Friday, December 28, 2012

Traveling light



1991 Lawrie reading on cruise ship
When Lawrie and I started traveling together about a bazillion years ago, we had a luggage problem; one suitcase for clothes, and one suitcase just for books.  We both were voracious readers, chewing through novels, magazines, and newspapers at a great rate.  There is nothing quite as enjoyable as reading a good book on a chilly winter’s night with a crackling fire burning in the fireplace and a favourite beverage close to hand.  

At one point in our lives we had one room in our house filled wall to wall, floor to ceiling with shelves of hard cover or paperback novels.  Books on antique cars, antique furniture, gardening, cooking, Canadian history, or house re-modeling; books we had read and happily loaned out to interested friends. 


1957 Grade one reader
My earliest memories of reading include a set of sixteen large books that my parents had purchased from a traveling salesman who visited our isolated mining-town residence.  The first book started off with nursery rhymes and each one after had progressively more difficult and complex stories.  In between reading those books my three sisters and I feasted on novels featuring Trixie Beldon, Nancy Drew, and the Hardy Boys.  By the time I was nine my dad insisted I read two of his favourite non-fiction books; The People of the Deer by Farley Mowat, and the Miracle at Springhill by Leonard Lerner.  (The latter book was about the 1958 Springhill Nova Scotia mining disaster where 175 coalminers were trapped in an underground earthquake.  More than half of the men perished. It was pretty intense reading for a nine-year-old.  It left a lasting impression on me.)



1987 Another vacation - another dozen books!
Lawrie started reading at a young age as well.  His first memory is of reading My Friend Flicka at his grandmother’s house in Winnipeg, and crying over the sad parts.  As he progressed to more difficult reading he enjoyed the Enid Blyton series of books about three intrepid youngsters in the Mountain of Adventure, Circus of Adventure and Sea of Adventure and many more.  Another favourite series was the Boy’s Own Annual featuring a series of short stories.  Fortunately by the time we moved in together we were on the same page as far as reading goes, enjoying many authors primarily in the adventure-mystery-thriller genre, or the intensely fascinating novels of South African writer, Wilbur Smith.


1987 Reading my favourite author - Wilbur Smith
Fortunately for us, e-readers were created right about the time we moved full-time to Mexico.  It had been a concern for us, wondering how we were ever going to find enough books in English to keep us supplied with reading materials.  Our first two e-readers were Sony books.  We quickly racked up over four hundred novels in the first year and a half.  Then Sony made it very difficult for Canadians to access current titles of our favourite authors, so we switched to Amazon and Kindle readers.  We have already worn out three Kindle readers, and now have two of the newer Kindle Fire version.  


2012 Kindle Fire E-Reader
The Kindle Fire readers have colour graphics, allow internet access and emails.  For e-readers purchased in the USA there are a number of other features such as downloading music and videos.  We have to date read an additional three hundred and eighty-eight e-books through Amazon. 


Our biggest problem is paying for our reading addiction.  When we are in the mood both Lawrie and I can devour a book a day.  The books cost anywhere from $1.99 to $14.99 each!   However, e-books have solved a couple of problems for us.  They have given us the ability to purchase a book in English from any Wi-Fi location in the world as we learned this summer while traveling in France and Italy.  And we have recently discovered a number of new-to-us authors; authors such as Joel Goldman, Tom Lowe, Michael McGarrity, Andrew Peterson, CJ Lyons, Brett Battles, Nick Pirog and G.M. Ford to name just a few.  


2008 Lawrie with original Sony e-reader in Mexico
E-readers have reduced our dust allergies.  No paper pages to foster dust mold.  We have reduced the amount of room we require to store books; just one slim book-shaped electronic device.  

And they have definitely reduced our luggage problem.  We are e-reader converts!
                              

4 comments:

Catrina said...

I get all my magazines electronically too....sure helps keep the house uncluttered! One thing I really like about our e-readers is that my daughter and I can read the same book at the same time.

Life's a Beach! said...

Fortunately, I'm able to access two different library accounts, so my addiction's mostly free. It's great not having to lug heavy books on vacation now!

Doreese y Bince said...

Trixie Beldon!!!! My favourite novels growing up. I think that's where I first heard the word 'dungarees'?? Thanks for the memories! I love reading too.....have a Sony ereader which is great for traveling but there's just something about holding a real book. Still like that best but the readers do take up a lot less room!

Lynda & Lawrie said...

Good morning all: It is amazing how many people have made the switch to e-books. So much easier. As for access to two different libraries .... lucky you Becky. We don't have a home address anywhere but here in Mexico so that is not a option for us. Sigh.