Ted worked for Penguin Random House for more than 25 years. For a family of book lovers that was a dream, and over the years we collected thousands of books. Our house had eight 6-foot tall by 4-foot wide crammed-full bookcases in the rec room (severely limiting the angle of shots that could be attempted at the pool table!) plus bookcases in each of the boy’s rooms and a bookshelf on the staircase… and there was always a pile beside my favourite chair waiting to be read.
When we downsized the first time, only one bookcase moved with us. After offering friends and neighbours first choice from our collection, the Milton Chapter of the University Women’s Club took the remaining full van load of books for their used book sale benefitting their scholarship program.
When we became full time travellers, the remaining few books went to the lending library in our last condo building.
Travelling with books used to be cumbersome. Even taking along a few “essential” paperbacks for a couple of weeks away had an impact on my airplane luggage allowance. My mobile library has now moved on to my iPad, but if we are staying in one place for more than a month or two I join the local public library, which gives me access to both physical books and often ebooks as well. (My favourite reads from the Collingwood Public Library last summer were “Evergreen Tidings from the Baumgartners”, which had a nice twist at the end, and “The Bar Harbor Retirement Home for Famous Writers”) Because I am active on Facebook, play video games, and write our blog on my iPad, the battery is often low by the time I am ready to settle in and read, so “real” books are still important to me.
It’s a bonus when we stay in a home that has a supply of books. At Beachy Keen, our winter stay, there was a library on the ground floor of the building where residents could take and leave books. That’s where during a previous stay I discovered and got hooked on the Jack Reacher series by Lee Child. (If you love spy novels or Mission Impossible style thrillers, you’ll love these too.) My favourite read there this winter was “The Whole Truth” by David Baldacci, a suspense novel particularly relevant in the current media climate. Here at Treetops, our spring stay, the owner has a bookshelf filled with an eclectic mix of novels and non-fiction. My top recommendations from Patti’s shelf are the memoir “Riding the Bus With My Sister” by Rachel Simon, and the novel “The Girls” by Lori Lansens (the author of Rush Home Road, and like that book set in the Windsor to London corridor in Ontario).
Ted is a non-fiction reader, largely news read online but also biographies. He is less attached to the “feel” of a book in his hands, so he more actively uses his library membership for ebooks. One of his current favourite writers is Walter Isaacson, who wrote the fascinating biographies of Albert Einstein (“Einstein: The Man, The Genius, and The Theory of Relativity”) and Leonardo DaVinci.
My eldest niece has started an on-line “virtual book club” that will allow its members to talk about books they’ve read via group chat (like Whatsapp) or Skype. It will give me one more way to stay connected AND share my hobby, no matter where I am.
Bottom line….. some things don’t change even though our overall lifestyle certainly has. Reading remains a pleasure that we’ve found ways to make happen, wherever we go.