Friday, May 11, 2012

Traveling With Books

I’ve been traveling lately (from Utah to Quebec City by train), and with my world on my back, I feel that every item I carry must be essential. I am a die-hard analog reader, so deciding what books to take when traveling takes careful consideration. There are many factors that come into play. How many books do I need to get me through the trip? Should I choose smaller/lighter books, even though they may not be next on my reading list? What if I end up not wanting to read any of them, and I am stranded at a train station in the middle of nowhere (Depew, NY) with nothing to do? Taking all these things into consideration, I chose to bring two books—one, an impractically huge hardcover (and the most recent installment of a series I am obsessed with), and a small paperback that is an old favorite. I justified the hardcover to myself, because I will finish A Feast for Crows before I see George R.R. Martin at the ALA convention in Anaheim (and have him autograph it, and my body), and I planned to have a lot of reading time on my trip. The smaller book, The Tao of Pooh, fell into the “I’ve already read this and loved it, and if I get cranky on the train it will cheer me up” category. So, a mix of book lust and practicality ultimately determined my reading choices for my cross-county adventure. How do you decide what books to take on a trip? How many is too much? Or, if you have an e-reader, how do you decide between all your options at hand?



  1. I definitely support the 2-book strategy. I try and bring one action, spy, Ludlum-ish book, and then another pseudo-self-help, inspiration-y style book. Unfortunately, one I usually can't put down, and the other ends up helping me sleep on the plane! :)

  2. How about you take a great book about traveling, while you travel? "Drifting on a Headwind" by Jim Harlan is a fabulous, entertaining book, a memoir of the author's travels around the world over the past 30 years. I found it interesting to see an intimate view of what life is like in some of the most remote corners of the world.