ereadingWhen I mentioned to Chris Meadows that I was leaving for my first ever cruise, he suggested I write something about ereading while cruising. I wasn’t sure how I’d approach that, until I’d been on the ship for a couple of days.

It was interesting to walk around the decks and see what devices people were using. Here’s what I saw.

The first day, Nooks outnumbered Kindles, but that turned out to be a fluke. After that first day, I saw only one other Nook. Kindles abounded, although most of them were the eInk versions. I saw lots of Paperwhites, one Touch, a few basic Kindles, and a surprising number of Kindle Keyboards. Nice to see the older models are still in use. I saw no first or second generation Kindles, nor did I see a Voyage.

Although I saw lots of eInk Kindles, I was surprised by the paucity of them compared to tablets. iPads were everywhere. I saw few other tablets: only a couple of Kindle Fires, one Nook Tablet and one Samsung Galaxy 10. The majority of iPads were full-sized, although I did see a number of Minis. Why surprised by so many tablets? Well, I left my iPad at home because I wanted something easy to read in full sunlight. Apparently lots of my fellow cruisers were content to find shade.

By the way, using an iPad as a camera really does look silly. I saw plenty of examples.

While Apple devices won the tablet war handily, they didn’t dominate the smartphone battle. I did see lots of iPhone 6 and 6+ devices, but there were plenty of Android phones in evidence. I saw few older iPhones, which I found curious. Cruisers are frequent upgraders? Plenty of people were reading on their phones. There was one guy who staked out the same deck chair every day, reading on his iPhone.

Paper still rules on the high seas. I was amused to see how many couples had one half reading on an electronic device while the other read a paper book. My husband and I both had Paperwhites, which definitely wasn’t the norm among couples.

What were people reading? Well, I wasn’t so rude to peek at people’s books on their Kindles, but book covers were fair game. Most of what I saw were “beach reads,” predominantly written by authors who are a part of Authors United. Guess cruisers were unaffected by media coverage of the Hachette/Amazon battle.

Fiction heavily outnumbered non-fiction titles, but I saw a few dedicated self-help types. Many of the books were library books, which surprised me. Other than the e-variety, I’d never bring a library book on vacation. I’d be too afraid of losing or damaging it.

There’s my observations. Anyone else been on a cruise recently? Did your observations match mine?

Image credit: TVerBeek under a Creative Commons License


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