Beginning early last Friday morning, I have been traveling around New England. A book has been my faithful friend when I was in limbo between destinations. Taking a bus to Boston to visit friends from school, and later the ferry from Woods Hole to Oak Bluffs, my book accompanied me.
Saturday afternoon I met my family at my grandparents’ summerhome in Martha’s Vineyard. Luckily, the weather was in our favor, and we made it to the beach each day of our vacation. A true Long Island girl, I know how to pack a beach bag efficiently– and by efficiently, I mean one that is neither jammed with crap I won’t use nor too heavy. Essentials include:
- my book (of course!)
- sunscreen (of various SPF depending on the current condition of my tan)
- bobby-pins (gotta keep those pesky fly-aways back!)
- a water bottle (hydration is key for an enjoyable few hours on the shore)
- a beach towel (…obviously)
- any chapstick that is SPF 15 (nothing–I repeat, nothing, is worse than sunburnt lips)
- my ipod & headphones, and
- snacks. (add lunch, if you get an early start)
Anyway, spending so much time at the beach also gave me plentiful hours to kill as I baked in a golden glow. For the majority of that time, I read.
Accompanying me in spirit throughout my aforementioned journey and on the beach was the Joad family, from The Grapes of Wrath. I have to say, as much as I sympathized with their struggles, I didn’t love the book all that much. In fact, I appreciated more Steinbeck’s prose than the plot itself. Although I suppose that the slow progress and banal repeated events that created the ‘plot’ mirrored the migrant worker’s lifestyle during that time period.
I spent this morning in a car for 6 hours as my dad drove home. During some of this time, I learned of the fate of the Joad family: or more accurately, learned of an event that gave somewhat of a conclusion to one of the character’s life trajectories. (Sorry for the crypticism, don’t want to spoil the book!) During another sector of this time, I began Animal Farm, which hooked me much more than the documentation of the life of the Joads.
Arriving home before I was able to close the short fable, I quickly unpacked before beelining my couch to finish it. I suppose that’s the avid reader’s lifestyle, though. Traveling by ferry, bus or car, my books travel with me. Relaxing on a beach towel or the couch, I’m bound to read.