I’m a self confessed book geek and on a good day by the pool I can read 2 or 3 books in a go. Not only does this become an expensive habit to keep me amused when topping up my tan, it also means I sometimes have to sacrifice packing a dress or two in order to make room for my holiday library. That’s why I’m very happy to have my Kindle accompanying me this summer.

Never heard of it? Well, you can use a Kindle (a sort of tablet computer) to read books & publications; bestsellers, classics, new releases, international newspapers, magazines, travel guides and blogs.

The facts (according to Amazon):
  • A single charge lasts up to two months.
  • It weighs only 247 grams (so less than a paperback book) and is only 8.5 mm thin.
  • You can read in bright sunlight as unlike with a computer there’s no glare – perfect when next to the pool.
  • It stores up to 3,500 book and over  700,000 books are now available to download. AND there are also over 1 million classic books available to download FOR FREE from Leo Tolstoy to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and from Charles Dickens to Jane Austen.
  • Its got global wireless coverage so you can download books anywhere in only 60 seconds.
  • With Text-to-Speech, Kindle can read content out loud to you – for the ultimate lazy day relaxing.
  • Unlike a laptop, it never gets hot so you can read comfortably as long as you like.
  • Finally, it’s super super simple to use. There is no setup, no software to install, no computer required; it’s so easy even my 80 year old Gran can use it!

photo by Sarah Panic
There are two Kindle’s available;
  1. Kindle (Wi-Fi) is a great choice if you already have a high-speed internet connection and access to a wireless router. It is also the cheaper option.
  2. Kindle 3G (Free 3G + Wi-Fi) is the easiest option because there is no wireless setup—you are ready to shop, purchase, and read right out of the box where ever you are in the world. For me the 3G version is very practical for a Travelette who never knows where she is going to be; download books anytime, anywhere on the go—without having to find a Wi-Fi hotspot connection.
I don’t want to be Amazon biased here; there are also other e-readers on the market; if you want to look at something different why not check out the Sony Reader Touch Edition or the Barns & Nobel Nook Color.
So, I can’t deny that the size of my e-reader makes it a key travel accessory; when packing for a trip by the time I’ve put two or three books, my diary, and a lonely planet guide in my backpack there is hardly any room left for shoes (and we all know how much I love shoes) but I still find something strange about reading from a screen. There is something lovely about opening a book for the first time and taking in the way it smells. I also find it easier to take in information from paper and I don’t have to worry about dropping my book in the bath (I’m not sure how well Kindle and bathwater mix) or it getting grubby at the beach. However despite my love of old-fashioned reading habits I’m looking forward to re-reading Harry Potter for the 1 millionth time this summer on my Kindle.

What do you think of e-readers? Oh and have you got any travel books to recommend for when I’ve finished with Hogwarts?