I have made an embarrassing discovery. My vocabulary has shrunken quite dramatically. Once devouring novel after novel, sometimes entertaining myself in mock Shakespeare-esque and Oscar Wilde like conversations in my head, the current inner monologues evolve around words such as ‘good grief’, ‘geez’ and ‘like’. It seems I have grown lazy, not only by speaking much less than I used to (the drawbacks of being an introverted solo traveller) but also by not educating myself through diversified literature or any kind of reading at all. And I am not counting my own text editing.
So now trapped in the midst of being too busy and yet needing to upgrade my own set of expressions (and hoping my writing hasn’t suffered as of yet), I am taking a moment to change my habits and reflect on my experiences in order to both hep myself out of this nerd misery and you book worms who want to keep reading while travelling. But we all know that isn’t so easy when you have limited space and weight allowances for your baggage. So here is my solution.
If you are at all like me and read through a book as swiftly as possible to keep up with the plot and satisfy my curiosity instantly, you will face the dilemma of having finished your book before your trip has even come close to its end. But do not worry, there are other people like you out there and they want to replace their finished pages with fresh material. Why not do an exchange? You could hop on the internet and check international websites, such as bookmooch.com and www.paperbackswap.com, check out local bookshops, coops, charity shops or even hostels. The latter nearly always have a book shelf for such a purpose.
The Digital Age
We all know that the latest idea of reading on the go is through a paperless and digital device, such as the kindle. However, if you do not want to invest in one, you could also use your laptop or smartphone to download digital works and read them on your screen. Sure, this is not very eye friendly but if you are already carrying your share of electronic devices like I am, this can be quite a relief. Plus, if you like particular quotes or are even working with the book, you can extract the lines you need and can instantly copy them for your use (watch the copyright etc, though!).
Again, a no-brainer. Listening to preread stories on your smartphone or mp3 player does not take away any physical space at all, it is relatively cheap and you can come prepared with as many as you like. There is no way you run out of material if you come well prepared and stock up on a couple of books. On top of that, you avoid shaky reading while on busses and in cars, can rest your eyes, use it as a sleeping help (especially good in noisy accommodations) and you can be super extra lazy by having to do nothing but to sit back and relax. That’s holiday right there.
My Travel Book Recommendations
Now that you know how to take your books with you, I want to give you a suggestion for your travel reads. Why not try to dive deep into travel literature of the likes of Jack London or Jack Kerouac? Or maybe you prefer to learn more about cultures but from a humoristic angle? For my trip to England I devoured Kate Fox’s Watching the English and for Australia and the USA I chose Bill Bryson’s Down Under and I’m a Stranger Here Myself. All hilarious reads and super enlightening!