Decisions, decisions. The thing I hate most about packing to go anywhere is deciding what to take. I’m leaving Monday for two weeks in the UK, and already I wish I were back in the day when the servants packed the huge steamer trunks with everything a person could need. Unfortunately, I’m limited to one bag and my carry-on. No servants either. I spent part of today making the hardest and most important choices: what books to take. I will probably rethink these selections three times before I finally close that suitcase. After all, I’m going to be spending most of my time in London, where I may not easily be able to get any book I wish I had chosen! Having the book disease, I find it difficult to leave any of my unread collection behind. The comfort of looking through the stacks to see what suits my mood today will be missing. Or at least the stack will be limited.
I have not been able to shake the old mind-set I just described. Much as I prefer a paper book, the fact that I have both an iPad and a Sony e-reader means that I no longer have to choose between clothing and books in the suitcase. I have said that I don’t believe electronic books will replace paper, but that they will have their place when the novelty wears off. This is the place. For this trip, there will be a few traditional volumes for the airplane and my own comfort in reading, plus several on the electronic device so there is no fear of running out. And all the while, I know I won’t read even a third of what I plan.
Here are the hard copy choices at this point:
The Professionals by Owen Laukkanen. I’m trying to read as many of the Anthony nominees as I can before Bouchercon, and this one looks like it will be engrossing and fast-paced enough to distract me from my fear of flying.
The Keeper of Lost Causes by Jussi Adler-Olsen. I haven’t done any Scandinavians for a while, after binging on them a few years ago, and this is the start of a series that comes highly recommended.
Death, Taxes, and a French Manicure by Diane Kelly. It never hurts to have some humor available, and this one may be for the flight home, after I’ve said a sad goodbye to the son who lives in London.
Dead Simple by Peter James. I don’t know if we’ll make it to Brighton on this trip, but this is a series I’ve been wanting to read, and I always start at the beginning.
On the electronic device so far:
Dare Me by Megan Abbott. Another Anthony nominee; this has been on the iPad since my February vacation, when, once again, I didn’t read as much as I thought I would.
The Janus Stone by Elly Griffiths. The second in a great series recommended to me by Lynne Patrick. I’m looking forward to an intriguing mystery, and anxious to know how the main character’s personal life proceeds.
Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel. I don’t always read mysteries, and historical novels are my “second favorite.”
So now it’s on to packing the clothing. And the umbrella and the raincoat. If all goes as planned, I will be posting next week from Scotland, and reporting to you on the Dead Guys “mini-reunion” Lynne and I have arranged in Derbyshire on the way north. We’re both looking forward to meeting in person.