Saturday, October 22, 2011

Reading, on the beach

I should be on my way across the Pacific Ocean right now, but American Airlines (who robbed me of the first days of my last two vacations, incidentally -- you'd think I'd learn) had other plans...

Anyway, I spent the last week on fall break in Maui. It was a rather atypical vacation for us, being resort-based, but I did get to observe the reading and working habits of many middle class individuals in Wailea, so that was something. My ethnographic notes:

• Dedicated ereaders abounded. And on the beach, and by the pool. I saw all varieties of Kindles and nooks, but also a bunch of Kobo readers.

• I was a little flabbergasted with the number of people contending with with iPads and MacBooks while sopping wet. And iPhones, Blackberrys, and SLRs. I am loathe to bring an iPod on the beach, but I seem alone in that reluctance.

• European visitors to the Fairmont Kea Lani were more likely than American counterparts to stick to print.

• Roughly one in four female visitors reading books were reading one book. The Help. I think that book is deeply offensive on so many levels, but that's an entry for another day. But the irony of reading something so self-congratulatory in such a context of privilege smacks on confirmation bias of some sort.

I read a stack of vintage Agatha Christies (all Poirot) instead of anything e. And I've caught up on 1200 entries in my RSS reader while stranded in Honolulu. Which was entirely depressing.

And I saw the Lahaina Public Library.

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