zanzjan: (manuscript)
[personal profile] zanzjan
Many years back, there was a summer where there were three or four separate news stories about people rolling their cars into ditches and surviving trapped there for a number of days, collecting dew off the windshield, eating old McDonald's sauce packets, etc. I thought about that, and what it would be like to be trapped in my car for days and days, and immediately went and put a book in my car.

(After longer thought, I decided that Ellison's "All The Sounds of Fear" was maybe not the best choice and swapped it.)

Anyhow, I've kept an Emergency Book in my car ever since. I've even finished several, not because of any ditch-related adventures but just the progression of everyday life and a lot of the endless waiting-for-one's-children thing that goes with the parent gig. The key is to find a book engaging enough that it'll sustain you in those long, soul-despairing, crushed-by-your-own-dashboard-amongst-the-shrubbery or waiting-for-the-field-trip-bus-which-is-three-hours-late times (remarkably similar in the toll they take on one's psyche) but not *so* engaging that you'll take it with you back into the house to keep reading. I will not suggest specific authors for that perfect balance of not-too-wow/not-too-meh as I expect everyone has their own list of such, and for the sake of author-universe-harmony it's best to let it go unspoken.

Anyway, I had to clean everything out of my car not too long ago for various reasons, and I forgot to put a book back, and this morning I spent five hours sitting in the ER waiting room* so bored I thought I might cry. Also, I had no McDonald's sauce packets.

So consider this your PSA: have you checked your Emergency Book lately to make sure you have one** anywhere you are likely to become trapped? If not, do so now!

(* everything's fine. Kid fainted and bonked her head on the floor, needed to get checked. Instead of reading I spent all morning tweeting #BoredERHaiku.)

(** yeah yeah yeah, ebooks, feh. You can't live on ebooks.)

Date: 2015-06-30 09:21 pm (UTC)
ceo: (Default)
From: [personal profile] ceo
Awhile back I spent too much time in the ER waiting room having discovered I'd taken my Emergency Headphones out of my backpack, and was thus forced to listen to whatever soul-destroying tripe was on the TV.

Date: 2015-07-01 02:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Even though I was a super-early adopter of ebooks, batteries don't last forever, so having a hard copy of something is definitely good. And while my phone keeps me endlessly entertained normally, I assume if I'm hanging off a cliff by my seatbelt I might not have a cell signal or wifi. So I agree! Emergency book. Right now the only book in my car is my car's manual. I guess at least I'd finally get that read — but perhaps the time to read that would be BEFORE it's totaled.

And Chip, I totally feel you with the headphones thing. I keep buying earbud sets and leaving them everywhere — in my work bag, in my weekend purse, in my desk at work, in my desk at home, in my car — because dear lord, being without is horrifying.

Date: 2015-07-02 03:52 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Glad the kidlet is OK!

Date: 2015-07-02 07:37 am (UTC)
zeborah: Zebra against a barcode background, walking on the word READ (books)
From: [personal profile] zeborah
Last time I was in the ER I was very glad I kept my ereader in my bag at all times, except after much searching in said bag I realised that the ereader had been in my hand while I was crossing the road (between buses: I wasn't actually reading it at the time) and must have gone flying at the same time I did when the car hit me.

I now have a new ereader in my bag at all times, and make sure to keep it charged at all times too, just like my cellphone ever since that ran out of battery after the February earthquake. I have an emergency print book in my bigger go-bag, too.

books and the ER

Date: 2015-07-30 02:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rebecca addison (from
I had a nice reply to this but evidently the web ate it.

Since you have dial-up at home I'm surprised you don't use ER visits as a place to enjoy the free wi-fi. I usually bring my Kindle and tablet with me and do whatever updates need done. If I have time to pack, and feel motivated enough, I might even bring my laptop. Many hours can be killed playing mindless games or Facebooking while waiting for a loved one to be run through the standard hospital tests etc.

A book is a great thought but I am terrible about leaving one in the car. I carry one in my purse instead so I always have it with me. I carry a notebook too in case I want to write. How do I fit it all in my bag? By carrying 2 bags of course!

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