I was on an airplane last week when I noticed, just above my appropriately upright and locked tray table, a small sticker. The sticker sat below a vertical plastic slot in the seat-back in front of me where rested an in-flight magazine (one of its crossword puzzles half done), along with two pamphlets -- one pushing snacks for purchase and a credit card invitation; the other offering safety information for the aircraft in which I sat. For the record, there was also one air-sickness bag, unused. I now noticed one sticker on every seat-back within view. Each said, "Literature only."
My first reaction was to scoff: "Literature?" I thought haughtily. "Hardly."
I'm prouder of my next reflection. "Literature? Why shouldn't it be? The more avid and aspiring readers alike get comfortable with literature as the name for texts that might pull their attention for serious or frivolous reasons, emergencies or diversions, or just by being at hand, the better. Literature need not exist just in its distant, daunting capital L iteration that stultifies too many students in schools. Before the plane even reached its cruising altitude, I had chosen to welcome these connotation complications.
P.S. Apology. Again, William Carlos Williams
I have finished
that was in
you were probably
it was diverting
and now filled