Recently, Christopher Schaberg and Mark Yakich released Checking In/Checking Out, a two-sided book dedicated to “airplane reading.” In a continuous effort to expand airplane reading, the co-authors launched a corollary website: airplanereading.org. With the intent of collecting stories about air travel and making such stories available to the public, all stories submitted are “archived indefinitely.” The website encourages submissions of unpublished nonfiction (1000 words or fewer) related to air travel.
The categories labeling the anecdotes on the website range from Atlanta to Cell Phones and Death to Enhanced Pat-Downs. The stories are, for the most part, humorous, though not all of them are about specific experiences; rather, some are more collective such as “One Flight Stands” by Lauren Frederick. Others are pastiches, like Harold Jaffe’s “Docufictions.” And still others are serious re-tellings and explorations of how airplane travel came to affect the authors.
The spectrum of subject matter is so varied, so nuanced, that often the motif that links them to together—air travel or planes—is but a shadow. And yet, this variation is what perhaps will manifest Schaberg and Yakich’s vision, that will garner for airplane reading a vehicle to “rejuvenate the experience of flight.”
Airplanereading.org is always accepting submissions of air travel related nonfiction, and posts daily. On the right side of the web page, the link to submit is clearly marked, “Everyone has a story to tell…Submit yours here.”
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