For years, I've been thinking of myself as a non-compulsive reader. In Toronto, I couldn't afford to be in the middle of unscheduled non-academic reading when I had work to do; my mind would be distracted. At Limehouse, my travels were broken up into segments, five minutes here, ten minutes there. A book was pleasant, but an optional extra. I could spent ten minutes looking at subway posters, or just pondering the world. Sure, I still needed books for longer-distance travel (trains, planes), but they were merely choice distractions; good conversation or an mp3 player would do just as well.
But yesterday, worry of being on the Underground for 45 minutes without a book niggled at me, and a_d_medievalist kindly accompanied me while I choice from a limited selection of bestsellers at a small W.H. Smith (enabling, along the way, my first glimpse of the renovated grandeurs of St. Pancras). I couldn't loiter and I recognized almost none of the books. major_clanger's recent endorsement of Marr's History of Modern Britain swayed one of my purchased, and for my half-price second, I went with a Richard and Judy book list endorsement, Addition, for lighter prose. Worry asuaged, I went on to nab yet another book in the BSFA raffle. I was more than set for my ride home last night, a selection of books weighing me down, and peace in my book-needy mind.