Good questions. And my answer is: I guess it depends on where I'm going. If I'm just heading out for a quick shopping trip, or an evening in a restaurant, or a theater or movie – then no, I probably wouldn't take a book with me. Generally, I only take a book if I know I'm going to have down time, when I can get some reading done: visits to the doctor and dentist and hair cutter; waiting in line to get my driver's license renewed; anytime I'm traveling by bus, rail, or air. On occasions like these, I definitely pack a book. And I suppose it's usually just the book I'm reading at the time – unless that happens to be too heavy to carry around.
I always like to have a book with me at all times – call it a nerdy grown-up security blanket – and rarely do I leave the house without slipping one into my bag (even if I KNOW I’m not going to have a chance to read it). Do you take a book with you? Do you take whatever book you’re currently reading, or do you have a special on-the-go book? And do you have a preference for a these types of book (paperback, hardback; short stories; poetry etc)?
The last great take-a-book-along opportunity was Election Day back in November. I stood in line for nearly three hours, waiting to cast my vote, and I was really happy I'd remembered to stash a book in my handbag.
And speaking of handbags, how many of us are willing to admit we shop for purses with book-carrying-capacity in mind? Isn't that the true sign of a hopeless bookworm?