On Sunday Adam and I hiked up the Gurten, Bern’s local mountain, and we each carried a backpack. His is a CamelBak with a water reservoir, but it also contained sandwiches and chips for lunch and a can of Coke. As we walked out the door I quickly ran over the contents in mine: wallet, waterproof blanket, camera, book, tissues, chapstick, sunscreen, cell phone, apartment keys, and even more tissues. “We’re just going up the Gurten,” Adam reminded me gently.
Mind you, some of those seem necessary (the sunscreen for sure) and I have a near-phobia of going anywhere without chapstick, but the book? Necessary? No, but coming along with me anyway? Yes.
I very rarely leave home without a book, even if I’m just going into town for groceries and errands. I never know if I’ll have the urge to stop in a cafe for a coffee or tea and want something with me to read. Or, I may find a sunny bench that looks perfect for a twenty minute rest. I know in that moment I’ll be glad I have a book with me.
What about you? Do you carry a book with you? I know it makes sense to take one if you have an appointment or know you’l be facing a long wait somewhere but I think I’ve transcended that. It’s almost as if the book is a talisman of sorts. Of course some books don’t make sense to tote around. The Goldfinch, Infinite Jest, and even The Luminaries were all a bit of a pain. But overall I just feel better knowing it’s there. Just in case.