Modern cruise ships offer more diversions than the old liners, but their libraries play an important part in shipboard life. The ships visiting New Zealand every summer vary in their offerings. Holland America Line’s libraries are stocked by real librarians, are generously-sized and feature an intelligent selection of Australian and New Zealand titles.
Not all ships match HAL’s.
It was also busy. Very. It’s common to see people carrying books to the breakfast table, into the lounges where leather chairs make comfy bookish roosts between shows, and of course around the pool, watching the sea miles slip by. Sony Readers and the E-Kindle have yet to storm this bastion. It’s not the passengers’ age (US and British grandparents Skype to family and download emails with the best of them), but the sheer durability and portability of the book. As a mate says, you can’t swat a mozzie with a screen (unless you want to fork out $100s in repairs!)