Saturday, 16 July 2011
books for the beach
I've always read a fair amount, subject to the vagaries of work and travel. When I spent time commuting around London I'd read a newspaper and then switch to a compact format book as the train filled up.
My picture illustrates the dilemma of travel with books though. I don't always want to read the same book all of the time (I do sometimes) but there's a problem carrying multiple books around. The holiday season exemplifies this. American format paperbacks are usually the best because they are generally smaller than UK ones, although they seem to be printed on thicker paper than, say, a Penguin edition.
As for anything recently published - it means hardback although that's generally a no-no because of the bulk.
My visualisation graph in the picture illustrate the problem.
Column 1 is the lone book I plan to read which isn't available electronically. Column 2 shows some books I've been reading and want to finish, but would take up too much space in my back-pack. Column 3 is a representative sample of recent books I've read but haven't got around to filing away anywhere yet. Column 4 are a few example magazine type publications I might also dip into, but not necessarily read every item in each edition.
I've decided to take a Kindle instead - other than the not available titles, it could swallow all of this pile of 35 books. And a further 100 similar piles. Some might say that there's a different feel to a Kindle compared with paper. Yes, it's easier to turn the page and they don't flap back again at an awkward angle. Some might say there's a different smell. More free monomer than musty. I can handle that too. Some might say that they don't have the same feel as the book. Try carrying "Hackney, that Rose Red Empire" for very long...
If the idea of a book is to pour some thoughts and ideas into one's head then I'm actually less concerned about the physics of the delivery vehicle. After all, its supposed to 'disappear' if the writing is good, in any case.
So I'll be packing light.
But I will take a charger.
Oh, and my "on bargain special offer" Kindle best-seller The Triangle