It’s often said that ebooks give you the freedom to take an entire library away on holiday, but, despite the ovbious benefits, recent research reveals that British holidaymakers prefer lugging paperbacks with them rather than read off a screen.
When the Travel Book Survey polled 3000 people they found that a massive 78% favour paperbacks when it comes to their holiday reading, over magazines (7%), newspapers (4%), or digital downloads or reading content online (4%).
This seems to mirror my own experience, although I admit I may not be typical. I gave up on my ereader a few years ago after I stood on it. I know it was my own fault, but I’m peeved by the thought that had it been a paperback, although I may have crumpled a few pages, it would still have worked. I like things that are robust enough to shrug off a careless foot or two. And I never got around to replacing it for the simple reason I didn’t miss it.
I met a New Orleans journalist last year in Mexico and I was fascinated to learn that she spent a considerable sum of money shipping her holiday reading. I’m sure she was surrounded by digital technology in her workaday world, but she didn’t even consider it as an option when it came to the books she was eager to dive into. Everyone else I met on that trip was also reading paperbacks – there wasn’t an ebook in sight. Smartphones and tablets were for keeping up with news from home, the sort that makes the headlines as well as the stuff that only flares for a moment on facebook. Books, the real kind with carboard covers and paper pages, were for enjoyment.
And what do we read?
According to Opodo.co.uk who commissioned the survey, we escape into a good story with romance and adventure at the top of the list with famous autobiographies coming up alongside. (I prefer memoirs by people who aren’t famous, by the way…)
Stephen Fry said that:
Books are no more threatened by Kindle than stairs by elevators
And it looks as though he might well be right…