Holiday reading

Most sensible people take a Kindle on holiday these days, but I haven’t been converted yet. It’s not a Luddite thing, though I dislike reading on screens outside of working hours, but more that I tend to pick up books randomly – flicking through shelves in secondhand shops or on market stalls, seeing what takes my fancy, what comes up in loans and swaps with friends – rather than specifically deciding on a title and searching something out. So my holiday reading usually consists of whatever I’ve carried with me, plus the books I find on my travels. And yes, I’ve read some crap for want of anything better, what with pretentious backpackers’ discards in hostels and bloody Aga-sagas in holiday cottages.

English-language bookshops abroad are often disappointing – arcane academic/occupational texts, the usual classics, tatty sci-fi paperbacks and not much else in the secondhand shops, at high prices – but I’d single out Robert’s Books in Riga as one of the better examples of the genre. New and secondhand; an interesting selection of music biographies caught D’s eye. They have a nice line in promotional postcards, too (I took a greedy handful, but hey, it’s spreading the word).

My purchases: two editions of Granta, 2 lats (about £2.20) each. Turned out I already had #25 (left), the one with the preview extract from London Fields, which I hadn’t seen since, well, about 1989, but #9 (right) was indeed missing from my collection. Still to find: 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7; 11-14; 16-18; 54, 59, 73-76. Perhaps I’ll turn them up in some other exotic, unexpected or far-flung location, unless anyone reading this can help…

This entry was published on September 29, 2012 at 10:57 pm. It’s filed under Books and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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