I’ve heard of armchair travelers but on my real travels through India I rarely find myself reading in so homely or anchored a spot. Gone are the days of hot chocolate, pajamas and a comfy couch – these days I’ll be found reading Rushdie on a bustling railway platform or dipping into Dalrymple on a rickety ten-hour bus-ride where the driver speeds so dangerously I wonder if I’ll live to the end of the last chapter.
I love that a single novel can travel many miles with me before I reach its final pages, that I’ve begun a book on some sunny beach in Karnataka and ended it in the bitter reaches of the India Pakistan border. I love that I carried a copy of The History of Walking while I was actually walking through southern India and was able to pass it on to a guy we met on Om Beach who was writing a book about his walk from Canada to Mexico – the serendipity of it all!
This year is as much about where I read as what I’ve been reading so I sat down this morning and wrote the first of, I hope, many and far-flung accounts of Where I Read. If you’re reading from an armchair at home then I hope you enjoy traveling along with me. And if you’re reading in any weird and wonderful places yourself do let me know, I’d love to hear about it!
The stories; the places:
- Midnight’s Children, in the country of their birth: India.
- Crime and Punishment; on a sleeper train in India.
- The Unbearable Lightness of Being; Varanasi, India.
- Raymond Carver and something lighter; trekking in Nepal.
- Catch 22 in Laos.