“DO you like surfing?”, Paddy McGuinness once asked two contestants on Take Me Out, just before they jetted off on their prize holiday-date on the isle of Fernando.

“Good, because there’s free WiFi in the hotel lobby,” is the inevitable terrible punchline.

And so it is these days; holidays are no longer a chance to get away from it all entirely, as we can still go on Facebook every five minutes and tell our miserable friends back home what the temperature is and show them photos of plates of seafood.

So my column this week is the newsprint equivalent of that annoying Facebook message, because I’m writing this while lying on a beach in Croatia.

It’s about 30 degrees, and there are waves lapping gently at my feet.

I’m using Evernote on a Nexus 7, and, despite the bright sunshine, the screen is still easily readable.

The Nexus has an automatic brightness setting so I don’t have to manually adjust it every time the sun goes behind a cloud.

What am I talking about? There are no clouds. But if there were, it wouldn’t be a problem.

There’s a woman lying not far from me with a Kindle, and her screen looks even clearer, but the Nexus is a lot more than just an eBook reader.

I’ve already used it to plan some excursion routes using Google maps and checked out some canoe hire locations and prices. And write this drivel. Google has once again trumped the competition with its eBook reader, Google Play Books, which just looks and behaves more smoothly than any other app on the market.

Not only that, it has a cloud storage facility that lets you upload 1,000 books, free of charge, to access anywhere, in EPUB, PDF and other formats.

You need WiFi access for the initial download of a new book, but once it’s on there you can happily wander away from the free WiFi in the hotel lobby and read wherever you like.

If you want to store books on your device the old fashioned way, however, FB Reader, Aldiko and Bluefire are good alternatives.

Gone are the days when, on a long beach holiday, you had to weigh down your suitcase with half a ton of paperbacks to ensure you didn’t run out of reading material and end up appropriating some godawful Barbara Cartland novel left behind by another traveller in a desperate attempt to stave off boredom.

The only downside I can find to having a fancy tablet instead of an old paperback is the fear of it getting nicked while you’re off having a swim.

And on that note, I’m off into the sea. Ta ta!