(This blog entry was delayed due to...what else...my going to Malice Domestic!)
I’ve just finished most of my packing for my first Malice. I’m excited to be going and am looking forward to seeing old friends and making new ones, to great panels, and especially to getting ideas for new books to read!
I always put off packing ‘til the last minute. But now the easy part is done—making sure I remembered pajamas and the toothpaste and making choices for clothes I hope will be appropriate for the weather.
The hard part is before me . . . making sure I have books to read on the road. Even knowing there will be opportunity to acquire lots of books at Malice, for me it’s important to pack a good assortment, after all one can never have too many books to choose from. And among the selection must be one or two set in or around Washington. I love fiction that transports me to another place or another time. Most of my traveling with books is done at home from my favorite comfy chair. But I especially love it when I’m able to travel to a place physically while I’m traveling to it through a book I’m reading.
This all began back in grad school when I serendipitously packed a copy of Sara Paretsky’s Killing Orders to take along to a conference in Chicago. For my first and only visit to San Francisco, my copy of The Maltese Falcon was at my side. Image my delight at discovering our hotel was just up the hill from the spot where Sam Spade’s partner, Miles Archer was shot! On our 25th anniversary, my husband and I returned to where we’d spent our honeymoon near Fontana Dam, North Carolina. We listened to Sharyn McCrumb’s Bimbos of the Death Sun in car while driving through the Smoky Mountains. We’ve gone back to the Smokies each spring since that trip; Charles Frazer’s 13 Moons is loaded into my iPod in anticipation of our visit next month.
I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in this obsession. I’d love to hear other people’s experiences of traveling with books.
Mary Callahan Boone
Library Liaison, Sisters in Crime.