A young girl about 4 years old sobbed when Denver International Airport Transportation Security Administration (TSA) personnel told her she could not take her snow globe on the plane.
The child's tears were another reminder of the indignities of airline travel in 2008, such as walking barefoot through the security lines and the pack-'em-in-squeeze-every-penny-from-'em attitude of the airlines.
From the ashes of the once friendly skies rises a phoenix: Reading.
In a nation in which one in four adults doesn't read one book a year, according to an August 2007 AP-Ipsos poll, airport terminals are packed with book and magazine sellers. Judging from the number of books, magazines and newspapers in hands at six airports in the last nine days, travelers are turning hustle into a cherished commodity: Time to read.
Anecdotally, other than the library we can think of no other place in which people are frequently toting paper-and-ink reading materials.
The long hours between flights, waiting for boarding or sitting on the Tarmac can be turned into a luxury by traveling to other worlds through written words.
We encourage reading and fight for the written word. We believe that a literate, informed nation is essential to our democracy. A literate nation is a stronger nation.
In that effort, the Star has joined with the University of Arizona to sponsor the three-day Tucson Festival of Books in March 2009. Proceeds from sponsorships and private events will go to local literacy groups. The festival is free.
Traveling lends itself to enveloping oneself between the covers of a book — while listening for your boarding call and keeping an eye on your bag, of course.
We hope you'll take a book on the plane, and participate in our celebration of books and literature in March.
For more information on the book festival, go online to tucsonfestivalofbooks.org
Did you Know
The Paradies Shops at Tucson International Airport allow travelers to buy a book, read it and return the book for a 50 percent refund.