The dread of being without a book to read

The printout that stopped me from being book-free for half an hour.

Finding myself with some free time and no book at hand is something I really dread.

It’s why I take a book to doctor or dentist appointments, to the bus stop, or even to the mechanic when I’m getting new tyres fitted.

If I go away, I’ll take the book I’m reading and another book in case I finish the first one. Then I’ll bring a third book along, just in case I start the second book and don’t like it.

It’s not like I can read whenever I want – I’m married with a kid and a full-time job. They’re all things that eat into reading time. So when I get some free time, it’s a real waste to be without a book.

This week, I went as far as to print out an excerpt of a book I was about to read to avoid being caught short. I was reading Michael Connelly’s new book The Late Show during my lunch break at work – and ended up finishing it. Sure, I didn’t bother reading the first few chapters of his next book that were included at the end as a bonus. That will be out in about five months so I could read it then.

That I finished The Late Show was a problem because I had to pick up my daughter after work and take her to drama class (hers, not mine). That meant sitting outside the classroom for an hour with nothing to do – which we’ve already established is to be avoided at all costs. I had bought another book last week the same time as I purchased The Late Show and had planned for it to be the next thing I read.

I could remember what the cover looked like but could only remember the words “homicide squad” from the title. So I jumped onto Google at work to find it – the book was A Good Month for Murder: The Inside Story of a Homicide Squad. Then I went to the publishers site in the hope there was an excerpt.

And there was, so I went all “cut and paste” on that and then printed it out (yeah, I like hard copy). So I had five pages – what was the first chapter – to read while my daughter did whatevefr the hell happens at drama class.

Crisis averted.


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