My annual cottage vacation is imminent and a favourite part is reading books by the lake.

In past years, I’ve packed a pile of library books. But, I average more than ten books over the break. Adding in my family (though they’re less voracious readers) means we end up with a big box of books to fit in an already crowded car.

So, the past few years I’ve switched to reading library books on my iPad. Being able to “carry” so many books on the device, plus adding more if necessary, is great. The downsides, though, include difficulty reading through the glare of sunlight and the occasional shutdown from overheating. Plus, there are so many easy distractions on an iPad.

Thanks to a good discount and a review by Jason Snell of integrating with public libraries, I’ve bought a Kobo Libra 2. This is now my dedicated library book device (although it does have other features, like a bookstore, Pocket integration, and audiobooks). The e-ink really is remarkably easy to read outside, even in direct sunlight, and I like the physical page-turn buttons.

Although I always have a general preference for physical books, the convenience of an entire public library on a handheld device can’t be beat for vacation reading.