March 14, 2013

A.L. Kennedy on reading and living on trains


A.L. Kennedy contributes here to the Huffington Post‘s “Where I Like to Read” series, and her chosen locale is a good one: the train.

As she writes,

[W]hen the view has calmed into concrete and drizzle, or the dark has closed in (thus far due to nightfall rather than some kind of brain haemorrhage) then I unpack whatever book I’ve brought along and read. I hold on around a real, paper and type, three-dimensional, non-virtual book and it colours wherever I am and wherever I am seeps in and colours it and every time I touch it thereafter, it will be a little bit different and me too.

In fact, it doesn’t matter to Kennedy what the train looks like—or where it goes. To accompany her essay, she sends along this photo:

About which she writes:

This is a picture of train. An ugly train. It can’t help being ugly and I forgive it. I read on trains. I write on trains, I eat on trains, I stare out of train windows and wonder what happened to my life, or my ability to distinguish hot and cold in my extremities and I live, in short, for much of the time on trains.



Kelly Burdick is the executive editor of Melville House.