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Vacation Reading: E-book or Paperback?

Here are some new books to read before it's back to school time.

Here we are in the month of August, still sweating and sweltering away. What happened to the weather this summer? We’ve been bouncing from one wacky weather extreme to another. So, for those of you who are getting away on a vacation, I hope you get a break from this weather, and are met with pleasant sunny days.

Another plus to your vacation would be a book. No matter what you plan there is usually a point in the day where having something to read is just the ticket. Whether you’re basking on the Indiana Dunes or sitting in an Adirondack chair on Mackinac Island. Now the question is: What kind of book? These days it's not just what book but how you choose to read that book; e-book, audiobook, hardcover, or paperback? Let us mull over the pros and cons.

Many of us are enamored with e-books, but don’t assume all e-book readers will work well outdoors. Those with LCD screens are notorious for marginal quality in direct sunlight. Screens that use e-ink, like the Kindle, work best. The best part about these e-readers is that you can download numerous books to your Kindle or Nook or whatever device you choose, without having to haul around piles of books.

The audiobook is wonderful because you don’t have to squint in the sunlight to read. If you're driving to your vacation destination, you can pop in a CD in the car for the entire family to enjoy. Or while at the beach, you can use a CD player, or an MP3 player, which is very small and easier to protect from the water and sand. I would vote for the MP3 player, the library has MP3 devices available for check out that contain the audiobook tracks for certain books, which the library refers to as the "playaway version."

Hardcover vs. paperback: an easy call. Hardbacks are heavy, susceptible to sand and water damage, not the ideal thing for the beach, especially if it’s a library book. I like paperbacks. If they’re damaged or lost, so what? Here’s what’s new in paperback:

"Game of Thrones" by George R. R. Martin. The first in a fantasy series set in a world where summer can last for years and winter is endless.  Sound familiar? This book is now a popular TV show series on HBO.

"Sizzling Sixteen" by Janet Evanovich. Another romp with the irresistible bounty hunter Stephanie Plum, whose uncle left her a "lucky bottle" but the bottle might not be so lucky. In this book Plum soon finds out about the luck in an adventure with Lula, Grandma Mazur, Joe and Ranger.

For romance fans, "Family Ties" by Danielle Steel, and "Betrayal" by Fern Michaels are also available in paperbacks. Are intrigue and mystery your pleasure? Try "Hell’s Corner" by David Baldacci or "The Rembrandt Affair" by Daniel Silva.

Whatever your choose, MP3 or paperback, have a lovely vacation and don’t forget the sunblock.

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