the old dilemma…

This happens every time. Some kind of a trip, vacation, journey and being a Reader I need to take a book or three. Can’t be away from reading, right. So I turn to the To Be Read pile. But wait, there are some other things I’ve been kind of think about, maybe read something in the way of a review, maybe a Friday Forgotten Book. Not every book fits into the take it with you category, certainly not a nice fresh hardcover with perfect dust jacket that has arrived recently. Nope, that one has to wait for later, not going to have it knocking around in a suitcase or back pack.

So what to choose? Maybe it should be something about the place I’m going, a history or non-fiction account of an event or person connected to the place. But this time the destination wasn’t fitting for that, I was just going to have some reading time. Fantasy, science fiction, mystery? That’s what I read the most of. Branch out and try a western? Maybe. Something old, something new? Starting to sound like a wedding cliche.

Novels or short stories? I always think stories make more sense, but I don’t get as fully engaged as with a novel. So I better have plenty of both.

Then from not knowing where to begin I shifted way to the other side and had a pile of a dozen or more. Sure, I always take more books than I read when I travel, but a dozen? Better cut that down. I got to five and then added a couple more. Then another. Good thing I’m not flying or I’d have to pay a penalty.

I decided to start out with a novel, one I’d been meaning to read for a couple of decades. I started it last night, so it’s going with and I’ll finish it I’m sure. But then? Stay tuned, I’ll reveal the results when I return in a few days. I hope the house sitter and the cats don’t party too hard while I’m away.

About Rick Robinson

Enjoying life in Portland, OR
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13 Responses to the old dilemma…

  1. Bill Crider says:

    Time to buy that Kindle, Rick, and take all those books in one handy package.

  2. Richard says:

    But I can’t smell the ink, touch the old paper, watch it crumble in my fingers, hear the cracking of the spine. enjoy the pages slipping away from the tired glue…

  3. I understand the dilemma Richard. There was a period a couple of years back where I managed to spend a week in the hospital every other month the whole year.

    Preparing for that each time, I ended up usually with a dozen or so of various types(usually SF, mysteries, thrillers, westerns,an old pulp tale, maybe a tie-in or two). I like a wide assortment, depending on my mood, to choose from.

  4. Jeff Meyerson says:

    This is really relevant to me, Rick. As you know we’re just about done with our 5 weeks in Florida and “which books to take” (and how many) was a major consideration.

    Jackie and I each took a large tote bag full of books since we had our car and hence the room. I’ve read a lot more of mine than she has of hers.

    I started out with the short stories, taking the two latest Crippen & Landru volumes, a double issue of EQMM, an anthology and shorts by Leo Bruce and Murray Leinster. I’ve read the Bruce and the S. J. Rozan (C & L) and some of the EQMM.

    I decided to take more science fiction and fewer mysteries, and have read two by John Scalzi (with one to go) and two by James White (one to read) plus a Joe Haldeman and the book of FLASHFORWARD (I prefer the TV series). I never got to STAND ON ZANZIBAR.

    Mysteries? I read books by Norbert Davis, Ben Rehder, Kate Ellis and hardboiled master “Jack Buchanan” (some guy named Crider), with a Donald Hamilton Matt Helm book and one other yet unread.

    Lastly, straight fiction: I read (I guess you could call it a mystery if you wanted to) the second No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency book by Alexander McCall Smith and LEAVING LAS VEGAS by John O’Brian. The one I didn’t get to (just too long) was Anthony Trollope’s first Palliser book.

    So overall, I think I did pretty well.

  5. Todd Mason says:

    Have fun with whatever you take…

  6. Richard says:

    Jeff – you did VERY good. I’ll bet the Leo Bruce collection was the MURDER IN MINIATURE I reviewed her a couple months ago, am I right? What did you think?

    This is what I have to tentatively pack in the car:

    Ringworld by Larry Niven (science fiction novel) – I also have this in an unabridged audiobook on my iPod and could consume it that way. One way or the other, this is going with.

    Mars by Ben Bova (science fiction novel) – first in the trilogy. I expect this not to make the final cut.

    The Number 1 Ladies Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith (mystery short stories) – I wouldn’t have touched this, but when I read his piece in The Lineup last year I put it on the buy list. Something different for me, and I did not watch the television version.

    Death at Hallows End by Leo Bruce (classic mystery novel) – written in the late 1940s a classic fair play novel of detection with an amateur doing the sleuthing.

    Six Deadly Dames by Frederik Nebel (hard-boiled mystery short stories) – comes highly recommended by a member of the apa.

    The Dernyi Archives by Katherine Kurtz (fantasy short stories) – may be unwise to try this, since it’s been a really long time since I read any of the Deryni novels and I don’t recall much of them so I may be lost about what’s going on and who is who.

    Pride of Chanur by C. J. Cherryh (fantasy novel) – I have an omnibus that has this and the next two in the series, and will probably take this one.

    The Forest of Time and Other Stories by Michael Flynn (science fiction short stories) – Flynn has a reputation for “hard” SF, and that’s my preference too.

    The Case of the Howling Dog by Erle Stanley Gardner (mystery novel) – one of the early ones that I had on the shelf.

    The Case of the Perjured Parrot by Erle Stanley Gardner (mystery novel) – the other early Perry Mason I pulled.

    I’ve already started Ringworld. Can’t believe I never read it.

  7. Jeff S. says:

    Richard have a great trip and I can’t wait to hear how your reading went. 🙂

  8. Jeff Meyerson says:

    Rick, yes, the Bruce was the one you reviewed. I hadn’t even realized until then that he’d written a collection. The stories were short and fast, and Sgt. Beef remains a memorable character. I think the one thing I’ll most remember was from my friend Barry Pike’s introduction: the fact that Bruce (Rupert Croft-Cooke) wrote 26 volumes of autobiography!

    Good luck with your list. I’ve read the McCall Smith, the Nebel stories and the two Gardner books. Like the Donald Hamilton, the Gardners are a good choice for a fast read while traveling.

  9. I used to save John Mortimer’s RUMPOLE books for travel. I found them perfect, especially when the book was in LARGE PRINT. But now that I’ve read all the RUMPOLES, I don’t think I can travel anymore.

  10. Carl V. says:

    I will be anxious to hear how you ended up faring in your vacation reading, Richard. I wish you a safe trip there and back.

  11. Patti Abbott says:

    It worries me that next time, you may take along the Kindle. Where will all the bookstores go-gone to graveyards everyone.

  12. Richard says:

    I won’t be taking a kindle, I’d be afraid of getting sand in it as I sit here on the beach, basking in the sun. Okay I wish. It’s cold, windy and rained cats and dogs yesterday. Better today but sprinkling on and off, not fit for more than a short walk, which we have done a good deal of. Good reading weather, I’ve almost finished with the first book, RINGWORLD.

    I never realized how fun and funky Coronado is, too bad even the shacks here cost in the millions.

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