I'm off up to Inverness at the weekend and whilst packing clothes is a simple enough matter packing books is not.
I used to read quite a bit on holiday, but have found over the last couple of years that I don't really get the chance to do that. It's part of staying with family - there are always people to talk to, and little jobs that need doing, never mind all the places to go or things to see. It also seems really rude to read in the car when there's only one other person in it (doing all the hard work of driving too) and so altogether there ris ally isn't much unaccounted for time.
I'll also inevitably buy books when I'm away, I always find time for that. And that's before I consider the hooks on my phone and iPad...
All of which means the sensible thing to do would be to only pack one paper book - and that had been my sensible intention for the last couple of weeks, for which time I've been telling myself I could do that. I often have 2 paperbacks in my work bag in case I finish one at lunchtime and have nothing for the bus ride home, despite the reality that lunch is mostly spent getting annoyed by stuff on twitter and the bus ride takes 15 minutes, 20 on a bad day. The idea that I might only pack one book is sensible, it's just probably not realistic.
And which book - honestly, how do you choose one book when you have maybe 50 (maybe more) all clamouring to be read Right Now. Actually that's a question I need an answer to because at the moment the number of books that I want to read right away is leaving me in such an indecisive state that it's just much easier to turn to twitter and choose between 50 (maybe more) things to be outraged by.
Meanwhile 3 particularly exciting review copies have landed on my doorstep. They're all short story collections and that seems particularly desirable for holiday reading. 'Kingdoms of Elfin' should be interesting, not least because Sylvia Townsend Warner is someone I keep meaning to read, but haven't, and fairy tales fascinate me.
I've been looking forward to the British Library collections, both anthologies look like they've got some great stuff in them. Tanya Kirk's last collection The Haunted Library was brilliant, but as both editors were responsible for curating the Terror and Wonder exhibition about the gothic imagination a couple of years ago - which is one of the best things I've seen in recent years - these were always going to be great books. The weather tonight (both dark and stormy) is just perfect for them as well. I'll probably pack the lot.