Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Holiday reading plans - one book or lots of books?

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.


  1. I used to take few books and my Kobo. Now I take one book and the Kobo as a back up, unless I'm in the middle of an ebook in which I just take the Kobo and load it with books I know I'll want to read. I think it's one of those times you just have to be strict, and if you need to spend some time deciding on which to take then so be it. Similarly with 'lots of books right now', just pick one even if it's the first on the shelf, and go for it, then choose the next. Even if you only read a few in this order, that's more than none and you can always return to it after reading something else :)

    1. I don't like e reading very much and find ebooks get ignored. I have the kindle app on my phone and sometimes use it, just not often. I was quite disciplined in that I packed 4 books, at least 2 of which I'll finish, and I might get stuck into a third if time allows. So far I've bought 4 more books (including Elementum, which I've read quite a lot of) so I think I'm doing okay. Everything seems less stressful now I've slowed down for a couple of days!

  2. Your post about packing for a trip is timely for me. I am also packing for a trip on which I will have plenty of time to read, but often in the past I've packed too much reading and too little clothing, and since I know of a lovely little bookstore at my destination, I will try not to overdo the books. On the other hand, I've had the experience, on more than one occasion, of packing only 1 big book and having it be a tremendous flop. I wonder if it's time to give in and buy an e-reader.

    1. Not for me, I don't get anything like the same enjoyment out of ereading. I think I've got my book packing and buying about right this time (4 average length books for choice, and that haven't taken up to much space at all) I haven't been able to resist buying more (didn't really try either) but in the end there's nothing quite like a book is there?