Let’s Talk with James M. Jackson

Vacation Reading by James M. Jackson

When I go on a vacation that involves airplane travel, my reading habits change. I leave my to-be-read (TBR) pile of physical books behind and rely on my Kindle to supply my reading needs. My physical TBR pile consists mostly of books I have obtained at mystery conferences acquired from conference goody bags or purchases I made at conferences. My pile is supplemented by Christmas and birthday gifts, which run to nonfiction.

My primary electronic reader is a Kindle, although I do sometimes read on my Android phone. I have an Amazon Prime membership that allows me a free book each month, plus an unlimited number of borrows—both from limited selections, of course. Because these are “free,” I feel liberated to take chances on new authors, different genres—whatever strikes my fancy.

While traveling in and around Antarctica last month, we had several “at sea” days. I spent lots of time on the deck watching and trying to identify pelagic birds, but that still allowed plenty of time for reading. In preparation for the trip, I downloaded the maximum ten books I could borrow plus a Prime First Read. I already had many unread books on my Kindle, including a few either Jan or I had purchased.

Over the three weeks I read six books, starting with two mysteries from favorite authors. Then I started experimenting with books by authors I didn’t know. I alternated between mysteries and YA fantasies. I was lucky in my choices and didn’t pick up any klunkers. In fact, I enjoyed two of the new-to-me authors—one from each genre—well enough to want to read more of their books. That’s a good success rate for me.

How about you, do you change your reading habits when you go on vacation?

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