Books really are my security blanket. I came to this realization when I was reading one of Tyler Brule’s recent columns in the International Herald Tribune. In that particular column Brule writes about how he needs to take a stack of books and magazines with him wherever he travels to kill time on a plane.
I am exactly the same way — when I traveled to Hainan Island last week for my company’s annual meeting, I brought three books with me. I knew I wouldn’t have time to read them all — my days were spent in meetings and preparing strategic marketing plans for the next year; my nights were spent eating large dinners and socializing with colleagues from other offices. And unlike other colleagues who slept on the flight, I read all the way on the flight to Hainan — covering about 100 pages during the two-and-half-hour flight.
And I carried a book with me in a sachel to each meeting I attended even though I only cracked the cover once to check a definition (I was reading Daniel Altman’s Connected 24 hours in the Global Economy).
I personally think that I carry books around with me like that because I can’t bear to be stuck with nothing to do. My job keeps me pretty busy during the day — I don’t have time to read anything but work-related documents. When I was a kid, I was the same way. Whenever I went out with my parents to a restaurant I always had a book with me — otherwise the time to wait for the food felt too long. I admit that even today, when I dine alone I still pull out a book and read while I wait for food to come.
Reading is one of my greatest pleasures though. So even though I see it as a security blanket, I don’t see it as a negative one. It’s very relaxing — one of my favourite things to do after work is go to the coffee shop in my building for an hour or so and sit down with a coffee and a book while I wait for Winnie. It relaxes me and put me in a great mood so that I can forget about work and enjoy my evenings and weekends and that’s the most important thing.
Well time to go and curl up with a book before heading to bed.