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Have you ever read a book about automobile driving? Oh, there are lots of books about cars, racing, touring, and plenty of how-to books -- but have you ever read a book about the activity of driving itself? Considering how much time people spending driving, it's remarkable that there aren't zillions of books on the subject, but I haven't seen a single one -- have you? (If you have, please send me an email!)

The idea for a book on driving occurred to me a few years ago when I first started commuting to work (before that, I'd walked, bicycled, or taken public transportation), and was having my initiation to rush-hour driving. Nearly every trip, something happened to me that was worth mentioning, either to my officemates in the morning or to my wife in the evening. Often one story would lead to another; it seemed like everybody was interested in it.

About this time, the possibility arose that I might be spending an indefinite amount of time in Los Angeles. I knew that the automobile culture there would wear on me if I didn't do something about it, and it occurred to me that the project of writing a book about driving would turn even the most unpleasant day in traffic into source material.

What would a book about driving have in it? Here are some of the things it might contain:

The Los Angeles house project never materialized, but the idea for this book continued to appeal to me. Occasionally I browse bookstores looking for a book like this, but I haven't looked too hard -- partly, I think, because I don't want to find it.