Book Worm’s Guide to having enough to read in North Cyprus

I love to read both fiction and non-fiction. I spend quite a long time in North Cyprus and during my visits get through masses of books. In the past, when baggage limits were 25kg I usually found little difficulty bringing a dozen or so books with me, although larger text books could prove difficult. That was until airlines dropped that limit to 20kg. On my most recent winter trip I wore two coats which enabled me to stuff 8kg of books throughout the pockets. I looked a bit bulky but managed to get through without too much trouble. Unfortunately, wearing two large coats will not be an option when I come over in the summer; and what about those who don’t take as many trips to UK as I do?

I used to buy books second hand but soon found that my tastes were not quite those of the stall holders at the various markets. This was especially true for non-fiction. Green Jacket bookshop had a few books that I found interesting, but that closed, and although there were others to follow none were the equivalent of even W H Smiths and certainly not Waterstones or Foyles. Some people managed to order from and using their post-box and a Turkish Mersin 10 address have books delivered to North Cyprus but the carriage charges made this option a little expensive.

Then I discovered the ereader. At first I thought I wouldn’t be able to read from a screen, equating the experience to using a PC. I hadn’t realised that the reader used epaper which made the screen look like a book. OK, I tried to turn the pages for a while instead of pressing a button, but I soon got used to having hundreds of books at my disposal all in a device the size of a paperback.

So where to get the books? There are four basic options: illegal downloads, copyright free downloads, download from your UK library website or use a service like Amazon’s Kindle download facility.

Illegal downloads have the problem of viruses, copyright free books are usually old classics, local libraries are usually very limited in what you can download and the Amazon Kindle downloads are as expensive as the original books.

In the end, despite the extra cost, most people who have an ereader seem to prefer to buy an Amazon Kindle and download books from the 550,000 Kindle books available. Once the book is downloaded the Kindle picks it up either across a wireless network or by using the supplied cable to attach it to your PC.

If you’re interested have a look at the Kindle here:

Kindle Wireless Reading Device, Wi-Fi, Graphite, 6″ Display with New E Ink Pearl Technology

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