Books you should never read on an airplane

March 19, 2008 by in category Blogs tagged as with 5 and 0
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Monica Stoner, Member at large

If there is a book in the house I’m anxious to read, nothing else gets done. Which might have a lot to do with why I’m perpetually late on completing projects. Having to fly at least four times a year means I can have up to twelve guilt free hours of solid reading. Often I save this time for authors new to me, so they can have my undivided attention.

On my most recent trip, I packed a book recommended by a dear friend, who knows I love good writing. Once I finished a book I’d started the day before, I reached for this new book and was immediately pulled into the life of a woman who had recreated herself several times over. Great writing, wonderful characters; I was mentally reviewing the call I would make to my friend once I landed.

As the story unfolded, I learned this woman had overcome raising a child as a single mother after she was left at the altar. Then her teenage son left to get to know her father better, right about the time she was diagnosed with cancer. Music started to waft through my head, I believe it was the theme to “Brian’s Song.” She met the man of her dreams, someone who had dealt with adversity of his own and had finally moved on, ready to step into a new and wonderful relationship with the heroine.

Suddenly, I recalled the major difference between Women’s Fiction and Romance? Romance requires happily ever after endings. You guessed it, this book was not Romance. By then I was totally hooked, mesmerized by these characters and unwilling to close the book. None of this would be a problem in my own home. Unfortunately I was 35,000 feet above the ground, with people on all sides.

Ever tried to sob quietly? Try it some time with no tissues, only one scrawny, hard surfaced cocktail napkin. Fortunately my closest seat mate was sound asleep, and the cabin personnel were not overly attentive. That napkin got a lot of abuse, let me tell you. And I was very glad I’d decided to let my hair grow out instead of getting another trendy short style, so I had something to hide behind.

Would I read this author again? Absolutely. But not, I don’t think, while in the air!


  • Anonymous
    on April 7, 2008

    It was Lu Ann Rice’s “Cloud Nine” lovely book, my friend laughed like an idiot when I told her the woman DIED at the end. She knew
    Mind you, I was also on a plane when I read “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix,” not exactly an uplifting book!

  • Anonymous
    on March 19, 2008

    Well, anyway, it wasn’t Snakes on a Plane 🙂

    Have to say, I’m not into sob stories too much. So I probably wouldn’t read it.

  • Anonymous
    on March 19, 2008

    Yeah, I wanna know who the author is, too! LOL

    Great post, Monica. I knew there was a reason I like to wear my hair on the long side. 😉

  • Anonymous
    on March 19, 2008

    Funny! At least you weren’t so captivated that you stayed on the plane when you were supposed to get off.

  • Anonymous
    on March 19, 2008

    Monica, I soooo get this! I once finished a Kristin Hannah book on an airplane. My husband occasionally shook his head at my sobs and tried to ignore me. The man on the other side kept surreptitiously glancing at me through the corner of his eye. (I was watching him the same way to see if he was watching me or if I could sob in peace.) At the end, he just smiled a little and said his wife is just like that – so I gave him the book! 🙂

    So… are you going to tell us who the author is? 🙂


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