A bonus post for you this weekend with what may seem like an over dramatic title, but as I was relaxing on the beach last week I realised that without my ereader, my holidays would be very different. Allow me to explain.
As you may have worked out by now, I am a fast reader. I read twelve books during my week in Croatia – and that’s not even the most I’ve read during a week away. I’d either need an extra suitcase or to take no clothes with me to take enough reading material for a week on the beach and the flights to get me to said beach. And that’s before you take into account my notoriously flighty nature and tendency to want to read something, anything other than the books that I’ve brought with me*.
What you may not know is that I’m not good when left alone with my own head. I have to have something to listen to to go to sleep – silence makes my brain start obsessing over things – did I do everything I should have done at work today, why haven’t I done x or y, death, that sort of thing. So laying on the beach doing nothing was never my sort of holiday because although a bit of people watching is fun, I can’t just about doing doing nothing for hours but there was no way I could take enough books to keep me going for a week. But sometimes you don’t want a holiday full of activities, where you’ve always got places to be or things to be doing. Sometimes you just need to relax and unwind and do nothing and the ereader means that I can do that.
I was a (relatively) late adopter of ereaders. I like the feel of books, I like the smell of them. I like the way your favourites fall open to your favourite passages and the way you can lend books you love to the people that you love. I managed the whole of my first year of the long commute without an ereader – taking proper books with me in my bag and occasionally using the Kindle app for free books on my phone when I ran out of reading material before I got home. But then came EURO 2012 – when I was going to be spending a month away from home in Poland. I knew I wouldn’t have space in my suitcase for books, but might well have some reading time. I treated myself to a Kindle Touch (the first generation of them I think) and I’ve never looked back.
This holiday we took 4 actual books with us between us – a Janet Evanovich (that I’d already read) for Him Indoors who is working his way through the Steph Plum series one holiday at a time, two books he picked out from a selection from my to-read pile that he would like to read too and my holiday book – the Andrew Cartmel that was this week’s BotW. He read the Steph Plum and then nicked my kindle to continue his Vicky Bliss odyssey. I finished two of the three and started the other. Without the ereader(s) we would have been lost. The iPad isn’t allowed on the beach, but in the evenings we were often to be found relaxing on the balcony, him with the Kindle and me with the iPad.
If I didn’t like a book, I didn’t have to finish it (I hated one of the paperbacks and although I did finish it, I abandoned it to its fate at the hotel, clearing space in the suitcase for an extra bag of sweets for my long-suffering work colleagues) and equally if I loved a book and wanted the next in the series or another by the same author, the joys of wifi meant that I could just buy it. I stocked it up with some cozy crimes and some favourite authors before we went and I had more than enough choice to keep me going for the week.*
My trusty Kindle is almost exactly five years old now and is groaning with the weight of the books stored on it. I use it on the train every time I travel too or from work, I use it at the hostel on the nights I’m way from home and I use it on my breaks in the early hours during the dreaded night shifts. I’m debating getting a new one – because reading on the iPad is just not the same – I’m sentimentally attached to my worn, well loved Kindle that makes me loath to let it go. Although it would mean next holiday we’d have two to use on the beach…
If only I’d had an e-reader back in the day when I used to have to go on camping trips!
*I think this is the same tendency that makes me not want to eat packed lunches that I’ve made for myself.
**To be honest, I’ve probably got enough to keep me going for a year if only authors didn’t keep publishing new books.