One of my traditions, when I am travelling, is to buy a book at the Airport Bookshop.
Yes, I could buy in advance and turn up to the airport prepared. I could purchase on Kindle and save myself the additional weight to lug around in my hand luggage. And I am taking a risk that there won’t be anything I particularly want to read.
But somehow, Airport Bookshops always come through for me. Even the airports where most of the books are not in English.
I should stipulate that I find it difficult to walk past a bookshop at any time without finding something to buy. But somehow Airport Bookshops are different.
So what is it about Airport Bookshops? Do they get books published overseas sooner than other bookshops? Do they select particularly for the passenger like me who wants to pick something fascinating up at the last minute? They do often have a good range of business and investment books, presumably catering for the business traveller. Or perhaps it is my frame of mind, where I am looking forward to going somewhere, getting ready for a long period of uncharacteristic enforced stillness and seeking some distraction.
A recent trip through Changi Airport unearthed these gems:
Steal Like an Artist – which is about how to be creative and rise above mental blocks.
Business Model You – which turns out actually to be about careers, but applies business planning methodology to designing and achieving in your career.
Neither of these I had seen (at that stage – 2 months ago) in local bookshops.
Previous scoops have included Freakonomics (using economic and statistic methods to examine societal issues, behaviour and problems) Blink (and other Malcolm Gladwell books), Millionaire Next Door (a fascinating statistical study on the self-made wealthy I the US a the real people, not the movie stars and Donald Trumps), The Psychopath Test (written by the same man who wrote Men who stare at Goats – fascinating!)
Of course one downside is if, like me, you want to take your books home for possible rereading in the future, they take up a lot of your luggage allowance. But its worth it!
And the moral of the story is……I should be flying more!