If you’ve noticed I’ve been incommunicado for a while, it’s because I’ve been vacationing in the beautiful (but currently somewhat windy and rainy) Bermuda. (Conclusion: well worth it, super nice and polite people, safe atmosphere, gorgeous scenery, lovely pastel homes. I highly recommend it!)
Figuring out how to pack reading material was bumpier than the flights themselves:
- Trying to keep down expenses and luggage weight, I decide not to buy a paper copy of a Bermuda travel guide, but download an ebook from the library. Once I have it, I realize it’s not the way to go. Although I can “bookmark” pages, I can’t use flaps of bright yellow sticky notes to mark interesting tidbits, nor place my finger in one spot while flipping to somewhere else.
- At the same time, keeping in mind that being lightweight would be a benefit, I visit the BC libraries’ ereader website and discover all popular books are out. (Q: If it’s electronic, how can there be limited copies?) I download two older books that may keep me amused.
- I then worry: how will my husband peruse the travel guide on the flight if I must use the same ereader to distract myself from near death? A hard-copy guide becomes a must.
- I barrel through my current library book so I can return it before departure: Emily St. John Mandel’s Last Night in Montreal. (My one-word review: okay. But that could be because I rushed and didn’t give it the attention it deserves.)
- The day before we leave, my ereader crashes! I decide it’s not reliable enough and ditch the idea altogether. I grab an unread book off my shelf, buy a Bermuda guide and additional novel at a bookstore en route to the airport and grab a magazine at the airport itself. I’m finally good to go!
In Bermuda I get the chance to visit two lovely bookshops: the Bermuda Book Store in Hamilton and the Book Cellar in St. George’s (plus a bizarre phone-booth-turned-used-book-exchange nearby). Not needing to buy anything, I come away empty handed.
However, I now realize there’s one book I should have tracked down—Shakespeare’s The Tempest—as they say it was inspired by a Bermudian shipwreck. I remember nothing about this play but tidbits from a high school performance. Can I decipher Shakespeare without being familiar with the story? This will be a good test.
As for writing on vacation, I ditch my blog (plus Twitter and Facebook)—how relaxing! I keep my novel in progress in the back of my mind, but do no active work on it. My only duty: a daily recap of life in Bermuda. I have neglected to keep such a record on past vacations and have regretted it, so do a great job this time capturing activities and impressions.
Now back at home, my mind is mush—a sign of a successful vacation. Little by little I’ll have to reintegrate myself to where I was. At least the time difference is working in my favour, and 5:30 a.m. (almost) feels like a lovely sleep-in. I just have to get my writing brain on board too.
How to you prepare for a vacation?
Yes I am struggling too…what to bring to read and not go over my weight for carryon. Going to Paris so I have picked a slim Nausea by Jean-Paul Sartre. I have a list of other books I am keen to read; the Price of Salt, Olive Kitteridge and Barrak Obama’s memoir so will hit Shakespear and Company as soon as I get there.
I unfortunately missed out on going to Shakespeare & Co when I was last in Paris; next time I’ll definitely make the time. Have fun!