Monday, May 19, 2008

las vegas reading postmortem

I’m back from Las Vegas. As always, my reading intentions were overly ambitious. I had purchased a few books specifically for Las Vegas—Casino Royale, The Emperor’s Children, and On a Hoof and a Prayer. As always, when planning a trip, I lost sleep over which would be the best book(s) to bring. Practicing some restraint, of these books, I only packed the Ian Fleming, for obvious thematic reasons.

In my carry-on, I included Death in a Strange Country, by Donna Leon. I read for almost every minute of the three-hour flight and knocked off about two-thirds of the mystery. Determined to finish this book by the return flight, three days later, I schlepped it with me everywhere, mostly to the pool. My suitcase, which had ample room, carried Then We Came to the End and Casino Royale. Neither saw the light of day.

The Mirage’s pool proved to be a difficult place to read. Pictured above is a view from the Dolphin Bar—seems almost postcard perfect, doesn't it? Usually, I would suit up and head down to the pool with a friend. The process of locating two empty lounge chairs, setting up towels, and getting situated with a tropical drink (pina colada is my poolside poison of choice) was exhausting. I would turn to chit-chat. And peoplewatching. Conclusion: the pool is not such a good place to read.

Here is a brief list of books other people were reading:
~ traveling companions: Lamb (Lisa, the birthday girl) and Eat, Pray, Love (Bonnie)
~ select books, poolside: Temptations by Douglas Kennedy (doesn't seem to be available in the U.S.), Certain Girls by Jennifer Weiner, and, on a heavier note, Dreams from My Father by Barack Obama

Bonnie, the most social of the group, was on my return flight. Although I only had fifty or so pages remaining in my mystery, the only reading I managed was the InStyle magazine—the biggest waste of money, but a ritual when I fly.

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