Wednesday, July 08, 2009

how many books would you take on holiday?

Current work: Medical
Listening to: Bach (still in stress puppy mode)
Reading: Jill Shalvis, Just Try Me - there's a reason why she was my favourite author in the Temptation line: her books are great. Enjoyed this one: very spiky heroine, and a hero that melted me.

The RNA blog has a great poll at the moment. How many books would you take on a two-week beach/poolside holiday? (Go and vote. You know you want to.)

It got me thinking. A beach or poolside holiday is my idea of hell; a day I could do, but more than that would leave me fidgety. I’m happiest exploring – so any holiday I take will involve pottering around castles, churches, museums, stately homes and the like. And I still need quite a few books with me, for chilling-out time.

Last time I packed books in our main suitcase, DH patiently explained that it was ridiculously heavy and I needed to repack the books in a different bag; so nowadays I take a separate book bag. Working is banned on holiday (yeah, right, as if a writer ever stops), so when we’re chilling out in the evenings (i.e. DH and the kids are watching a film that I can take or leave) I tend to read. And also in the mornings, before anyone else is up. Just me in a chair looking out into the garden, with a good book, birdsong and a cup of Earl Grey tea. Bliss.

The year before last, the final Harry Potter volume was released mid-holiday, so that ended up in the food shopping (thanks to lovely, lovely Waitrose). Son was quite shocked that I read it in an evening, so I shocked him a bit more by explaining that actually it was my third book that day. If I were ever forced to do a beach holiday, I’d need an e-reader charged with an awful lot of books, and even then there would be mutterings of discontent. I’m not the kind of person who sits still, unless chained to my desk.

I have a wonderful stockpile for this holiday. Usually I have the new Lindsey Davis and Judith Lennox paperbacks, but they're making me wait until next year (sniff). But I do have the new ones by Susanna Kearsley, Rachel Hore, Katie Fforde, CJ Samson and Arianna Franklin… and, although I *was* going to be good and wait for Victoria Connolly’s local book signing, I don’t think I can resist ‘Molly’s Millions’. Then there are a couple of titles that caught my eye and sounded intriguing (plus books that have been recommended to me, such as Tess Gerritsen’s ‘The Bone Garden’), and there are also some in my daughter’s TBR pile: if we run out, we can swap.

Actually, this reminds me of my mum and I swapping books all the time and then talking about them, from when I was Madam’s age. She’s currently reading Amanda Ashby’s ‘You Had Me At Halo’ and loving it. I’ve missed that swapping-and-talking hugely and having that back is such a joy. (And I can tell I’m stressed because right now I’m all tearful thinking about it, and how I used to read my mum’s Mazo de la Roche books by torchlight under the covers because she said they were too adult for me – hmm, and I’ve said the same thing to Madam about my M&Bs.)

At the end of this month, I’m really looking forward to my readfest. What are you looking forward to as holiday reads this year?

15 comments:

Lori x said...

Unfortunately we don't do holidays - saving for an extension - but if I were to go on a beach holiday I'd take at least 10. If I were on my own, double that amount! Books I luv 'em!

Brigitte said...

Just discovered Christina Jones books through lovely M&B writer Margaret Mcdonagh (medical).
Have nearly finished 'Happy Birthday' which gave some food for thought but also had me in stiches.
Really loved this book. Have ordered the other four books of that series this morning, so my TBR pile is growing fast; Hope they arrive in time before we leave on vacation so I can take them with me.

Donna Alward said...

It depends. I usually look at a category romance a day on vacation, but usually we go camping so there is time on the beach and in the water and making campfires and doing wine tours and visiting local attractions....

But there is usually a time in the morning where the kids go to the playground etc. where I put up my feet and then crack open a book.

I have hardly been reading at all lately, but it's been super busy. And fun. And I'll catch up before long.

linda margaret said...

Kate;

I have always gotten ribbed by my DH about the weight of my suitcase because of books. Dh can't say that much though because he likes to read on vacation too. (although the choice of reading material is quite different!) Interestingly however I don't tend to get as much reading done on vacation as I think I will. Might have something to do with the extra sleep I tend to get. Both DS and DD pack lots of books for vacation as well. At times we must seem to others to be really boring, all four of us with our noses in our respective books.

Have a great day

Linda

Nell Dixon said...

I load up my laptop with e books for a holiday in the tourer as there isn't much physical space for print books and I read fast. I just got Fingerlickin fifteen by Janet Evanovich - it arrived at 1pm and by 3 I'd read it and i popped out to do a school run in that time.

Lacey Devlin said...

Ahh the final harry potter book, that brings back memories. Usually I've read them in one sitting too but when she killed Hedwig I went on strike for a day ;)

I've been banned from second hand bookstores on holidays because I end up spending a fortune on excess luggage :P because of course there were the trillion of books I took with me in the first place ;)

Kate Hardy said...

Lori - hope the extension goes well. We're really glad we did ours (not least because now I have a "library"!!).

Kate Hardy said...

Brigitte - Christina's book are lovely (as are Margaret's). And what I especially like is that you meet past heroes/heroines as secondaries in the newer books. Great stuff.

Kate Hardy said...

Donna - I hear you on local attractions - we love exploring. But camping? Nooo. Daughter annoounced the other day in the car that she had arachnophobia. Don't we know about it. We'd be woken several times a night with whimpers of, "There's a spider and it's huge..."

Kate Hardy said...

Linda - glad I'm not the only one who gets comments about the weight of luggage!

I think reading's much less boring than watching junk TV for the sake of it. (Hopefully there will be some board games at the cottage, too. I'd like to reduce the screen time for son a little. And a week without the x-box will do him so much good!)

Kate Hardy said...

Nell - that's a great idea. I'm tempted.

Is the new JE better than the last? I stopped buying them in hardback after #11 and I'm not entirely sure I read the last one as the series feels tired and a bit stuck to me: we're going over the same old ground. Writing a trilogy and keeping it fresh is tricky enough so I realise that it's hard to keep things going in a longer-running series: but I do think sometimes it's better to stop and leave your audience wanting more rather than carry on and risk losing them.

Kate Hardy said...

Lacey - it was when she killed Sirius that it upset me. (Mainly because I had Sirius in my head as a romantic lead. Cough. I wasn't the only one - several of my author mates said the sae.)

And LOL about being banned from second-hand bookshops. Me, too. I had these great plans to go to Hay on Wye (aka the village full of bookshops) for the weekend with my best friend, but DH hexed us. Either one of us was ill or there was a transport problem, so in the end we gave up :o(

Donna Alward said...

Just an update - I'm taking e-books to Nationals to read on the plane so I don't fill my carryon with books and books and books...

Kate Hardy said...

Donna - great idea. If I were going abroad, I'd have an e-reader :o)

But the laptop is banned from going on hols with us... so I'm sticking with print.

Hannah said...

Well... I'm only 13 but and I'm not too happy! I absolutely adore Reading books - just about anything will do and were going for a two week trip to Italy in a couple of days time. My Mum has limited me to JUST 3 BOOKS!!!!!!! No way is that enough! So without her knowing I have brought my 'book back pack' with me and packed it full of many inteuing reads, some fiction although most scientific... These reads include 'Noughts and Crosses' and Roald Dahl's 'Tales of the Unexpected' which is a great short story book. I MUST recommend 'Skin'. No children's books for me, I'd rather have something I can really sink my teeth into unlike such who read 'Diaries of a Chav'.