Friday, February 4, 2011

Stranded without a book

What do you do if you are stranded without a book? My power went out during the blizzard and I was struck by that dread of "What do I do now?" Then I remembered I'd downloaded a library ebook onto my smartphone. Technology to the rescue! Of course I only had an hour of battery life left, but it helped. (The library's downloadable media catalog is here).

It reminded me of when I got stuck in an elevator. After more than a half hour the fire department came and had to pry the doors open and hoist me out. It felt like hours. I kept thinking if only I had a book, time would have flown by. I almost always have a book with me. I think about it every time I step on an elevator. And when everyone was saying, get ready for the blizzard, fill your gas tank and have blankets in your car, I made sure I carried a book in my bag, (actually two). I feel like I can get through anything if I have a book to keep me occupied and distracted.

Now I might be a bit more paranoid than most. But I am curious what do people do when stuck without a book. What steps do you make to not be caught without one? Or am I the only one?

(Thanks to Brian Malow, the science comedian and photographer Tara Fredette for use of the image above)


Linda K. said...

I try not to be caught without a book (or a knitting project) but when desperation sets in I remember the book "The Hiding Place" by Corrie Ten Boom and follow her lead. The book is about prisoners in a concentration camp who shared poetry and parts of books or songs they remembered as they passed the time in the dark and without books.

So if caught in an elevator, without a book, I think about verses of poetry I've enjoyed or partially memorized as a child (The Raven, Hiawatha, Paul Revere's Ride, etc) and try to remember the verses.

Or, I make up a Haiku or two in my head - Gray Squirrel, gray squirrel, running thru my garden bed, and so on.

(I'm also good at making grocery lists in my head.)

Now if only I could squeeze a Carl Hiaason book in my pocket!

Anonymous said...

Try reciting the alphabet backwards. Or counting backwards in 7's. Or list the states in alphabetical order. You never know when that practice may come in handy.

Anonymous said...

I almost always carry a book or 2 (or 6) with me. It makes for a heavy bag to lug around, but I'm rarely caught without a book. When I am without, I usually rot my brain playing a little Tetris on my phone, but I love the idea of making up haiku in my head. Or maybe sometime soon I'll have a smart phone or ereader and save my back and still hold onto a book to read.

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