Monday, May 21, 2007

Sur La Chaise Longue

A few more observations about what everyone was reading around the pool: In addition to those books named in my previous post, I also spied Truth and Beauty by Ann Patchett, Full Tilt by Janet Evanovich and Charlotte Hughes, and something by Robert Ludlum. These were all being read by women, as were the books I mentioned the other day.

Some other books were also in evidence. These included At the Center of the Storm: My Years in the CIA by George Tenet, and Where Have All the Leaders Gone? by Lee Iacocca. A few others, whose titles I missed, featured photographs of white men, and prominent red, white, and blue graphics. Who was reading these books? Well, no one, it turns out, at least as long as I was watching. The books were there, on the towels, and sticking out of the beach bags, but their readers were either (a) in the pool, (b) at the poolside bar, or (c) asleep. And can you guess? These books belonged to men, a conclusion I drew based on the size of the flip flops under the chairs, or by observing the sleeping inhabitants of the chairs themselves.

What does this mean? The books were dull? The readers were tired? Who knows? I won’t draw any conclusions, but you can if you want to.

One more reading encounter: On the plane going home I sat next to a man wearing a cowboy hat, cowboy boots, and a cotton shirt with buffaloes printed on it. What was he reading? A classic western novel, old and battered, with a horse and a cactus on the cover. I am not making this up. He was so consistent I wanted to give him some kind of prize.


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