


  1. I'm glad that you enjoyed your trip! That's so awesome that the airline had a selection of audiobooks! I've never heard of that before.

    And if I am eating by myself, I am always reading. :)

  2. I'll definitely have to give audiobooks a try the next time I travel. I always just listen to music in the airport/on the plane, but I do like listening to audiobooks in the I'll have to try that. I did read Ender's Game although it has been YEARS. It is definitely more complex than the movie. I never continued on with the series, so I don't know how the rest of the books are. Great post!

  3. Interesting post. I don't travel that often so don't get to see many airport bookshops. If I am ever at an airport though I do always go into the book shop to see what they have and it's usually not that great a selection. I am always reading at the airport so never check to see if others are, but I did notice a year ago that I was reading a book and most women my age (21 at the time) were reading magazines. I'll take a book over a magazine any day ;)

  4. Wow, you read so much! When I travelled to the US last month I got hardly anything read at all. Probably because I'm a nervous traveller and am paranoid and I worry about EVERYTHING. Like getting sucked into a book and not concentrating while I'm at the airport.

    1. I have made this trip so many times I'm probably too comfortable

  5. I have never seen books offered as part of in flight entertainment but that sounds awesome!! I am a big audiobook listener and I too will walk about the airport and multitask while listening to a book. I haven't been too observant of reading trends or different international behaviors. And I've never read at a restaurant by myself outside the US but it is curious that your experience was different. I am hoping to go to Poland next summer actually so I will be able to see for myself perhaps!