THE WASHINGTON-TO-WASHINGTON BOOK REPORT
by Rob Lopresti
I just got back from a library conference in Washington D.C. This was not as exciting a trip as my last one,. in part because this conference contained not five thousand librarians of all types, but just a few hundred government documents librarians. But if you want to hear all the news about Digital Deposit or the Office of Scientific and Technical Information, I am prepared to dish the dirt.
I did take advantage of the trip to provide a public service of sorts which I am sure all the writers and booksellers out there will appreciate. I performed a survey of what books air travelers between Seattle and D.C. (and back) were reading in October 2009. I did this using the highly scientific system known in anthropological circles as the J.L.A. System.1
Obviously my research is not complete. Some passengers rudely held their books in positions that would not allow me to glimpse the cover without climbing into their laps, and frankly, I didn’t know them well enough for that. But here is what I was able to discern. A few more thoughts at the end.
Crais, Robert – The Last Detective
Francis, Dick and Felix Francis – Silks
Robb, J.D. – Promises in Death
Sandford, John – Heat Lightning
Schwegel, Theresa – Officer Down
Smith, Alexander McCall – The Full Cupboard of Life.
Brown, Dan – The Lost Symbol (Four people were reading four different copies)
Brown, Sandra – Envy
Grisham, John – The Associate
Patterson, James and Howard Roughan – Sail
Cleaves, Chris – Little Bee
Picoult, Jodi – Vanishing Acts
Pullman, Phillip – The Golden Compass
Wodehouse, P.G. – A Gentleman of Leisure
Barber, Elizabeth Wayland and Paul T. Barber – When They Severed Earth From Sky
Best, James – Damned Lies and Statistics
Levitt, Steven D. and Stephen J. Dubner – Freakonomics
Winchester, Simon – Korea
You will note that the mystery field was doing quite well on these flights, especially if you include Thrillers. Oh and two passengers were using Kindle-like-objects, I don’t know which brand. Bon voyage.