A book lover I shall always be. A traveler I choose to be. When I travel, a book travels with me. An actual, physical paperback book.
I tried to go book-free while traveling in Europe last year, as I only allowed myself a single carry on backpack. Keeping to the essentials was key. So I downloaded several e-books onto my iPad to ensure I had reading material. They did the job.
Yet when I came across a shelf of books at one of our stays, I could not resist the urge to help myself to free reading material. Holding a book, turning the pages — I was surprised at how these physical sensations enhanced the pleasure of reading for me.
As a result I no longer eliminate what has become essential travel gear for me: a book. Reading as a passenger in a car when the scenery is monotonous or on a plane when media options are uninspiring makes the hours of travel fly by.
I do limit myself to one book, however. And, it must be one that I am willing to part with as it will not travel back home with me. My goal is to leave it along the way so there’s one less item to pack.
The day before our most recent vacation, I still needed something to read. Fortunately our town offers multiple sources of used books: the library, thrift and consignment shops. After poking through the various selections I settled on one, a bargain at 25 cents.
But what happens when the book is finished and the vacation isn’t?
Part way through a road trip, I finished reading my thrift store novel. My hope was to trade my book in for another at a used book store along the way. Failing that, my only resort was an e-book.
After driving for a couple of hours, Hubby was ready for a break and a coffee. We pulled in at a visitor centre. Along with information about the area we received directions to a local coffee shop. Of course we had to visit the NovelTea Bookstore and Cafe!
While Hubby ordered coffee and scones, I wondered if I could trade my book for another. The owner heard my request and said they didn’t usually do trades, but…sure, she’d take my book as a trade! Sweet!
I expected to be directed to the castoff bins, but no. “Choose any book you like,” she said with a cheerful grin. I was floored. How truly gracious and generous! I didn’t have much time to make a selection, but found an intriguing title in the non-fiction section.
Book, coffee, delicious scones in hand, we continued on our way, with warm feelings towards the little town of Truro, Nova Scotia — a concrete example of Maritime generosity and friendliness.
How about you? Do books travel along with you or do you prefer e-books or audio books?