An Extra Book

So I’m going to the US for two weeks, leaving next Wednesday. It’s going to be the first time I’m travelling with a tiny person – the ninjatot will be turning three while we’re over there – and I am of course freaking out to a truly paralytic degree because WHAT IF I FORGET A VITAL THING. THERE ARE SO MANY VITAL THINGS PASSPORTS AND TICKETS AND TOYS AND SPARE CLOTHES AND WIPES AND DIAPERS AND NNNGH.

But! There’s an upside!

For the first time, I’ll be travelling on a plane with an e-book reader.

That’s right! No big backpack full of books for me! I’ll have my reader whose charge usually lasts around a week, plus my iphone – which admittedly will mostly be used to keep the kid quiet by letting her play her edumacational games and change my wallpaper repeatedly – my ipod, and Phil, my trusty tablet-with-keyboard-dock. I’m hoping to actually get some writing done, if I can get the ninjatot to sleep. I’ve always had good luck writing on planes. (Phil is named for Phil Coulson, the small, dapper entity who can do almost anything.) I also have a portable recharger for the iphone, which I will undoubtedly need, which can double as an adaptor for charging my devices in the US.

It’s going to be weird, travelling so completely wired up. I’m only going to be taking one paper book! (For take-off and landing. I’ll probably take an Austen, I can always reread those) When I remember earlier trips, with my backpack full of seven or eight books, and the anxious fretting over running through them too fast, it’s hard to believe my reading habits have changed so enormously over the last few years. I bought my first e-reader before my daughter was born, and if you know an expectant mother who likes to read I promise you, it is the best baby shower gift ever. You can work them one-handed, they stay ‘open’ without you needing to hold onto them, the print’s adjustable so you can put it down beside you where the kid can’t see it, and if you’re immobilized by a caesarian you won’t run out of reading material. E-book readers are the mother’s friend!

I find that I rarely read paper books now. I still love them, and I’ll go back to them more when the kid’s a little older, I think – she still rips pages now and then –  but not if I’m planning on leaving the house. Not having to worry about running out of book while I’m out of the house is too awesome to give up. Although now I have to worry about my book running out of battery, which never happened before! And while in theory I have a phone, a tablet and an ipod to amuse me if that happens, my electronic devices have developed a near-uncanny skill at synchronizing their recharging cycles, despite all having a very different battery life.

Oh, well. At least they’re not as heavy as eight books and a laptop, like I had last time!

I hope all of you enjoy your Easter/Spring Celebration/Long weekend, however you spend it!


7 thoughts on “An Extra Book

  1. Great post! I want to know… what’s it like writing on a tablet? Considering exchanging my laptop for one before going travelling later in the year but will still be keeping up my blog obviously, and I’ll need to write the occasional essay as I’ll be studying too. My brother suggested I’d get sick of writing on a smaller screen, but I’m not sure… How do you find it?

    • My previous writing-on-the-go machine was a quite small netbook, so I’m already used to it. It can give you a bit of a boost, actually, as it takes fewer words to fill up the screen, so it can feel like you’re writing super-fast. (I fool myself a lot, when writing. I’m very gullible.) The smaller the better for travelling, too – if you’re crammed into a seat on an airplane or a train or a bus, a big laptop can be too big for the tray or your lap, and you have to pull your arms in at a painful angle to reach the keys properly. Something small that rests on your knees allows for a much more natural arm-position than something that takes up your whole lap so you have to type with your hands pulled up to your stomach!

      • Of course!! Yeah I just think it makes so much more sense seeing as it’s not like I use my laptop for anything else. Just writing and going on gmail, fb, and wordpress haha.

        • I’m pretty happy with my Android tablet – the only trouble, and it is a big one, is that it won’t always copy/paste between different programs. I’m not sure why, but it’s a pain in the butt if you want to write a post in another program and then paste it into the wordpress box. Still, it does most things I need it to, and the Transformer Infinity has a *kickass* battery life – about ten to twelve hours between the battery in the tablet and the one in the keyboard, depending on what I do with it.

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