is not for me at all a disparaging term; I find myself mentally "saving" certain books up for long trips, there is no good bringing/buying a pile of short books on one's travels and what you need is books that are long and also very entertaining (more or less Dickensian if possible). Plane trips are the circumstance in other words where a Robert Ludlum novel would suddenly become more appealing light reading than a Dick Francis.
Sometimes you buy the book in advance and keep it in reserve (Neal Stephenson's Cryptonomicon once got me through a long weekend of travel, it was excellent--good book in its own right of course, but conveniently immensely long....); then alternately aside from the length question there's the keeping-in-reserve of books that are interesting enough to be desirable but popular enough to be potentially purchasable even in an inadequate airport newstand-type bookstore (the one I've got in mind for this is Bill Buford's Heat, I would like to read it not too long from now but I think it's a sensible kind of thing to expect to find at some moment when I'm really, really strongly in need of a good book with not a lot of options for procuring one--non-fiction often works this way for me, I remember jumping on Augusten Burroughs' two memoirs in the actually quite good little bookstore in South Station in Boston and reading them both on the train to New York--not good value for money, exactly, but very enjoyable reading and the expense is allowable under the circumstances).
Anyway I've been reading reviews of this one with great interest, and
Donald Morrison's FT review of Vikram Chandra's Sacred Games is the clincher:
This is a blockbuster in every sense: 5lbs in weight, 900 pages, more subplots than Shakespeare, more themes than Tchaikovsky, more dead bodies than Highgate, more history than Gibbon, more characters than - well, Chandra’s other novel, Red Earth and Pouring Rain.