A Good Book: My Traveling Companion

I love a good book.

A real book.

The kind that can trap sand in its spine. The kind whose pages get warped from droplets produced by too many close-range cannon balls.

The kind where the condition of the book itself tells its own story.

Make These Books Your Traveling Companions

  • The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff
  • The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
  • The Help by Kathryn Stockett
  • The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom
  • Lucia, Lucia by Adriana Trigiani
  • The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe
  • The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
  • A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
  • Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen

Whether the local chauffeuring of children or long-distance yearly vacations, I’m always an arm’s length away from my essential traveling companion. As summer is arriving, this is even more the case.  

There are many out there who agree. Summer reading lists are advertised. Signs tout the best beach reads.

But for me, summer is a chance to explore even more something that I’m passionate about all year.

I have the privilege of sitting down each month with a group of girl friends to discuss our latest read. I’ve been in the book club for two years, and we’ve consumed a diverse collection of titles. The book club affords me the chance to read books I wouldn’t normally consider. It “forces” me to sit down and be still. It takes me away to another time, another place. It improves my own writing, or so I hope. It feeds my soul.

As everyday life has the potential to drain, it is important to know what fills us. Book reading does that for me. And my favorite books are those that chronicle a person’s life. I immerse myself in their circumstances, cry over their heartaches, root for them in their struggles and celebrate with them their victories. Until the last page is turned. Then I miss them when they are gone.

But there is always the next book.

I start again.

Me and my good book.

Nicole Motley van Esselstyn believes the most important measure of any bag is whether her friend will fit comfortably inside.