Monday, August 08, 2011

Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

This has been on my "to read" list for years, like, most of my life.  I've always felt like something of a poser among my friends for not having read it because it's the sort of book that they've all read, that one would think I would have read, but for some reason, hadn't.  I have a big, fancy, copy of the book, the Essential Hitchhiker's Guide, that include this book and all the sequels, and I keep waiting for the right time to read it.

A while back, I found a paperback copy of the book for $1.50.  I thought that would be easier to take with me when I traveled.  So this summer, when I went to Europe, I packed my paperback copy of Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy so that I would have something to read when I didn't have my Kindle with me.

I loved the book.  It's silly and funny and interesting and yet, still very relevant.  For example, while I was on my trip, I was waiting for a concert to begin at a stadium.  It's the sort of event for which you arrive early to get a good spot and then sit around and wait and wait and wait for hours be allowed into the venue and then wait and wait and wait some more before the show starts.  Because it had been raining off and on during the trip, I didn't want to take my Kindle, so I had my Hitchhiker's Guide.  I happened to be reading the part about towels.  A towel is essential, you must have a towel with you - according to the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.  I put down my book and looked around me, and what I noticed were towels.  The smart people had towels.  They were sitting on towels, using towels to wipe the sweat from their faces, using towels to clean their hands (because everyone seemed to bring enough food to last for weeks during these events).  Towels everywhere.  The people who didn't have a towel were asking to borrow other people's towels or wishing they had a towel. 

As those familiar with the book know, the answer to everything is 42.  Here's a little story about me, when I was a teenager, I only had one real crush on an actual boy (as opposed to a celebrity), and my one big, huge, ridiculous, unrequited crush was on a boy who wore the number 42 on his football jersey.  I always think of that when I think about the number 42.  Was it the answer to everything?  Not really, but it certainly seemed like it for a few years of my young life.   

My only issue with the book is that my $1.50 paperback completely fell apart when I was reading it outside.  At one point, there were pages flying all over the backyard. Glad I bought it on clearance -- and it was brand new, not something I bought at a used bookstore -- but not exactly high quality.  This version of the book did have quit a bit at the end about the making of the movie, which was somewhat interesting, as I'm a big fan of the movie.

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