Five Airport Novels You’Ll Spot This Summer And What They’L Tell You About Their Readers

Not judging a book by its cover is one thing, but there’s no rule against judging a fellow traveller by what he chooses to read. After all, what reduces a man to the very essence of himself quicker than bad coffee the adrenaline rush of an almost-lost boarding pass, and queueing between fellow passengers with a penchant for humming, foot-tapping and sucking through a straw? Just keep in mind, you’re I robably looking pretty predictable right now, too.

Five Airport Novels You’Ll Spot This Summer And What They’L Tell You About Their Readers Photo Gallery



The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

He saw this on an Instagram story on a sun-drenched balcony in Istanbul next to a beer dripping with condensation. Where to spot him:

In the airport lounge, sipping something chilled, feeling pleased that private banking lets him use these facilities. Next on the reading list: Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts. Where to from here? He’s off to a remote location somewhere in South America, where he intends to take some good pictures for his Tinder profile. Most likely to say: ‘Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.’

Scar Tissue by Anthony Kiedis

He’s the one most likely to transform into a human Wikipedia page and supply you with unsolicited facts from the life story he’s currently immersed in. Where to spot him: Enjoying a toasted cheese at the airport’s fastest fast food place. Nothing fancy for him. Next on the reading list: Something a little more serious, like Girlboss by Sophia Amoruso or Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson. Where to from here? Home for the holidays. Most likely to say:

‘It just gives you a lot to think about, you know?’ about most things.

We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

He’s on his way to getting woke. Begins a lot of opinions with ‘as a feminist myself…’ Next on the reading list: Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe Where to spot him: In the tourist store, but not to buy curios its the best place to stock up on free-range biltong in departures. Where to from here? He’s off to a remote location somewhere in ‘Africa’, where he intends to find himself and take some good Facebook pics.

Most likely to say: ‘Of course I’m a feminist! I have a sister.’

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

He’s more of a TV guy, really – Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, old episodes of The Simpsons – but he’ll make an exception for some exceptionally twisty crime fiction. Next on the reading list: How about The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins or Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn? Where to spot him:
In the smoking lounge. Where to from here? He’s not a huge fan of anything too out-there, so London to visit school friends or Perth to visit family. Most likely to say: ‘No spoilers!’

The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen

He’s pretty serious about literature, and he’s not afraid to explain it to you.
Where to spot him: Enjoying a flat white at Vida – the chocolate is a guilty pleasure. He says ‘guilty pleasure’ more than he thinks. Next on the reading list: Has Don DeLillo got anything new out? Maybe he’ll just re-read Infinite Jest.

Where to from here? He might be heading to Cape Town, in which case he’ll tell you how much more laidback the lifestyle is there. Most likely to say: ‘Franzen’s so relatable, you know?’

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