How does anyone choose what to take to read on holiday? I have a tried and trusted approach, which never fails.
Our seaside town, has one rather unusual claim to fame. It’s many and varied charity shops are a tourist destination, in their own right. Yes, people come on coaches from, well, all over and spend the day cruising these wonderful emporiums, bagging second hand bargains. For me, though, the shops are a fabulous source of books, often in great condition, at a cut rate price. These books often contain odd and interesting remnants from former owners. I don’t really approve of inked comments in books, but as I turned to the notes pages of my copy of Far From the Madding Crowd, the end page of the story was revealed and some literary bod had written “You’ll never read a better book”. Quite.
So, the plan of attack? Start visiting these wonderful booky places, two weeks before going away and buy a random selection of things to try. Ideally, completely new authors. Nine times out of ten, this plan comes up trumps. Draw a rare blank? Resort to own book shelves.
This year, I got carried away and my book stack weighed about 40kg. Even with an increased baggage allowance, this selection clearly needed some pruning. Or failing that, it meant leaving all my clothes behind. On reflection, I decided to say goodbye to The Duchess and a variety of other paper delights.
A nice surprise waiting for me on my return home.