Books for Travels

What do you usually read during travels? Did you already vote in my poll? Today, I’ll continue with the travelling theme.

No, I won’t put a list of my ever favourite books to read during your travels. I’m not gonna put a list of books that you should read before going travelling. Why? I feel that there is no need to, everybody has their own favourite or to-be-read books and they work just fine. And I don’t believe in any “books for summer” etc.  I can try making a books to read (not guides) before going to a certain country, if there’d be an interest in it (just write me a comment).

No, I’ll think of pros and cons of books, ebooks and audiobooks during travels (especially those long-distance).

Pros and Cons of Reading During Travels

Physical Books

Pros

  • Easily obtained everywhere, no matter the place and currency. Just go to any bookshop on a station or airport. Surely, there will be at least kiosk with books, if not a regular (or imported/translated) bookshop. And the bookshops in cities too.
  • Can be sold to a used bookshop or exchanged during the same travel if you’re bored with it or it isn’t satisfying enough.
  • You can easily buy a book by a local author on abroad travels. Going to a bookshop in that country will show you books and authors popular in that country. Moreover, a local staff will help you find the book you might have overlooked another way.
  • A cover of the book is a free topic to start a discussion and can be used as a way to meet new people.

Cons

  • Can be difficult to pack (bulky, taking a lot of space).
  • Can be heavy.

Ebooks

Pros

  • You can easily take a lot of books (both because of size and weight).
  • It’s easier to pack than books.
  • You can get books for free saving on the costs of trip. The required cost is that of a reader.

Cons

  • It’s hard to buy local authors and books.
  • It can be difficult to pay for the local ebooks.
  • Depending on a country, there might be problems with buying ebooks (little selection, lack of good shops, etc.)
  • You won’t meet fellow readers of the book you read just by showing off the e-book reader etc.
  • It’s depending on an electricity source. In some places you might have difficulties with charging.
  • If your “book” (aka reader) gets damaged/stolen etc. you loose more money than when loosing a regular book.

Audiobooks

Pros

  • You can easily take a lot of books (both because of size and weight).
  • It’s easier to pack than books.
  • You can get books for free saving on the costs of trip. The required cost is that of a reader.
  • The only book you can enjoy safely when driving your car.

Cons

  • You might miss the announcements.
  • It’s hard to buy local authors and books.
  • It can be difficult to pay for the local audiobooks.
  • Depending on a country, there might be problems with buying audiobooks (little selection, lack of good shops, etc.)
  • You won’t meet fellow readers of the book you read because nobody knows what you read.
  • It’s depending on an electricity source. In some places you might have difficulties with charging.
  • If your “book” (aka reader) gets damaged/stolen etc. you loose more money than when loosing a regular book.

What are your thoughts? Do you see any other pros and cons of reading books, ebooks and audiobooks during travels? Feel free to comment.

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4 thoughts on “Books for Travels”

  1. We pretty much always travel by automobile, and so audiobooks are a standard part of our trip taking. We take an annual trip on our anniversary in May and it is pretty standard for us to grab an Agatha Christie that we haven’t listened to for the trip, and maybe something essay-ish like a Bill Bryson book.

    As for taking books along, I pretty much always take physical books with me. I’ll take the Kindle too, but I much prefer sitting on the riverbank with a physical book in hand. I’m always super-careful with my books (packing them carefully, etc), but if I’m concerned I’ll take older used paperbacks with me or something I have out from the library that has a protective cover on it.

  2. Travel by automobile? Not my cup of tea. I usually use public trains (and like) or planes.

    Why Agatha Christie (or rather: why choosing one author)?

    Sitting by the river with a book, feels nice. 🙂 If you refer to the damage of books… accidents happen even if you guard the books/bag. 😀

  3. We really enjoy the two or three narrators who read Christie’s books and it has become a fun ritual to either go with a Christie book or one of Bill Bryson’s nonfiction books to listen to as we drive the winding roads in the countryside on the way to our favorite vacation destination, a little old German town with a lot of wineries and beautiful scenery.

    Great place to read!

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