Reading in transit
Books have an uncanny knack of transporting you to places. However, unlike with airplanes, when you close the book, you are back where you physically started. You just need to wait for your mind to catch up to your body. Unless, of course, you are reading whilst in transit. In this scenario, when you close a book you are whisked back to where you last left your body, which is not really where you left it at all. And all of this brings me to the following conclusion: reading while flying may be one of the trippiest experiences that an over-imaginative person goes through.
Now before you start accusing me of over-exaggerating and being too dramatic, I'd like to call to the witness stand the novel Lunar Park by Bret Easton Ellis.
If you've ever heard of Bret Easton Ellis, you'll recall that he is also the author of American Psycho. And if you've ever heard of Lunar Park, then you'll realize that reading it on a nighttime flight in a sleep-deprived state can shake the foundation of your reality.
Lunar Park is written as a memoir of Ellis's life, describing the fame achieved through one of his novels as well as his recreational drug use. However, at some vague point, the book swerves dramatically from reality, when Ellis's fictional daughter's Furby doll comes to life and chases the family around their home. The introduction of the fantastic and horrific in the novel is not so gradual as to have the reader slowly buy into it but presents it as factually true, as with the author's memoirific (is that even a word? it is now) details. Killer attack dolls in a story that may/not be true, sleep deprivation, and a shiny holographic cover resulted in a very confused landing and arrival. I'm still not certain I didn't leave part of my sanity on that United flight.
Alas, my book-choosing abilities have not improved; if anything, they've gotten worse. I picked up The Martian and I Am Pilgrim. Both wonderful books in their own right (you should read both of them). One is about a man accidentally left behind on Mars and the other is a spy novel about the weaponization of a virus by terrorists. I'm still waiting for American Airlines to call and let me know that the remainder of my sanity is on a baggage carousel in Guatemala.