Denise and I recently returned from a 10 day swing through the National Parks of Bryce, Glen Canyon, Grand Canyon (North Rim) and Zion. In addition to the amazing scenery, hikes, raft trips, jeep rides and afternoon gin-'n-tonics, we did do some book reading and book shopping. Our audio book accompaniments included Nevada Barr's The Rope, a 2013 book set in the Glen Canyon Recreational Area and the orchestral soundtrack of the 1960 film The Magnificent Seven. provided by Denise's brother Michael.
I brought along the classic 1993 narrative on the water problems in West, Marc Reisner's Cadillac Desert: The American West and Its Disappearing Water. Outside of Zion, our jeep tour guide reiterated some of the problems Reisner predicted when the population far exceeds the annual rainfall to support it. (It's a desert, people!) I saw the book available in most national park bookstores. Since I left my copy in a motel room, I will have to pick up another copy in order to finish it.
One of the better bookstores was the visitor center bookstore at Navaho Bridge in Marble Canyon, Arizona where a dual steel span bridge crosses the Colorado River. Denise purchased Ellen Meloy's The Anthropology of Turquoise: Reflections on Desert, Sea, Stone and Sky (2002) for our neighbor who watered our plants while we were gone and The End of Night: Searching for Natural Darkness in the Age of Artificial Light (2013) by Paul Bogard. In Page, Arizona, we picked up a copy of Gary Ladd's pictorial Lake Powell Unchained An Authorized Guide to Preposterous Lake (2011) at the quaint John Wesley Powell Museum. In 1869, the one-armed Powell led the first "official" expedition down the Colorado and was a visionary - albeit somewhat disregarded - who proposed regulating water rights by watersheds instead of regulating by state boundaries. (Powell is still revered and his descendants do their family reunions on the river).
Outside of Zion National Park in Springdale, Utah we stopped at the Worthington Gallery and picked up two books of black and white woodcuts by Royden Card. One book was The Alphabet in Woodcut for our grandson Myrick's upcoming birthday and the other was a book of visual and verbal sketches entitled Desert Dawn (2003).
It wasn't until I arrived back home that I realized that I had left the Reisner book in the motel room. (I can replace the book, but my reading notes on the back of a Glen Canyon Dam postcard are gone forever.) It turned out that it was a somewhat fortunate happenstance since my suitcase weighed in at the checkout counter at 48 pounds and six ounces. No doubt the lengthy Reisner book on this "heavy" subject would have pushed me over the my weight limit.