I really hate to say this, but I’m a huge fan of eBooks now. I don’t think I’ll take a hard copy book on a trip again.
Why I Dislike eBooks
I resisted as long as I could. I love real books and the feel of them in my hand. I think eBook services and publishers are shady. I wrote my first research paper in library school on eBooks and how they erode libraries’ missions to serve their patrons and protect their privacy, their rights, especially patrons with disabilities.
How I Came Around
But, push came to shove and I had to get off my soapbox when I spent a month in London on business. There was no room in my suitcase for a month’s worth of reading material. Buying books while I was there was not an option — the exchange rate is horrendous.
Mr. P and I decided to try out eBooks on our tablets during our weekend trip to Ireland in March. It just worked. I went eBook-only for the month in London. When we went to Italy for two weeks this summer, it was eBooks again. We didn’t even bring a hard copy guidebook.
Why eBooks are Fabulous for Travelers
Not having to pack multiple books. Not every traveler is a bookworm, but we are. It was amazing to not have to carry heavy books (even paperbacks) in our luggage or carry ons. I gained so much purse space by just using my tablet!
Not worrying if you will “run out” of stuff to read. My tablet will hold a ton of material. I read more in Italy than I ever have on a vacation because I didn’t need to worry if I’d have enough book left for the plan ride home.
They can be cheap or free. You can get books that are in the public domain for free. Mr. P is in the middle of Les Miserables and was easily able to find a copy for his tablet. Plus, you can check out books from your local library.
Libraries are accessible wherever there’s an internet connection. This was the best. Whenever we finished a book, we could log on and get another one. Taking an afternoon rest in one of our apartments in Italy, we’d finish a book and get another one immediately. I tore through a book faster than I thought I would during an airport delay in Rome. I was able to download another one before boarding our 11-hour flight home.
You can belong to more than one library for better selection. Every library has different contracts with eBook providers. I belong to my city’s library system and also the county system.
They can be used during takeoff. This used to be one of my biggest complaints with eBooks. Remember when you had to turn off all electronic devices before takeoff? Since that’s not the case anymore, I can seamlessly read in the boarding area, after I take my seat, and all the way through takeoff.
I’m a total turncoat even though I still have philosophical issues with the eBook business.
How do you read when you travel?