It was my birthday last week (and don’t think I didn’t notice that you didn’t get me a present).  As a special treat, I was allowed to go away on holiday, AND young Mr Bronnypop Jr and Mrs Bronnypop’s Mum conspired to get me an e-reader. As a consequence, the night before we left town I spent an hour or so noodling around on the library’s Overdrive pages, finding and downloading five e-book titles to take away with me.

As with many things in life, the minute you get something you’ve wanted for ages, it all becomes a bit overwhelming.  I thought it would be an easy task to choose five books.  I was wrong.  The downloading itself was easy, and with only a few “oops, where did it go?” moments, I managed to figure out how to make the Overdrive and Adobe bits work.

Choosing the titles, though – good grief! Even after I narrowed things down – e-books rather than audio, titles that were available right then and there – there was still far too much to choose from. Eventually in a slightly blind panic I started randomly pushing buttons, thinking, well what’s the worst that can happen? Surely at least one or two of them will be readable …

Well, it seems I am either luckier or cleverer than I knew. Every book I chose turned out to be a winner, and I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of my reading holiday. David Levithan’s Love is the Higher Law (New York in the days and weeks after 9/11, as seen through the eyes of three teenagers living right there); Calvin Trillin’s Eating with the Pilgrims (a hitherto undiscovered food writer – yay! witty and oh so clever); Libba Bray’s Beauty Queens (plane-load of teenage beauty pageant contestants crash on a mysterious island in the style of Lost and Lord of the Flies); Deadly Night – a lightweight but enjoyable horror/thriller set in New Orleans, featuring three hunky detective brothers, a beautiful psychic and a haunted Southern plantation; and as a final test of the e-reader’s particular special features, a silly little thing called Banana Hammock: A “Write your own Damn Story” Adventure.

Now I’m not saying that ALL of these were destined to feature in my Top Reads of 2012 lists, but the combination of being able to choose books while lying on the couch at home, not having to worry about how to fit them all into my suitcase, and then not even having to drag them all back to the library afterwards (or worry about overdue charges) makes my shiny new e-reader one of the best birthday presents ever.  If you have any kind of e-reader already, or even if you have a tablet or laptop, get yourself organised for Christmas holidays and have a good poke around in Overdrive.  If you’re just starting out, we’ve got heaps of helpful info on the website, and in the libraries, and if you get really stuck we even offer classes!

And for those of you who don’t yet have an e-reader, well, now you know what to ask Santa to bring you for Christmas …