Booking through Thursday: What Do You Do?

Quick! It’s an emergency! You just got an urgent call about a family emergency and had to rush to the airport with barely time to grab your wallet and your passport. But now, you’re stuck at the airport with nothing to read. What do you do??

And, no, you did NOT have time to grab your bookbag, or the book next to your bed. You were . . . grocery shopping when you got the call and have nothing with you but your wallet and your passport (which you fortuitously brought with you in case they asked for ID in the ethnic food aisle). This is hypothetical, remember….

While I don’t own cats, I have enough friends who do to know that being alone without a book is somewhat akin to feline friends being locked in a house without a scratching post or cat tree…not a pleasant situation.

Since I have my wallet, I’d probably hit the airport bookstore and see what was on the best-seller list, or indulge in a few girly magazines of the sort I generally only read at the salon, because it makes them special, and they seem to GO with the salon.

Failing that, I’d look around for a stray newspaper or cast-off book – airports are popular drop points for Book Crossing, after all.

(And yes, I know, yet again, I’m participating on Sunday. Guess I’m not much of a joiner these days, is all.)

Rocket Tunes –

Okay, so I just got a stylish new RED iPod NaNo, my first real foray into true iPoddy goodness, and now I have to fill it.

My 30 GB Zen is mainly full of free podcasts and Napster tunes, but Napster to Go, their subscription service, doesn’t work with Apple products (why can’t we have ONE standard for this stuff?), and iTunes has never been my favorite service.

This is why I tried out for free music downloads. Similar to Limewire, it’s a subscription service interface for Gnutella, but it’s a lot more robust, and user friendly – I didn’t even have an issue running it in Vista, which is notoriously twitchy.

Top Five Downloads

Downloading the software is a piece of cake, and searching for songs is simple – type in the track name or the artist, and, if you really want to limit your finds to mp3s, and not videos or other media, specify “audio” before you start the search function.

The basic version of the software gets you instant access to music but for a more robust connection, quicker searches, and different file types, it’s better to join the service. Membership ranges from 1.64 / month for a year to $34.44 for a lifetime subscription, and an additional $14.95 gets you access to downloadable DVD movies as well.

It’s a pretty sweet site, offering services like the top five downloads, as well as a user forum, and a way to meet other music fans.

Goes well with an mp3 player and dancing shoes.


Six years ago, I had Lasik surgery on my eyes, and went from not being able to see the big E at the top of the chart to 20:20 vision, though it wasn’t instant – it takes time for eyes to settle.

People always ask what having the surgery impacted the most, and they generally expect grand answers like, “I can scuba dive without a special mask,” but the reality is, it’s the little things that you really notice, things like being able to see to shave your legs in the shower, or put on make-up, being able to read the numbers on the alarm clock when you wake in the middle of the night, and being able to read in bed without fear of rolling over on your glasses, or forgetting to remove your contacts and harming your eyes. (Ditto falling asleep on planes)

It is with this in mind that I present the following meme, in honor of the first 48 hours after surgery, in which I was forbidden to read anything at all.
These are the top 106 books most often marked as unread by LibraryThing’s users. As in, they sit on the shelf to make you look smart or well-rounded. Bold the ones you’ve read, italicize the ones you own but have not read.

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
Anna Karenina
Crime and Punishment
One Hundred Years of Solitude
Wuthering Heights
The Silmarillion
Life of Pi
The Name of the Rose
Don Quixote
Moby Dick
Madame Bovary
The Odyssey
Pride and Prejudice
Jane Eyre
A Tale of Two Cities
The Brothers Karamazov
Guns, Germs, and Steel: the fates of human societies
War and Peace
Vanity Fair
The Time Traveler’s Wife
The Iliad
The Blind Assassin
The Kite Runner
Mrs. Dalloway
Great Expectations
American Gods
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
Atlas Shrugged
Reading Lolita in Tehran : a memoir in books
Memoirs of a Geisha
Wicked : the life and times of the wicked witch of the West

The Canterbury Tales
The Historian : a novel
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
Love in the Time of Cholera
Brave New World
The Fountainhead
Foucault’s Pendulum
The Count of Monte Cristo
A Clockwork Orange
Anansi Boys
The Once and Future King
The Grapes of Wrath
The Poisonwood Bible : a novel
Angels & Demons
The Inferno
The Satanic Verses
Sense and Sensibility
The Picture of Dorian Gray
Mansfield Park
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
To the Lighthouse
Tess of the D’Urbervilles
Oliver Twist
Gulliver’s Travels
Les Misérables
The Corrections
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
The Prince
The Sound and the Fury
Angela’s Ashes : a memoir
The God of Small Things
A People’s History of the United States : 1492-present
A Confederacy of Dunces
A Short History of Nearly Everything
The Unbearable Lightness of Being
The Scarlet Letter
Eats, Shoots & Leaves
The Mists of Avalon
Oryx and Crake : a novel
Collapse : how societies choose to fail or succeed
Cloud Atlas
The Confusion
Northanger Abbey
The Catcher in the Rye
On the Road
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance : an inquiry into values
The Aeneid
Watership Down
Gravity’s Rainbow
The Hobbit
In Cold Blood : a true account of a multiple murder and its consequences
White Teeth
Treasure Island
David Copperfield
The Three Musketeers