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Quintin Jardine e-reads by the pool in Spain.

Eileen Mansfield

You might see it as my shame, one I should hide, as a lover of books. But I'm a traveller, and so the coming of the e-reader has been, apart from my doc telling me to take omeprazole for a garlic intolerance, the most liberating thing ever to happen to me. Now I can order anything I fancy from the menu, be it in my chosen restaurant or in the library in my pocket.

I'm contractually bound to produce, annually, a Bob Skinner novel and a Primavera Blackstone yarn, so my time for reading is limited. When I'm working, I never indulge in my own genre. For the past few months, I've been focused on political biography. Tony Blair's A Journey lies unfinished on my metaphorical shelf, lest his unctuousness makes me vomit, but I've just emerged from George W. Bush's Decision Points with a greater understanding of, and liking for, the man than I had before.

There's something childlike about Duhbya, and maybe that's why I've regressed. Currently, I am reading on my Kindle the greatest adventure story ever written. What's that? No contest; it has to be Treasure Island, by my countryman, the peerless Robert Louis Stevenson. And since RLS chose to spend his last years in the South Pacific, it's mildly appropriate that my favourite reading pitch is in the sun also, beside the pool in our humble home in Spain.

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Yo ho ho, and a bottle of rum, or, failing that, Corona, complete with wedge of lime.

Quintin Jardine is a Scottish crime novelist, creator of the detectives Bob Skinner, Primavera Blackstone and Oz Blackstone.

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